Telephone Patent

One hour before Alexander Graham Bell registered his patent for the telephone in 1876, Elisha Gray patented his design. After years of litigation, the patent went to Bell.

More Inventions Facts

Differential Calculus Invention

In 1669, the principles of differential calculus were determined by Sir Isaac Newton in England and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in Germany at about the same time.

First Computer

The computer was launched in 1943, more than 100 years after Charles Babbage designed the first programmable device. Babbage dropped his idea after he couldn't raise capital for it. In 1998, the Science Museum in London, UK, built a working replica of the Babbage machine, using the materials and work methods available at Babbage's time. It worked just as Babbage had intended.

Bar codes invention

Bar codes were invented by Bernard Silver and Norman Woodland in 1948. Their system used light to read a set of concentric circles, but they had to wait two decades before the advent of computers and lasers made their system practical. (However, the bar code system in use today is the Universal Product Code, introduced by IBM in 1973. The first bar coded item sold was a pack of gum in 1974.)

Show More Inventions Facts