Everything starts with an idea, but some seem so outlandish that people never think they will become real. Many inventors, artists, and scientists were met with laughter over their thinking. But, they proved that imagination can be a driving force and made their mark in the history of the wildest creations that came to life.
The Eiffel Tower
Charles Garnier, the famous architect of the Paris Opera House, mocked Gustave Eiffel’s proposal for the tower of all towers. Even once it was accepted, many thought the tower would collapse, but the Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, became the symbol of Paris. It took many decades for people to embrace it, with many claiming it did not fit the city’s feel.
George and Robert Stephenson, pioneering figures in the history of railways, spent decades mastering their skills. George Stephenson was mocked for his “childish” ideas, but the laughing stopped once he made the first steam locomotive, The Rocket. What many called a “mad project” became one of the most significant inventions of the XIX century.
The first actual piano was invented by basically one man, Bartolomeo Cristofori, an Italian maker of musical instruments. Cristofori wanted musicians to have complete control over the volume, which was not the case with the harpsichord. In 1700, the inventor created “clavicembalo col piano e forte,” which translates to a harpsichord that can play soft and loud noises.
This is not an example of one man’s hard work to achieve unimaginable. Getting to organ transplantation has been a long road, and in the 1660s, Robert Boyle wrote about the future, “the cure of diseases at a distance or at least by transplantation.” This prediction, or thought, became reality centuries later. In 1954, the kidney was the first human organ to be transplanted successfully, and it is still a learning process.
George Orwell’s capacity to see into the future and understand human nature has been praised thanks to his literary work. From “Animal Farm” to “1984,” the British writer caused controversies and made people think and question things. But Orwell also predicted the Cold War and even discussed the future of wars in his “You and the Atomic Bomb” essay.
Australian marine biologist Peter Godfrey-Smith was the first to point out that the octopus is a unique creature with intellect and even a sense of humor. In his 2016 book Other Minds, the philosopher of science explained his experiences, but many were skeptical. “The octopus is a stupid creature, for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water,” wrote Aristotle, but scientists have proven him wrong in recent years.
Pioneers of the Internet
The invention of the Internet is complex, but Robert Kahn, Vint Cerf, and Tim Berners-Lee are hailed as its inventors. The Web was invented in 1989 by computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee. The Internet was born in the late 1960s. Kahn and Cerf created its architecture, and in the 70s, they developed TCP/IP, the set of protocols governing how data moves through a network.
Nikola Tesla is known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating-current electricity supply system. The Serbian-American scientist and futurist also predicted Wi-Fi and discussed this idea in 1901 with JP Morgan. Morgan declined to fund Tesla, who later became a recluse, though many of his thoughts only saw the light many years after his death.
The beginnings of AI
Alan Turing broke the Nazi Enigma code during World War II and was considered the father of modern computer science. His procedure, known as the Turing Test, formed the basis for artificial intelligence. Sadly, at only 41, he took his life after he was outed, and homosexuality was illegal in his home country, England.