May 6, 2019 3:12 pm

If you’re an inventor, you probably know that the invention process can be a long and difficult road. It takes plenty of courage to take what starts as an idea and turn it into reality.

Although inventors face challenges, it is also true that throughout the course of history, society has relied on inventors to develop new technologies, make life-saving devices, and improve society as a whole. These individuals are great examples of what happens when an inventor beats the odds with their idea.

Hedy Lamarr

Being a woman in the 1940s meant not being taken as seriously as your male counterparts. For Hedy Lamar, a Hollywood beauty icon and movie star, few people were able to see her as someone capable of developing brilliant ideas. This could not be further from the truth, and we now know we can thank Lamarr for what we now know as Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth.

During World War II, Lamarr developed what is known as frequency hopping, which helps to keep third parties from interfering with your radio signal. In 1942, she received a patent for this incredible idea and sold it to the United States to help in the war effort. Unfortunately, Lamarr’s idea was not taken seriously and the U.S. Navy chose to not utilize her idea during World War II. After the war, her invention was utilized to secretly communicate on gadgets we use today.

After decades of denying Lamarr the recognition she deserved, the Electronic Frontier Foundation honored her inventions in 1997. The story of Hedy Lamarr can teach us never to judge a book by its cover, and even after decades, you can beat the odds and receive the praise you deserve. 

Lonnie Johnson

Many of us have fond childhood memories of playing with Super Soakers during the summer months, but few know the story behind the popular toy. Lonnie Johnson, inventor and engineer, who had even worked for NASA, knew what it meant to face challenges in life. Johnson stated that for most of his career, he was often the only person of color in the room.

Johnson remembers often being the minority in the room throughout his career as an engineer.  From a young age, he had experienced discrimination. During a high school competition, where he developed a robot powered by compressed air, Johnson and his teammates were not welcome and were shown the door.

Despite years of hardships, Johnson went on the have continued success. In 1982, while working on a heat pump that utilized water, Johnson invented the Super Soaker when he accidentally shot water across the room. He decided to put science on hold to develop a toy that would go on to make more than $1 billion in sales. 

Pedro Flores

One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of classic toys is the yo-yo. Although the yo-yo has been a staple in the toy industry for decades, it was not always meant for children. Instead, it was utilized as a weapon in the Philippines featuring sharp blades. Pedro Flores, inventor of the famous toy, was born an immigrant from the Philippines before moving to the United States. He went on to study law but was unable to finish.

Prior to its development, a version of the toy was popular in Europe and Asia. Flores has a feeling a version of this toy could be popular in the United States, so he began making the toys by hand in the late 1920’s. Eventually, machinery for mass production was financed, and in 1930, Flores trademarked the term “Yo-yo.”

The yo-yo went on to sell 45 million by 1962. The toy is now deeply ingrained in the culture of the United States. Almost every child has played with a yo-yo at some point in their lives. Flores’ story tells us that although it can be difficult moving to another country and being an immigrant, it is still possible to do big things. Despite never finishing law school, Pedro Flores created a legacy in the United States.

No matter where you come from or who you are, it is possible to have a brilliant idea. Although it can be difficult to move forward with an invention idea, it can be made easier with a company like InventHelp on your side. Believe in yourself and get started today!

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