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Tinkering Genius: Five of the Most Famous Mechanical Minds

Many of the things we use today are practical applications of concepts and discoveries made by scientists and engineers who worked to create new machines or improve current designs in the past. Some of these machines and industrial applications are the result of ideas that came from the minds of these five mechanical geniuses.

The Master

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Nicknamed The Master, Archimedes is regarded as one classical antiquity’s most renowned scientists. He is the author of the famous quote, “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world.” The Archimedes Principle is named in his honor. When he discovered the concept, Archimedes ran through the streets shouting Eureka, which translates to , I have found it.

The Renaissance Man

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In addition to painting the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci was one of the great thinkers of his time. Also skilled in numerous scientific fields, this Italian polymath is considered the embodiment of a Renaissance Man. Many of his conceptual designs, including the parachute, hang glider, and helicopter, were centuries ahead of their time.

The Father of Mechanical Engineering

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James Watt’s development of a condensing chamber greatly increased the efficiency of the steam engine. This breakthrough helped usher in the Industrial Revolution. The measure of power known as the watt is named in his honor. For his contribution to society, James Watt is considered the Father of Mechanical Engineering.

The Wizard of Menlo Park

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Thomas Edison filed more than 1,000 patents in his lifetime. He invented the phonograph, electric light bulb, and the power-generating station. He is quoted as saying that invention is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. Because of the location of his laboratory in New Jersey, the prolific inventor is referred to as the Wizard of Menlo Park.

The Father of the Modern Automobile

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According to Minit-Tune & Brake auto Centres, the first automobiles were powered by steam engines. Karl Benz built the first practical vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine for which he received a patent in 1886. Seven years later, his Benz Velo was the very first mass-produced inexpensive car. He eventually joined forces with Gottlieb Daimler to form Daimler-Benz, which has become the 13th largest automobile manufacturer in the world.

These five men helped to change the world and make many of the things we take for granted possible. Perhaps your engineering mind doesn’t stray too far from the mechanic in north Vancouver, but these are the inventions that got you there. Creativity and engineering is what makes the future more possible.

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