Oh, to be young again. Remember the days of yesterday when we believed anything in life was possible. We felt like we had the world at our fingertips and the possibilities were endless. But as we became older, the world beat us down a bit and we lost sight of how we could change everything. Below are a list of young inventors that didn’t lose that feeling. They had ideas and followed them through to the end. Perhaps this will inspire you even if you aren’t exactly young anymore.
Joseph Bombardier was only 15 years old when he invented something that would definitely come in handy with all this snow this winter. He was born in Quebec in 1907, so his invention was a bit of a necessity in that area with the amount of snow that they got every single winter. He took the Model T his father gave him and added a sleigh frame and a propeller that was whittled by hand. Before long, he debuted his curious machine. He had invented the first snowmobile.
His father didn’t think much of it and they dismantled the snowmobile. Joseph was sent to seminary school where things didn’t exactly work out. Before long, he was allowed to come back to his love of mechanical engineering. He founded the world’s first snowmobile company and became a successful man in Canada.
Louis Braille was only three years old when he accidentally cut his eye when messing around with his father’s tools. Just imagine the amount of abuse his mother gave his father after this. It was probably one tidy household after the accident. Unfortunately, an infection developed in Louis from the cut and he went blind in both eyes. Back in the 1800s, there weren’t many treatment plans for blind people. In fact, back then there were not many medical treatments for anyone.
Louis and his family were living in France when this happened, and luck have it, the only school for the blind in the entire world was actually located in France. Louis enjoyed the school, but he grew tired of people always reading to him. He wanted to be able to read on his own. Of course, being blind at the time meant it was impossible. That was until young Louis invented a system of raised dots on a page representing letters. Louis promptly named the writing for the blind after himself. Braille has allowed the blind to read ever since.
Ryan Emmons was just an ordinary college student back in 2011. He was on a trip in Hawaii visiting his uncle when he decided to get a drink out of his uncle’s well. As he drank the water, Emmons felt that it was the best tasting water he had ever had. He asked about it and was told how the water originally was rain or snow on top of the local volcano and then how it had filtered naturally through thousands of feet of volcanic rock as it traveled downhill.
The very next year, Emmons started his own bottled water brand with this water—which we’ve written about here. Waiakea Water has been exploding on the market ever since. It is currently one of the fastest growing beverages on the market. The slightly higher pH balance of the water leaves it alkaline, which has numerous health benefits associated with it. Plus, Waiakea Water has many vitamins and minerals that are naturally achieved through the filtering process.
Emmons is still revolutionizing the bottled water industry by using a nano-additive in the manufacturing of the plastic that allows the bottle to decompose on its own in 15 years. Other normal plastic bottles take 1,500 years to degrade on their own. Pollution from plastic is harming our oceans and land. Emmons is helping to alleviate the problem a bit. Hopefully, other businesses will care about the environment as well and make their plastic the same way.
Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel
Kids often create their own superheroes while they are bored at school. They draw in their notebook and after a couple days, the drawings are forgotten. However, for Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, they took it one step further. The high schoolers created Superman right down to all his powers, his superhero tights, and his love for female reporter Lois Lane. The boys were growing up in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1930s, and they stumbled upon the character that opened up the gates for all other superheroes to enter.
The teenagers took their idea and self-published their comic in a fanzine at the time. It didn’t look that great, and the drawings were rudimentary, but it was a beginning. Three years went by before Shuster and Siegel were able to convince an independent publisher of their iconic Man of Steel.
Superman officially debuted in Action Comics number one published by Detective Comics (DC). By 1941, not only was Superman in present in comic books, but also in newspapers across the country. In fact, he was in over 300 of them each day as a daily short comic of a few panels. Unfortunately, Shuster and Siegel had signed over the rights to Superman once the first story was published. This was done frequently back then.
DC kept paying them a good amount of money at the time, almost a $100,000 a year, but the two were not all that happy when DC was making millions of dollars. By 1948, they no longer had any rights to Superman after a court decided that they had signed them away. Eventually, DC was guilted into paying each man about $35,000 a year in the early 70s for the rest of their lives. The heirs of both men still are battling DC for a share of the profits for Superman. It just shows you that even though you may have created something iconic to the world, if you aren’t smart on the business side it will come back to haunt you.