Do you know how common everyday items, such as mirrors, fireworks or sunglasses work? This collection of Innovation articles explores the workings of objects you may come into contact with on a regular basis.

Though the 1980s might remind you of the days of MTV and leg warmers, there was a lot going on in technology. In fact, quite a few of the technologies we rely on today were making their debut.

Google's headquarters is located in Mountain View, Calif., but it might as well be Mount Olympus given the company's wild success. Who is the man or woman behind the mountain?

Many people consider Guglielmo Marconi the inventor of the radio. After all, he did get the Nobel Prize for it. But others credit Nikola Tesla because the Supreme Court upheld his patent for the invention of radio. So who should get the recognition?

People are always thinking up strange stuff that makes us chuckle, like, say, wafflemakers that churn out waffles in the shape of a keyboard. But these 10 inventions aren't just funny; we interact with them all the time.

There may be no greater tribute to a society's ingenuity and vision than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. What other cool stuff did the ancient Egyptians invent?

The grocery bag you're carrying breaks, and the eggs inside splat across your driveway. Yep, unloading groceries can be tedious, but that's nothing compared to the days before refrigeration, so grab a cold beverage and learn who you have to thank.

Edison, Bell, the Wright Brothers -- sure, their inventions changed the world, but they didn't tend to think up much for the kids. But that doesn't mean there haven't been some good ones over the years. So pick up your pogo stick and hop along to find out five of our favorites.

Created more than a thousand years ago, they've affected warfare -- and society in general -- in ways almost no other weapon can match. So, who was the inventor?

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.

If asked to name a famous African-American inventor, most people immediately think of George Washington Carver. But Carver, credited for his work with crop rotation and the peanut, is just one of many black inventors. Here, a look at 10 notable inventions credited to African-Americans innovators.

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 inventions on this list overcame those obstacles.

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.

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?

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?

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?

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.

Well before becoming the 16th president of the United States, the young Abraham Lincoln was known for his interest in engineering and mechanics. What patent does Lincoln hold, and was his invention ever made?

Between running a print shop, engineering the U.S. postal system, and helping sow the seeds of the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin also found time to draw up a vast collection of new devices. What are some of his most enduring inventions?

Nikola Tesla was a pretty cool guy. Companies and rock bands have been named for him, and he pops up in Hollywood movies regularly. Not bad for one of history's greatest inventors. But what did he do to earn his fame? Here are some of Tesla's standout inventions.

No one can dispute that Albert Einstein is one of history's greatest thinkers. Although he isn't really known as an inventor, his ideas formed the basis for some of the greatest inventions ever devised. Here are a few of the man's most revolutionary discoveries.

Few famous Americans enjoy a status as mythic as that of George Washington Carver, a man whose life as a botanist, agronomist, chemist and inventor earned him a lasting legacy. Carver's work is considered instrumental in changing Southern approaches to agriculture.

With more than a thousand patents for inventions ranging from light bulbs to cement, Thomas Edison was one of the world's most prolific tinkerers. What did Edison dream up?

Almost 300 years after his death, Sir Isaac Newton remains one of the most influential thinkers in history. What are some of his most enduring inventions?

Most of us know Eli Whitney as the inventor of the cotton gin, but many of his inventions helped transform America. So what other inventions led to his fame, and how have they shaped U.S. history?

Galileo was a man known for having his head in the clouds. But what down-to-earth creations is he responsible for? You might be surprised by the breadth of his influence.