Inventions are such a part of history that leaving them out of your homeschooling would be a shortcoming. Charlotte Mason loved to introduce things to children and leave them be for them to grow a science of education with them. Inspiration comes from this way of educating.
Here are 10 Inventors your children should know about:
- Benjamin Franklin – If you didn’t realize that Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, you have missed a huge part of his life. He was the inventor of many things, but here are a few things that you would want to be sure your children knew about: bifocal glasses, a stove, which allowed people to cook on them, lightening rods (to prevent fires during lightening storms) and swim fins.
- Thomas Edison – We have Thomas Edison to thank for the light bulb, which most of us know. But did you know that he also invented the first phonograph? You may not know what that really is but if I told you that it was an invention that recorded sound, you will see that because of his invention, our technology today stems from his invention.
- Eli Whitney – You may know that Eli Whitney is known for his invention of the cotton gin, a machine that massed produced cotton. Did you know that he also created what we now know to be ‘an assembly line’ for mass production. He took 10 pieces of each part of a musket to the Secretary of War and quickly assembled 10 muskets in front of him, amazing the secretary of the effeciency of this idea.
- The Wright Brothers – Did you know that two brothers, Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first in flight in America? Inspired by their observation of birds, they constructed many gliders before inventing their first powered airplane.
- Henry Ford – In the same year that the Wright Brothers took flight, 1903, Henry Ford had announced that he was going to make automobiles for the masses. With the same assembly line concept that Eli Whitney used to manufactor muskets, Henry Ford instituted 8 hour work days, with 3 shifts, so that production was always going. This amazing achievement allowed for one Model T to be built in just 24 seconds and at one time, they were sold for $280!
- Alexander Graham Bell – We all know that Alexander Graham Bell was the inventor of the first telephone, but he was an inventor and he didn’t stop there. He improved on Thomas Edison’s phonogram and later invented a device called an “phonophone”, which allowed sound to travel on a beam of light. This invention has lead to modern inventions of laser and fiber optic in communication. He used tragic events, like the assissinaton of President Garfield and the death of his son to make inventions to better life.
- Robert Fulton – You may know that Robert Fulton was the inventor of the first commercial steam boat, but did you know that he also invented the first submersible submarine. His invention allowed 2 men to stay submerced in the water for up to 5 hours at a time.
- George Eastman – A photographer himself, George Eastman wanted to invent the first camera that would allow anyone, not just trained photographers to take a photo. He proclaimed “you push the button, we will do the rest” when he invented the first rolled film for the Kodak company.
- George Stephenson – George Stephenson was the inventor of the first steam engine train. These trains had to be hand made, like a blacksmith would make a horse shoe, so it took a lot of time and energy to make each part of the train. In addition to inventing the steam engine, he was also the first one to make a public railways.
- Elias Howe – Elias Howe was the inventor of the first sewing machine patent. Although Isaac Singer is credited with this invention, it was Howe who invented the machine. Howe made his fortune from lawsuits for people using his designs and profiting from them. This was a welcomed invention for women, who up to this time, made their family’s clothes by hand.