Ever since human civilization came into existence, there have been innumerable inventions. The wheel is one of the most important inventions that changed the fate of human civilization. Ironically, we still do not know the name of the person or group of persons who invented it.
In earlier days, many inventions were the result of a process of evolution of ideas. As standardization of scientific methodologies started taking shape, many inventions and inventors emerged.
One of the most influential inventors in human history has been Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931). There are more than 1,000 patents in his name, a rare feat to be achieved by an individual. His genius also helped the commercial use of his inventions. His contribution in this context is invaluable, as he is credited with initiating mass production of innovative products.
Edison was from a poor family. So were many other inventors. It is the streak to do something different, to create something new, that differentiates an inventor from an ordinary human being. It is still debatable that whether inventors are born geniuses, or if people of average IQ be trained to become inventors.
Past experience has shown that it is not necessary to be a trained scientist or an expert to be an inventor. The two basic elements that go into the making of an inventor are an inquisitive nature and logical thinking.
Until the early years of the 20th century, inventors did not earn much money from their inventions. They often invented useful things and died unsung heroes. But today, with increasing focus on new inventions and the inclination of industry to customize them for commercial purposes, many inventors have turned from paupers to billionaires. New patent laws all over the world have ensured that an inventor's future generation could continue to reap the benefits in the form of royalties.