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7 Greatest inventors who never made money

inventors who didn't patent their inventions

Inventions always become an inevitable part of our life, and many have changed the way we see the world. However, often we misunderstood that every successful inventor achieves a massive wealth due to their immense popularity, but the reality is different. Not all have the same privilege when it comes to wealth, though some selflessly gave it for free as money was not the primary goal for them. Here is the list of 7 greatest inventors who never made money despite getting huge popularity due to their invention.

Dennis Ritchie

Charles Babbage is the father of the computer, but it was Dennis Ritchie who changed the whole game, and it was impossible to ignore his contribution. He created C programming language which has been used in the Unix operating system and later his C language was adopted for various projects. His invention was not only meant for the Unix but also used for other modern Operating systems like Widows and also for creating other popular programming languages Java and PHP. Today the computer world we see would be impossible without his C programming language but he never got the credit he deserves and in fact, he died after one week of the death of Steve Jobs. The whole world war mourning for Jobs, and hailed him as the Jesus of Computing, but forgot Dennis Ritchie who actually deserved the credit.

Jonas Salk

Though the global medical industry is trillion dollar business still, there are some inventors like Jonas Salk who refused to patent their invention despite knowing the fact that they could make unimaginable wealth. When he introduced a vaccine to eradicate polio, journalist Edward R. Murrow asked him about the owner of the patent which he answered that it is for the people. Polio was one of the deadly diseases during that time, and he wanted to eliminate it from the earth which was the primary reason for him not to patent it.

Harvey Ball

In the Social Media era, we are not new to emoji, but it is hard to imagine that the inventor never made money from this apart from $45 which he charged for the original design. Whether we are sending an email or using any digital platform, emoji is an inevitable part of our life, but he never imagined that it would become popular which is why didn’t patent it.

Nick Holonyak, Jr.

Why Nick Holonyak didn't patent led bulb
Wikipedia

Though he was one of those rare inventors whose thinking was ahead of his generation, still that didn’t help him to avoid mockery from his colleagues for his idea. When a team of engineers were trying to find a way to make visible lights using diodes, he suggested mixing gallium arsenide and gallium phosphide, but everyone mocked his idea. Though finally, it worked, however, that didn’t stop him to research, and he developed coloured LEDs, and the first quantum well laser which was used in CD players. He didn’t patent it which means the LEDs we are buying today doesn’t give him any profit, and that put him in a list of greatest inventors who never made money.

Mikhail Kalashnikov

When we are talking about guns, AK-47 is no stranger to us and almost every nation on the earth uses it for their armed force, but it’s difficult to imagine that the inventor never made any money. On an average 100 millions of AK-47 have been made that could literally make him a millionaire if not a billionaire by seeing the massive business that weapon industry does. The official manufacturer of this weapon did patent for this in 1990 but the Russian inventor never filed for a patent by saying that he did it for his nation.

John Walker

Fire is one of the best discovery of human civilization, but little did we know that before 1800, it was not easy for people to use it in their daily lives. John Walker tried to find an easy method to obtain fire that could be helpful but the research was dangerous and life-threatening. Even though he made one of the best inventions of human civilization, still refused to patent it despite getting suggestions from Michael Faraday and others and made it freely available for everyone.


Sir Tim Berners-Lee

why Tim Berners-Lee didn't patent internet
Wikipedia


After Dennis Ritchie, if someone truly deserves credit for computer evolution, he is none other than Tim Berners-Lee. In 1980, he proposed a method to share information which we say the World Wide Web (www) and today it helps us to find everything without any hassle. By seeing its popularity, it’s not difficult to imagine that he could be another billionaire, but he refused to patent it and gave it for free. He got Knighthood award for his contribution by the British Empire in 2004.

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