2 Count Alessandro Volta(Physicist, Chemist)
3 George Stephenson(Father of Railways)
George Stephenson was a British mechanical and civil engineer. Stephenson is credited with pioneering rail transport which is widely regarded as one of the most prominent inventions of the 19th century. Regarded as the Father of Railways, George Stephenson is also credited with developing the standard rail gauge which is used by several railways around the world.
4 René Laennec(Inventor of Stethoscope)
5 Robert Fulton(American engineer & inventor)
6 Nicéphore Niépce(Creator of World's First Permanent Photographic Image)
Nicéphore Niépce revolutionized science by inventing heliography and made the first permanent photographic image. He had initially been part of Napoleon’s army but had to quit due to his failing health. The Niépce Prize is awarded to a photographer every year in France, in his honor.
7 Eli Whitney(American inventor)
8 Benjamin Franklin(Founding Father of the United States)
Benjamin Franklin is considered one of the founding fathers of the United States as he was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a writer, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, an accomplished diplomat and much more. He is a key figure in the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity.
9 Charles Babbage(Father of the computer)
10 William Murdoch(Engineer)
Scottish engineer William Murdoch initially worked for the firm of Matthew Boulton and James Watt. He later made a host of inventions and was the first to use coal gas for illumination. He was also known for his work on steam energy and invented the oscillating engine and the D slide valve.
11 Joseph-Michel Montgolfier(Aviator)
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier was a French aviation pioneer and balloonist. Along with his brother Jacques-Étienne, he invented the Montgolfière-style hot air balloon and launched the first confirmed piloted ascent by man in 1783. The first ascent carried Jacques-Étienne. The innovative brothers also invented a process to manufacture transparent paper. Joseph invented the self-acting hydraulic ram as well.
12 Charles Macintosh(Chemist, Inventor)
13 Joseph Marie Jacquard(Inventor)
14 Richard Arkwright(Inventor)
Initially a wig-maker, Richard Arkwright later grew an interest in the spinning mechanism, building the Arkwright’s water frame, which used water power to produce cotton yarn. He soon became a name to reckon with in the textile industry, with many mills to his name. He was knighted for his feats.
15 Richard Trevithick(Pioneer of steam-powered road & rail transport)
Richard Trevithick was a British mining engineer and inventor. A pioneer of rail transport and steam-powered vehicles, Trevithick is credited with developing the first working railway steam locomotive and the first high-pressure steam engine. He was a highly respected figure in the fields of engineering and mining during the peak of his career.
16 Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit(Physicist, Inventor)
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was a scientific instrument maker, inventor, and physicist. One of the most prominent and influential personalities of the Dutch Golden Age of science and technology, Fahrenheit is credited with many important inventions, including the mercury-in-glass thermometer and Fahrenheit scale. His inventions helped shape the history of thermometry.
17 John Herschel(Polymath)
The son of renowned astronomer William Herschel, John Herschel was educated at Eton and Cambridge and grew up to be a polymath. Apart from contributing to the field of photography, he was known for cataloguing and naming stars and satellites. He briefly also served as the Master of the Royal Mint.
18 Jean-Baptist-Point Du Sable(Pioneer)
Jean-Baptist-Point Du Sable is considered the first permanent non-Indigenous settler of the area that would later become known as Chicago, Illinois. He was of African descent and married to a Native American woman. He established a prosperous trading settlement and traded around the Great Lakes and in the Illinois Country. He is recognized as the "Founder of Chicago."
19 Mikhail Lomonosov(Scientist, Polymath, Writer)
Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov was born to a fisherman father and left his village later to satiate his hunger for knowledge. Apart from reforming Russian language and literature, he also made the first colored glass mosaic in his country and discovered the atmosphere of Venus. He loved simple life.
20 Humphry Davy(Inventor of Davy Lamp)
Best remembered for his invention of the Davy lamp, a safety lamp for miners, Humphry Davy initially aspired to be a doctor but later deviated to chemistry. The Copley Medal winner had co-founded the Zoological Society of London. He also excelled in writing poetry and loved fishing.
21 David Rittenhouse(Astronomer)
American astronomer, inventor, mathematician, clockmaker and surveyor David Rittenhouse, who served as first director of the United States Mint and remained a member of the American Philosophical Society, made several significant breakthroughs for the US. His achievements include discovering the atmosphere of Venus and observing its transit, becoming the first American to sight Uranus, and completing an advanced orrery.
