The Top 7 Most Influential Inventors of the Modern Era

Of all the top inventors of the modern era there are 7 that stand the test of time as the most influential. These people have each produced inventions that to this day have impacted billions of people worldwide, as such they end up on this list.

The 7 most influential investors of the modern era are the following.

  • Thomas Edison
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Charles Babbage
  • Johannes Gutenburg
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Leonardo da Vinci

There are two requirements that each of the above inventors would have to have in order to land on this list. First, the inventor would have had to live during the modern era (early 14th century to the middle of the 20th century). Second, each inventor would have had to create inventions that have impacted billions of people worldwide up until this day.

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Each of these inventors has an article associated with them. If you would like to know more as to why then ended up on the list of the top inventors of the modern era then check it out.

Without further ado, here are the top 7 most influential inventors of the modern era.

Thomas Edison

BornFebruary 11th, 1847
DiedOctober 18th, 1931
Famous Quote“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Known ForInventing the light bulb, motion picture camera, and modernizing electric generation/distribution.
Region of WorldUnited States, 19th century.
Further ReadingThe 3 Ways Thomas Edison Changed The Worlds Economy

Easily one of the top most influential inventors of the modern era Thomas Edison has stood the test of time.

The reason for him ending up on this list is due to one major invention that has forever powered our world. No, its not electricity; rather it is the lightbulb.

Before Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb several other people around the world were experimenting with electric lights. However, the fuse of these early bulbs would burn out after only a couple hours.

Thomas Edison would spend thousands of hours experimenting with different fuses before he invented the modern lightbulb.

This forever changed the world and modern era. Before Thomas Edison the world’s economy would close down when the sun went down. It was too costly to run kerosene lamps through the night.

Once Thomas Edison invented a lightbulb that would last for 1,200 hours factories would start to stay open into the night. Further, factories could open up earlier.

Not only was the economy impacted by Edison’s top invention. People started to be able to work later into the night on their own projects.

Simply put, Thomas Edison’s invention of the lightbulb remains one of the top most influential inventions of the modern era. Today billions of people are impacted by Edison’s invention worldwide, as such he lands firmly on this list.

Alexander Graham Bell

BornMarch 3rd, 1847
DiedAugust 2nd, 1922
Famous Quote“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”
Reason For FameInventing telephone, co-founder of AT&T, groundbreaking research in several scientific fields.
Region of WorldUnited States/Canada, 19th century
Further Reading3 Ways the Telephone Changed the Economy of the United States and The 3 Massive Impacts of Alexander Graham Bell Upon The Modern World

Another one of the top most influential inventors of the modern era, Alexander Graham Bell’s place on this list is well deserved.

The reason that Alexander Graham Bell lands on the list of the top most influential inventors of the modern era was his invention of the telephone.

Before Alexander Graham Bell people would communicate through letters and telegrams. Letters would take around 20 days to get from one person to another. This naturally slowed economic and cultural development around the world.

Alexander Graham Bell decided that he would attempt to send voice through telegraph wires. At first these attempts failed but in 1876 Bell finally succeeded and obtained the patent for the invention of the telephone.

The telephone revolutionized the economy and culture of the modern era. Almost overnight the modern world began to implement telephones to communicate ideas regarding culture and business.

The telephone was invented in 1876. Within 10 years there were over 150,000 telephones in the United States alone. Bell would travel to Europe and demonstrate his invention to monarchs including Queen Victoria.

The telephone today has allowed billions of people worldwide to easily exchange ideas. As a result the modern economy began to shoot up shortly after the invention of Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone.

As a result, Bell firmly lands on this list of the top most influential inventors of the modern era.

Charles Babbage

Born26th of December, 1791
Died18th of October, 1871
Famous Quote“Errors using inadequate data are much less than those using no data at all.”
Known ForInventing the world’s first modern computer
Region of WorldEngland, 19th century
Further Reading3 Impacts From Ada Lovelace The Worlds First Computer Programmer and How Charles Babbage Developed The Worlds First Computer

One of the top most influential inventors of the modern era is the English inventor Charles Babbage who invented the first modern computer.

Charles Babbage lived in England during the early 19th century. He was known as a gifted mathematician who understood the limits of humans in regards to computational speed.

Babbage would spend several years of his life working on a machine called the Analytic Engine. This invention had an analytic unit, control flow unit, and built in memory. The mathematician could input data and the machine would calculate it and shoot out new data.

This was the world’s first computer. All computers of the modern era contain the 3 modules that Babbage’s machine contained almost two centuries ago.

Initially Charles Babbage’s machine was deemed too complex to build and operate. However, his notes lived on and began to inspire the computer revolution that happened in the mid 1940’s during the height of World War II.

Because of this Charles Babbage is considered by academics to be the father of the modern computer. His work would give rise to other prominent figures within the history of computers such as Ada Lovelace.

Because Charles Babbage’s work on early computers has impacted billions of people worldwide he firmly lands on this list of the top most influential inventors of the modern era.

Johannes Gutenberg

BornSpring of 1400
Died3rd of February 1468
Famous Quote“A spring of truth shall flow from it”
Known ForInventing the modern printing press
Region of WorldGermany, 15th century
Further ReadingJohannes Gutenberg’s 3 Contributions To The Renaissance and The 3 Impacts Of The Printing Press On The Protestant Reformation

Easily one of the top most influential inventors of the modern era Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press.

