Thomas Edison

4 Common Myths About Famous Inventors


For years, people have been inventing and creating new machines, devices, and processes in production. Many of the ideas contributed to making this world a better place to live, but some did not have that luck, nor did their inventors become millionaires overnight. Moreover, there are those inventors who were not responsible for the inventions attributed to them. What are these common myths about famous Inventors? We will list some of them.

Myths Of Invention

Searching the history of the invention, you will find extensive documentation that stretches from the moment the first press was invented – to the expansion of the Internet. As so many myths and stories are related to certain inventions, it is interesting to read about some of them – especially those that contain something more than dry facts. Many inventions were humorous, some were serious – but even inventions that were not at all successful do not have to be considered complete failures. Moreover, each of them shows the desire of people to improve their living conditions. The list of inventions includes cars, aspirins, chewing gum, but also the story of computer mice. We will try to reach some truths and break some common myths when it comes to science and invention.

Stealing Inventions

For some of the most important inventions in history – the credit has long been attributed to people who are not quite credited for their discoveries. A telescope, plane, and radio are just some of them. The people associated with the most important inventions of mankind become famous in the history of science and technology. But many people who made important discoveries before the formal inventors – remained in the shadows for various reasons. These merits were recognized only later, and for some of them, almost no one even knows. Therefore, it is important to protect the invention, that is – to have a patent.

Protection Of The Invention

The idea should be protected even before it reaches the patent office. Therefore, expert companies such as Invent Help deal with the problem of patent legal protection at the global level. According to, inexperienced inventors often present to lawyers the entire project they want to patent, which does not provide any flexibility during the registration process and prevents the inventor from making minor alterations that can improve product performance. Patent protection is important because it prevents the unauthorized use, production, and sale of a particular product. No less important is the name of the product. Therefore, people from specialized companies like this will conduct market research and gather information on whether there is a product with a similar name that would create confusion. It will then analyze how potential consumers react to the new product. Investing in such research is not small, but it mostly pays off, and it also protects the inventor from various inconveniences.

Common Myths About Famous Inventors

If they knew how to protect their inventions, some of these people might not have a headache – as was the case in these few examples.

1. War Of The Currents

The so-called current war, the conflict over the adoption of alternating current or direct current, was not truly a conflict between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Tesla was not involved in this war that actually happened was between Edison and George Westinghouse – for whom Tesla just worked at the time of his inventions of alternating current. Even though the alternating current was more popular in Europe – North American cities have already invested in direct current systems, and there was an inventive tradition that relied on direct current. After Edison perfected the first practical electric light bulb – the need for a national switch to electricity became apparent. As Edison had numerous patents on direct current, he would have made a fortune if electric dams had been built on it.

One of Tesla’s first jobs was for Edison. Tesla was given the task of improving Edison’s system to make it more efficient. Tesla did this by completely rejecting Edison’s design – so Edison would have to give up his patent and accept Tesla’s design. This was unacceptable to Edison for practical reasons, so they parted ways. Edison continued to consider Tesla brilliant but stubborn, while Tesla spread the story that Edison had deceived him. They split up during the mid-1880s, and Tesla decided to start his own company, Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing – which he financed even with occasional manual labor.

2. Thomas Edison The Inventor Of The Light bulb?!

Do we need to call Edison the inventor of light bulbs? Even though he played a key role in the development of a commercially successful light bulb – he didn’t design it. Careful research leads us to 1809 when the Englishman Humphrey Davy made an arched lamp. Some ten years later, Warren de la Roux made the first sealed light bulb – and in 1840, William Robert Grou lit up the whole room with lamps. Unfortunately, the products were very expensive, short-lived. 8 scientists and 3 patents later – Edison developed one of these inventions to get a longer-lasting, cheaper product. And we all know the rest of the story.

3. The First Phone

We’ve all heard the story of Alexander Graham Bell, the man who first invented the telephone and used it to call someone for the first time in human history – his secretary, Mr. Watson. However, the first functional phone was actually invented 15 years before that famous event, and it was invented by Philipp Reis, a German inventor. The first real telephone was called the Reis Telephone and was first shown in 1861. Reis The phone could transmit musical tones quite clearly, and human voices a little worse. There is no doubt at all that Reis was responsible for the first transmission of the human voice over a wire, a full fifteen years before the invention of the man who received all the glory.

4. Flight Of The Plane – The Fall Of The True Inventor

The Wilbur brothers and four-year-old Orville Wright are pioneers of aviation. Their enormous contribution to the development of aviation is that in 1903 they were the first to construct a motorized aircraft called the Flyer I and officially became the first people to fly a plane. Their venture was officially declared the first controlled and continuous flight by a vehicle heavier than air. However, when the construction of the Wright brothers’ first motor aircraft is mentioned, few mention the man-inventor who made the first airplane engine. Charlie Taylor, an American mechanic, and inventor was actually working for the Wright brothers who had a bicycle repair shop.

