As adults, we assume that everyone knows about the people who helped shaped our country and the conveniences of the world in which we live. But how much do your kids know about some of the world’s most influential individuals? Here are some basic facts about five of them.
Henry Ford introduced the world to the Model T car, which was revolutionary in shaping how we drive today. He helped invent mass production of inexpensive goods, while still paying his employees well, making him a model employer. Because he was determined to give people affordable goods while at the same time bettering the lives of the people who worked for him, he felt as if he was contributing to peace around the world.
Thomas Alva Edison was born 164 years ago today (which is why he’s being honored with today’s Google Doodle). So many of his inventions are used in our daily life, including the light bulb, phonograph (well, we might not use it today, but it is the great-grandfather of our iPods), and the motion picture camera. He is also often credited with creating the first industrial research laboratory. Edison has close to 1,100 patents to his name, making him one of the most prolific inventors of our time. Not all of his inventions were successes, of course, but by his example we can learn that no idea is too small to at least try.
Benjamin Franklin, who was born in 1706, is one of the founding fathers of the United States. He is credited for his theories regarding electricity and inventing bifocals, which have helped the vision of countless people — literally. Thanks to him, we have public libraries and fire departments, as he formed the first ones of each. “Paying it forward” is also a concept we can thank Franklin for introducing to us. He helped write the Declaration of Independence, and he was our country’s very first Postmaster General.
Alexander Graham Bell brought us the very first telephone, and is credited with inventing the first metal detector. Bell’s mom and his wife were both deaf, which profoundly influenced the work that he did experimenting with sound. He was also a founding member of the National Geographic Society.
Albert Einstein was born in Germany in 1879. While he’s most famous for his advances in theoretical physics and a Nobel Prize, he was also a performing artist, having performed in Vaudeville shows. He was also a prankster, and eventually his teachers kicked him out of school after losing patience with him. But it didn’t seem to affect him too much, as he went on to discover the atomic bomb through his famous E=MC2, although he said afterwards he regretted his part in the invention that killed so many people in Japan.
Image+ Source: Wikipedia