Inventions can change the world in an instant. Inventions are thought of every minute but very few of them actually make it to market. In this section we'll examine amazing inventions from all throughout history.

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Like so many other modern conveniences that we take for granted, the history of the elevator is more complicated than it may seem at first glance. Believe it or not, there's some controversy over who invented this commonplace contraption.

By Shanna Freeman

African Americans invented the gas mask, the potato chip, the protective mailbox and many other items we can't do without. Here are the stories behind 10 inventions.

By Molly Edmonds

By the end of the 20th century, female inventors held 10 percent of all patents, a disparity indicating the hurdles women faced in receiving credit for their ideas. The inventors on this list overcame those obstacles.

By Molly Edmonds


Coming up with a brilliant idea for a useful invention is just one part of the process. It takes even more work to develop that idea into a mass-market phenomenon that can change people's lives forever.

By Akweli Parker

The Incan empire had a highly developed organizational system and a near limitless workforce that helped create a culture of wonders. So what are some of their inventions that we know about today?

By Michael Franco

More than two-thirds of U.S. households play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Without the crazy ideas of a few pioneering folks, we might still be stuck playing marathon sessions of charades. So who do we have to thank?

By Jonathan Atteberry

We take X-rays so much for granted. We get them at the dentist's office and watch them while clearing luggage through security at the airport. But did you know they were discovered by accident?

By Josh Briggs


While the Aztecs are best known for their warlike ways and human sacrifices, their culture also gave birth to elaborate crafts and a highly organized system of government. In fact, some of their inventions are still used today.

By Michael Franco

The ancient Chinese brought us many great innovations, including some that we take for granted in the modern world. Let's examine 10 of ancient China's greatest inventions.

By Josh Clark