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New York City’s Famous Inventors

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New York City is known for a lot of different things. One of the things that New York City is most famous for is the long list of well respected inventors that have called the city home over the years. Many inventors that have changed the world came out of New York City. Also, many of the most widely used products in the world were invented in New York City by New Yorkers. The following is a short list of some of the more widely acclaimed inventors to come out of New York City.

George Herman Babcock

Mr. Babcock was a mechanical engineer from New York City. He was born in 1832 and he was the 6th president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and had many patents. He patented quite a few different types of pumps and steam engines. Despite his many accomplishments, he’s best known for his invention of a specialized water boiler. The boiler was a unique “tube” design that avoided the explosions that were far too common at the time with most boilers. This design was used for everything from steam heating to steam power. The business he created has sustained throughout the years to become a multifaceted energy concern. The company that Babcock created is now heavily involved in the development of nuclear power and nuclear technologies.

Willis Carrier

Willis Carrier was not born in New York City but became one of its most famous later on in his life. He was originally born in Angola, New York and spent a large part of his life in western New York. Carrier gained quite a lot of notoriety in the early 1900s when he patented the plans for the very first air conditioning system. The actual name for the device on his patent application was “Apparatus for Treating Air.” He was not simply a mechanical engineering genius. He was also adept in mathematics and physics. These disciplines were important for him to have a grounding in. He was known as a voracious businessman that survived two world wars and the great depression. Despite this adversity, he kept pushing along until he finally reached financial success in the financial boom of the 1950s. It was at this time that his air conditioning concept really came into its own and he became quite wealthy. He lived out much of his life in New York City while contributing to a number of charitable causes around the city.

Jonas Salk

Jonas Salk is a well-known virologist that is most commonly known as the developer of the first safe vaccine for polio. He was born in 1914 in New York City though he died in California. In the first half of the 20th century, polio was a scourge upon the world that was baffling scientists worldwide. Using cutting-edge research methods, Jonas Salk was able to develop the vaccine just as the polio virus was starting to be considered an epidemic in the United States. He was originally only tasked to discover how many different strains of polio there were in the known world when he started his research. Over time, he was given the opportunity to work on the vaccine for the disease. When he finally released the vaccine, he was hailed around the world as a genius and savior of small children everywhere. This sentiment was further solidified when he refused to seek a patent for his discovery and gave the formula away for free.

Joseph Gayetty

One of the most widely used inventions of modern history was invented in 1857 in the city of New York when Joseph Gayetty created the first prepackaged toilet paper. The original invention was much different than what people today have come to recognize. It was originally sold as individual sheets in stacks of 500. The sheets were moistened with aloe before they were packaged. The invention was not originally marketed as a hygienic product for the bathroom. It was actually first marketed as a medical product that was intended to treat haemorrhoids. Gayetty and his design became very popular as people began to see the obvious benefits of his invention over the fruit wrappers and newspaper clippings they were often using at the time.

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