Look around you. Can you name the inventor of the television, ballpoint pen or computer mouse you use everyday? It's easy to take modern technology for granted, but behind those common household items were people with uncommon vision.
Thomas Alva Edison, featured as an Amazing American at the Library of Congress, created the light bulb and the motion picture projector. But did you know his favorite invention was the phonograph? According to the Library of Congress, the first words he ever recorded were, "Mary had a little lamb."
One of America's most renowned scientists, George Washington Carver found hundreds of uses for the peanuts, sweet potatoes and soybeans. His discoveries involving these small plants changed southern farmers' attitudes about their livelihood. They began to plant a variety of crops in addition to cotton and Carver's influence spread across the agricultural industry.
The Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company and Museum of Pioneer Aviation is a good place to learn about the creators of the first airplane. This site offers illustrations of the first gliders and kites, the brothers' genealogy and colorful stories of their youth. Most people probably don't know that Wilbur had his front teeth knocked out with a hockey stick, or that he and Orville created a printing press out of a damaged tombstone!
Grace Murray Hopper, one of the earliest computer programmers, and Sally Fox, who invented naturally colored cotton, are two of the many women inventors profiled at Distinguished Women of Past and Present.