Although Charlie was primarily employed to repair bicycles – his mechanical skills have not gone unnoticed. When it came to constructing an engine for the Flyer – two brothers hired him to do this job. He designed and constructed a water-cooled aluminum and copper engine in just six weeks. The Flyer project needed an engine with at least eight horsepower – but Taylor constructed had 12 horsepower. He continued working for the Wright brothers on engine maintenance until the 1920s.

Why Indian Entrepreneur Should be Optimistic in this Economic Crisis

If you have owned a business before, you must be well acquainted with the numerous risks that come with it. These come in various forms from the moment you wake up in the morning: you are meeting creditors and investors to fund the business, you are marketing your products and services, struggling to pay your workers, satisfying the wants of your customers, or delivering your products.

Things are tough when you are running your business – but, in every difficult task, there are always people that will shine through because of their high suitability in dealing with the seemingly ‘hard things’.

These are the types of entrepreneurs that use the difficult aspects of their job and turn them into advantages that work for them. Instead of struggling through the obstacles, you could say that it energizes them and makes them more determined to succeed. They do have a secret though, as they inherently know the methods for acting and understanding the obstacles that life throws at them.

In a time such as this, when we are facing the COVID-19 crisis every day and its economic effects, it is important to take some of their strategies and apply them – for the sake of your business. Even one of the visionary entrepreneurs, Pravin Shah, believes that this could be a right time for many businesses to enhance their growth by digitizing it. Using a few examples of exemplary entrepreneurs, I hope to encourage you to weather the storms that today’s life poses to you.

Keeping cool

One of the most famous entrepreneurs who eventually grew an empire was John D. Rockefeller. Coming from a struggling family in Ohio, raised by a single mother, and working hard to raise money to take care of his family, he eventually got his first job – but the infamous Panic of 1857 occurred after less than five years in this job, and he eventually faced hardships.

However, he did not let this overpower him – instead, he chose to see things differently and see opportunities wherever he went. Opportunity soon found him in the oil business, and he became a millionaire within 20 years of that incident, with his wealth growing as the years went by.

The lesson we can learn is to stay cool, even in times of crisis. Even when the hardships you face attempt to cloud your thinking, you can train yourself to look for new opportunities in times of hardship – because they are always there.

Challenge yourself to think differently

You think that things ‘cannot be done’, just because the logical implication tells you so? Think again. Reality can make you think that nothing can be done, and it gets even worse when you watch the news all the time – all because of seeing the negativity around you.

A lesson to learn in this respect is from Steve Jobs – who regularly dismissed the negativity by using what observers termed as the ‘reality distortion field’. He took major risks with the Apple Company, coming up with ideas that seemed impossible to fulfill – and yet he was never afraid. His courage to think differently challenged his employees to think differently as well, and they began to make things they thought were impossible.

Using this knowledge, you have a choice: rejecting the negativity that comes from your ideas, or choosing to follow the negativity. Like Steve Jobs, I encourage you to be brave and have faith in your ability to see new things; that will lead to growth in these uncertain times.

Don’t always follow the established rules

Have you ever thought of a business idea, but someone else dismissed it when you told them about it – just because it went outside the established rules? You are not alone in this; part of the entrepreneurship experience is coming up with ideas that seem not to make sense.

Sometimes, you might have a great idea – but you will need to take bold choices that ignore the established rules. You might try to establish the business, but the rules in place do not allow you or your business to thrive – and yet you can clearly see that this business is significant to helping you grow and serve others. In this case, you might need to ignore oppressive regulations, and see whether it will work for you. That is the essence of risk taking.

Think negatively (anticipate)

In the world of startups, it is common for entrepreneurs to give you the advice of ‘anticipating’. This technique is not exactly new, as it became popular knowledge from a psychologist known as Gary Klein, and is seen as an exercise that practices hindsight, although the original use was from the ancient Stoics.

As optimistic as you might want to be, things will not always turn out the way you anticipate – like the COVID-19 suddenly interfering with the growth of businesses and economies. However, one tactic of helping you remain cool under pressure of the daily occurrences of life is to rehearse negative scenarios in your mind – at least for the sake of reducing the element of surprise. Through this method, you will not be unexpectedly shocked, which allows you to quickly pick up the reins and move on.

Accepting your fate

There are many examples of entrepreneurs who have gone through shocks and unfortunate circumstances in their lives. However, there are many who did not let these setbacks overcome them and dampen their resolve; Thomas Edison is one example. When his production suffered due to the burning of his campus, he did not let the despair take over him, and he never became angry.

Rather than anger, he became more energized. In fact, he was so determined to get back into production, he had the factory repaired, and then he re-opened it three weeks later. All his determination was because he believed in the philosophy of ‘Amor Fati’, or accepting your fate – a belief also practiced by the ancient Stoics.

In this environment, you can be upset when you see an investor leaving your business or when you have to lay off employees. However, you do not need to be depressed about it, as you can always use it as a chance to get something new out of your passion.


While you might not think of yourself as a philosopher, the entrepreneurs I mentioned were not philosophers either – but you can learn plenty of lessons from them and take similar action in your own business.