Feb. 11 is National Inventors’ Day

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Provided by Prince William County

No one knows who invented the wheel, but the invention was one of the good ones. It is right up there with sliced bread, the lightbulb, the elevator, and the telephone.

Feb. 11 is National Inventors’ Day, which honors the curious people with imaginations who find ways to make life easier through their inventions.

Microwave ovens, rubber bands, paper clips, sticky notes, pencils, ballpoint pens, coffee filters, cameras, televisions, clocks, cars, toasters, and everything else people use in modern life owe their existence to an inventor.

President Ronald Reagan declared Feb. 11 as National Inventors’ Day in 1983. The date was chosen to mark the contributions of inventors because it is Thomas Alva Edison’s birthday. Edison most famously invented the incandescent light bulb, but he also invented the phonograph and the motion picture projector, according to the Smithsonian Institute Archives. Reagan’s proclamation stated, “Inventors are the keystone of the technological progress that is so vital to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of this country.”

Inventors did not stop with Edison, or Eli Whitney, who invented the cotton gin and the system of interchangeable parts, or George Washington Carver. who invented crop rotation and found hundreds of uses for the peanut, or Henry Ford, who invented the “Horseless Carriage.” Many modern-day inventors continue the quest as problem solvers to find ways to make new things or make old things work better.

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