Before Johannes Gutenberg books were copied by hand. Typically this was done in monasteries across Europe. As such book production was controlled by the church.

This means that the overall flow of knowledge was censored to be in line with the ideologies of Europe during the middle ages.

This all changed with the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg. Finally, book production was taken out of the monastery and given to the people at large.

Almost overnight printing shops began to explode across Europe. These printing shops would print stories, history, and religious texts. This radically changed Europe during the 15th century and helped jumpstart the Renaissance.

Over the next 500 years Johannes Gutenberg’s invention forever changed the world. Now people could communicate advanced ideas not only faster but in their local language instead of the church controlled Latin.

Because of this Gutenberg has impacted billions of people worldwide. Without his invention of the printing press it’s hard to imagine that our modern era would look the same.

As a result he lands directly on this list of the top most influential inventors of the modern era.

Benjamin Franklin

BornJanuary 17th, 1706
DiedApril 17th, 1790
Famous Quote“There never was a good war or a bad peace”
Known ForIntellectual writer, inventor, statesman, scientist, diplomat, political philosopher.
Region of WorldUnited States, 18th century
Further Reading3 Reasons Why Benjamin Franklin Is Important To American History

Easily one of the top most influential inventors of the modern era is Benjamin Franklin.

The reason for this is twofold. First, not only was Benjamin Franklin a skilled inventor who created several highly influential inventions but also he invented the concept of an intelligent American in the minds of Europe.

The reason that the American Revolution of the 18th century succeeded was because of Benjamin Franklin’s cultural invention of the American Ethos.

Over the course of his life Benjamin Franklin would write about how hard working the British colonies was. This would begin to cultivate an idea across Europe of a hardworking man on the frontier of the civilized world.

America became romanticized in the eyes of the British and French people. Today historians are finding resources that indicate that across France during the early 18th century the British Colonies were portrayed as noble people.

This was because of Benjamin Franklin’s tireless efforts to portray the American people in a positive light internationally. Franklin would come to be regarded as one of the most intelligent people in the world.

As a result of this cultural invention the American colonists during their war for independence would receive French aid. This aid was caused by Benjamin Franklin and saved the entire war.

Further, Benjamin Franklin also pioneered the study of electricity. From 1745 through 1748 Franklin would experiment with several aspects of electricity. He would invent the conservation of charge leading to modern batteries.

Because of these modern inventions Benjamin Franklin has influenced billions of people worldwide. As a result he lands on this list of the top 7 most influential inventors of the modern era.

Nikola Tesla

BornJuly 10th, 1856
Died7th of January, 1943
Famous Quote“Be alone, that is when ideas are born.”
Known ForInventing the polyphase AC/DC current system.
Region of the WorldUnited States, 19th century.
Further ReadingThe 1 Invention of Nikola Tesla That Forever Changed The World

Another one of the top most influential inventors of the modern era would be Nikola Tesla. While Tesla was an eccentric character he is best remembered for his 1 major invention which forever changed the world.

This invention that influenced the world the most is Tesla’s Polyphase AC/DC generator.

Tesla took Thomas Edison’s DC generator and improved upon the design. The problem with direct current (DC) generators was the buildup of heat within the wires from sending electricity long distances.

This prevented electricity from being sent over long distances to far away homes and businesses. Edison’s DC generator worked for only nearby homes and factories.

Nikola Tesla envisioned a world where power lines could extend for several hundred miles. He had to develop a new type of electricity that would not melt wires.

After several years of experimenting Tesla would invent his polyphase alternating current (AC) generator. This electricity generator could power homes and businesses hundreds of miles away.

The influence of this modern invention is seen across the world today. The reason you and I can sit in our homes and watch TV is because of Tesla’s invention.

As such he has influenced billions of people worldwide and lands firmly on this list.

Leonardo da Vinci

Born15th of April, 1452
Died2nd of May, 1519
Famous Quote“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”
Known ForArtist, inventor, scientist, engineer
Region of WorldItaly, 15th century
Further ReadingThe 3 Ways Leonardo da Vinci’s Inventions Changed The World and The 3 Reasons Why Medieval Paintings Appear Bad To Us

Easily one of the top most influential inventors of the modern era would be Leonardo da Vinci. The reason however might surprise you.

While we all know Leonardo da Vinci for his hundreds of inventions from helicopters, tanks, and even mechanical robots his one most influential invention lies in his art.

Leonardo da Vinci lived during the height of the Renaissance. He was an avid painter who would experiment with different styles his entire life. Leonardo da Vinci’s main goal in painting was to recreate life in the most realistic manner possible.

As a result Leonardo da Vinci created possibly the most influential invention in the history of art. The use of anamorphosis to trick the human eye into thinking a painting has depth.

As we can see in the above image by Leonardo the image has depth. Your eyes are drawn to the center of the painting where the hands of the two women can be seen. This was drastically different from the paintings of the medieval era before Leonardo.

Because of this new style of painting Leonardo da Vinci influenced an entire wave of art to be created during the Renaissance. This in of itself stemmed a wave of a reemergence of classical thought.

Simply put, Leonardo da Vinci created and influenced the Renaissance. Today billions of people worldwide have been influenced by the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci who remains one of the most influential inventors of the modern era.

Conclusion

There you have it; an entire article centered around the top 7 most influential inventors of the modern era.

I hope you liked this article. Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. Feel free to subscribe to the newsletter and share around.

Further, you can check out some of the other articles below. 

Until next time,

Nick