22 Henry Shrapnel(Inventor)
23 George Cayley(Engineer)
British engineer and inventor George Cayley was a pioneer of aeronautics and aviation. He designed the world’s first glider that could successfully carry a human being. He was also a prominent Whig and had contributed to the formation of what is now known as the University of Westminster.
24 Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner(Chemist)
German chemist Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner was born amid poverty but managed to get training as an apothecary. After his university education, he taught at the University of Jena. His discovery of the fact that certain chemical elements were similar later led to the development of the periodic law of chemistry.
25 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot(combat engineer)
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot was a French inventor best remembered for building the Fardier à vapeur, the world's first automobile. Fardier à vapeur was the first working self-propelled mechanical land-vehicle. Built in 1769, the vehicle accidentally knocked down a stone or brick wall in 1771, an incident which is widely regarded as the first known automobile accident in the world.
26 Jacques Charles(Physicist, Chemist, Inventor, Balloonist, Mathematician)
Best known for developing the Charles’s law, which explains the expansion of gases when heated, Jacques Charles was a prominent French physicist. He was the first to ascend in a hydrogen-filled gas balloon, thus pioneering hot-air balloon flight. The Académie des Sciences member later became a professor of physics.
27 Rowland Hill(Teacher)
Born to a schoolmaster, Rowland Hill followed in his father’s footsteps to become a teacher and explored subjects such as astronomy and math. He is, however, best remembered for his reform of the postal system, including increasing the speed of letter transfer and introducing the prototype of the postage stamp.
28 Peter Cooper(Industrialist & Inventors)
29 Augustin-Jean Fresnel(Physicist)
Augustin-Jean Fresne, best remembered for his pioneering research on the wave theory of light, was a sickly child and was mostly homeschooled in his early days. The French physicist was a civil engineer, too. Unfortunately, most of his scientific work failed to receive public attention during his lifetime.
30 Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais(Polymath)
Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was a French polymath who had worked as a watchmaker, playwright, musician, financier, and diplomat. He was also an inventor and revolutionary. He was much respected in French society and held influence in the court of King Louis XV. He supported American independence and actively participated in the early stages of the 1789 French Revolution.
31 James Hargreaves(Weaver, carpenter and inventor who was was one of three men responsible for the mechanisation of spinning)
32 David Brewster(Scientist)
David Brewster was a British scientist, inventor, and author. He conducted many experiments in physical optics, especially concerned with the study of the polarization of light. Fellow scientist William Whewell dubbed him the "father of modern experimental optics." He was also a pioneer in photography and invented an improved stereoscope. He wrote numerous works of popular science as well.
33 Matthias W. Baldwin(Inventor)
34 Edmund Cartwright(Inventor)
35 Benjamin Thompson(Physicist and Inventor)
36 John Loudon McAdam(Civil engineer, Engineer)
Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam introduced the world to the macadam road surface, which was more economical and effective than all previous road-construction methods. He suggested that roads should be constructed at an elevated level for better drainage. He also became Britain’s Surveyor-General of Metropolitan Roads.
37 Hans Egede(Former missionary who launched mission efforts to Greenland, which led him to be styled the Apostle of Greenland, founded Greenland's capital Godthåb, now known as Nuuk)
38 Karl Drais(Inventor, Forester)
39 Walter Hunt(inventor)
40 Nicolas Appert(confectioner, inventor)
41 Claude Chappe(Inventor)
42 Samuel Crompton(Inventor)
43 Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet(Inventor)
44 Hennig Brand(Merchant)
Apart from being an army officer and a physician, Hennig Brand was also an alchemist who was constantly looking for the mythical philosopher’s stone. His research led him to discover phosphorus by accident, which he kept a secret, though it was later formally discovered by Robert Boyle from England.
45 Jacques de Vaucanson(Inventor, Engineer)
Jacques de Vaucanson was a French artist and inventor. He is credited with creating impressive and innovative automata. De Vaucanson was also the first inventor to design an automatic loom. His ideas for the automation of the weaving process were later perfected by Joseph Marie Jacquard, who created the Jacquard machine.
46 Joseph Bramah(Civil engineer, Engineer)
Joseph Bramah started his career as a cabinet maker and over time, revolutionized the lock-making industry with his pick-proof locks. Along with blacksmith Henry Maudslay, he changed the course of 19th-century British manufacturing. Best known for his hydraulic press, he also built water closets in Queen Victoria’s home.