Now every big oil company has an ROV, but once they were on the cutting edge of gathering lost nuclear warheads from the sea floor.
Some fire departments cared more that Garrett Morgan was black than that his invention—the gas mask—could save firefighters' lives.
H. Cecil Booth's contraption might not have been the first of its kind, but it was the only one endorsed by royalty.
The discovery involved "little heroism, more luck than good management, and a starring role for a trainee instrument-maker who dozed off." Maybe.
Today, 95 percent of American babies wear them. But when Marion Donavan tried to find a manufacturer for her idea, the men who controlled the industry brushed her off.
The man who first patented a "surf-type snow ski" ultimately lost the battle to name the sport.
It took years of industry advocacy before the cellophane sack, invented in the 1960s, caught on.
Otto Wichterle figured out how to spin plastic by watching his coffee.
Nineteen professors were given 10 weeks to design an off-Earth colony. Here's what they came up with.
The way many Americans go out now—dark restaurants and dance floors—did not exist until the 1920s.
The drug might be a prototypically contemporary vice, but its discovery was rooted in traditional Eastern medicine.
A controversial clergyman and theologian discovered how to make the ubiquitous bubbly beverage.
In the 1950s, Jerry Morris showed for the first time that sitting all day is bad for our hearts.
Aviators once scorned the life saving device, seeing it as something for circus performers, not pilots.
Some of today's most iconic undersea tunnels were first conceived of in the 19th century—but it wasn't until recently that we had the technology to actually build them.
75 years ago, it was not obvious that the cocoa morsels belonged.
Graphene's most problematic superlative is its cost.
The idea of public-key cryptography is surprisingly simple, once you've figured it out.
At 26, the famous physicist explained the science behind today's solar energy revolution.
At some point, someone has to sort out paper from metal from plastic.
Today, one percent of American kids are conceived using some form of assisted reproductive technology.