The inventor of the saxophone, Belgian musician Adolphe Sax, was born to instrument-maker parents who had themselves re-designed the French horn. As a child, he was known as "the ghost" for his frequent brushes with death. He made many other instruments, which were included in the French army bands.
Industrial chemist Leo Baekeland is remembered as The Father of the Plastics Industry for creating Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic of the world, thus marking the beginning of the Polymer Age. His many inventions include Velox, a special photographic paper, the rights of which he sold to George Eastman.
Étienne Lenoir was a Belgian-French engineer. He is credited with developing the internal combustion engine which was commercialized in sufficient quantities. Lenoir is also credited with inventing such electrical devices as an improved electric telegraph which played a key role during the Franco-Prussian War.
Belgian author and lawyer Paul Otlet went down in history as the man predicted the emergence of the internet as a world-wide information network over 50 years before its arrival. He also laid down the Universal Decimal Classification and penned the iconic book Traité de Documentation.
Belgian electrical engineer Zénobe Gramme is remembered for inventing the Gramme machine. While he initially worked in an electrical industry factory in Paris, he later collaborated with French engineer Hippolyte Fontaine, to work on his dynamo model. His invention made use of much higher voltages than the standard dynamos back then.
Belgian-born American electrical engineer and inventor Charles Joseph Van Depoele was responsible for pioneering inventions in electrical railway. From being a church furniture manufacturer, he went on to own patents for many inventions, including the world’s first trolley pole. He later sold all his patents to the Thomson-Houston Electric Company.
Flemish instrument maker Hans Ruckers, the Elder was also known as a music maker, owing to the several musical instruments he invented. He was a master of building harpsichords, including his earliest invention, the double virginal. His sons and grandson later joined their family musical instrument-making empire.