GREAT MINDS

Samuel Akinola (Part 2)

We started our eccentric journey in last edition, now we will continue from where we stopped. Soft copy of the magazine last edition is available to order and download.

 

WHAT INSPIRES INVENTIONS?

            The old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention” stands true all times. Some great minds began to ask rational questions as the needs of humankind enlarge.

            The 15th century witnessed huge stride in inventions. As the number of universities grew and literacy spread so too did the need for efficient method of reproducing books—a demand that Johannes Gutenberg met with his movable printing press.

            Intelligence and curiosity are other important assets that inspire inventions. Interestingly, advanced degree or even a formal education has never been a precondition. Thomas Edison studied at home with his mother. Orville and Wilbur Wright never formally graduated from high school; they took interest in mechanical things, taught themselves mathematics and read as much as they could about current development in engineering and finally invented unique machines. Though they did not have formal education, yet these inventors invented powerful machines that revolutionized the world.

            Inspiration could also be unique to individual. For instance, Dr. Robert H. Goddard the pioneer of the first rocket-powered spacecraft became fascinated with the idea of space flight after reading science fiction novel ‘The War of the Worlds’ by H. G. Wells; so he became inspired to invent something unique. Steve Wozniak who invented the Apple II Computer built a computer so that he could play his favourite tic-tac-toe when he was just 11 years old.

            Some inventions have occurred just by accident. Vulcanization process was born through accidental process discovered by Charles Goodyear in the year 1839.

            Other inventions, however, took painstakingly slow process and required hours of trial and error. Thomas Edison experimented with 6,000 different materials before finally discovering a carbonized thread that would stay lit for many hours inside a bulb without burning-up.

 

FAMOUS INVENTORS:

            Invention, which could be the act of creating something new, or a device or process that somebody has created is being done across the world. Here I will discuss some famous inventors that left great imprints in the world with their inventions.

Imhotep: (Greek: Imouthes) was a vizier, sage, architect, astrologer and Chief Ministers to Djoser, the second king of the Egypt’s third dynasty (who reigned between 2630-2611 BCE). He invented the   six-stepped pyramid built at the necropolis of Saqqarah in the city of Memphis. It is the oldest extant monument of hewn stone known to the world. Prior to his invention the Egyptian monarch were laid in mastabas built with mud brick. Apart from this he is regarded as the Father of Medicine with considerable skills. It is on record that “Imhotep diagnosed and treated over 200 diseases, 15 diseases of the abdomen, 11 of the bladder, 10 of the rectum, 29 of the eyes, and 18 of the skin, hair, nails and tongue. Specifically Imhotep treated tuberculosis, gallstones, appendicitis, gout and arthritis. He also performed surgery and practiced some dentistry. Imhotep extracted medicine from plants. He also knew the position and function of the vital organs and circulation of the blood system.” (http://www.afrikanheritage.com/imhotep-the-true-father-of-medicine/). This was over 3,000 years ago before the advent of classical physicians.  No wonder the Greeks honoured him as the god of medicine.   

Picture by: African Heritage

PAPER/PAPER-MAKING PROCESS

            Today paper is a common commodity around us; so common that it is being wasted and thrown into trash can. However, there was a time in history no such thing as paper existed until a man, a Chinese man invented it.  

Cai Lun: Born in Guiyang (modern day Leiyang) during the Eastern Han Dynasty was traditionally credited with the invention of paper and the paper-making process. As a eunuch, he entered the service of the imperial palace in CE 75. About thirty years later he conceived the idea of forming sheets of paper from macerated bark of trees, hemp waste, old rags and fish nets. The paper obtained through this process was found to be superior in writing quality to cloth made of pure silk (the writing surface of the time) as well as not expensive to produce. His apprentice, Zuo Bo made important improvements to Cai’s papermaking process, and the process was rapidly adopted throughout China—from which it eventually spread to the rest of the world.

Stay on this site, I will bring more in next edition. Enjoy reading Solats!

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