Maker / Hacker Heroes

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DanBackslide
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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby DanBackslide » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:58 pm

Reginald Fessenden, early radio pioneer
Philo Farnsworth, invented the electronic television system
Hugo Gernsback, who published early electronics magazines and catalogs
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Westopher
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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Westopher » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:12 pm

Might I suggest:

Johannes Gutenburg - Movable Type, Printing Press
Guglielmo Marconi - Radio
Gottlieb Daimler - Internal Combustion Engine
Wilhelm Maybach - Internal Combustion Engine
Karl Benz - Automobile
Rudolf Diesel - Diesel Engine
Felix Heinrich Wankel - Wankel Rotary Engine
Otto Lilenthal - Aviation Pioneer
Montgolfier Brothers - Hot Air Balloon
Hero of Alexandria - Very Early Steam Engine, Vending Machine
Thomas Newcomen - Steam Engine
James Watt - Steam Engine
Robert Fulton - Steam Powered Ship
Robert Sterling - Hot Air Engine
John Ericsson - Screw Propeller, Hot Air Engine, USS Monitor
John Moses Browning - Firearms

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Odegard
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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Odegard » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:58 am

I'm loving the responses. There are some names offered that I didn't know, but I've enjoyed learning about them. (Wammie, I was vaguely aware of Jacque Fresco and his work, and yes, I now consider myself a fan.)

Here are a few more names that I would add to the list:
Marie Curie was the first recipient of multiple Nobel Prizes, and to this day only she and Linus Pauling have been awarded multiple Nobels in more than one discipline. Marie Curie for Chemistry and Physics, Linus Pauling for Chemistry and Peace.
Les Paul is fairly well known for refining the electric guitar and being a superb player, but did you know he invented multi-track recording?
Henry Maudslay pretty much revolutionized machine tools. He developed incredible improvements to metal lathe design, screw-cutting, hydraulic presses, steam engines and more. He was a key contractor working for Marc Brunel when building the London underground and the Thames tunnel.
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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Booka » Fri Nov 18, 2011 3:43 pm

While I could name a few people whom I would call Celebrity Makers, most of those whom I consider heroes are the every day innovators who see a problem and find a fix too it. Most family farmers fall into these categories, especially those who chose to do sustainable farming, they have to find new ways to confront known problems and they do.

I would also say that many within our own community of makers are heroes, you often see somebody who will mentor another with no expectation of reward or compensation.... We often become acclimated to these behaviors as we spend more time in our groups, but stop and look around some Wednesday Evening, I cannot think of anyplace else where people with such technical skills, openly discuss and share what in business is called "Trade Secrets" or "Proprietary"

But we all have our criteria, and that is part of what makes us a special group.

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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Westopher » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:53 pm

Let me add Joseph Marie Jacquard, who in 1804 invented a programmable loom, that was capable of mass producing complex patterns in cloth. It operated on punch cards.

While I could name a few people whom I would call Celebrity Makers, most of those whom I consider heroes are the every day innovators who see a problem and find a fix too it. Most family farmers fall into these categories, especially those who chose to do sustainable farming, they have to find new ways to confront known problems and they do.

I would also say that many within our own community of makers are heroes, you often see somebody who will mentor another with no expectation of reward or compensation.... We often become acclimated to these behaviors as we spend more time in our groups, but stop and look around some Wednesday Evening, I cannot think of anyplace else where people with such technical skills, openly discuss and share what in business is called "Trade Secrets" or "Proprietary"

But we all have our criteria, and that is part of what makes us a special group.


Well said.

"Makers" or "Making" are nothing new. Only the labels are new. People have been making, modifying, or customizing stuff for millennia. Look at any old issue of "Popular Mechanics" (1902-present), "Mechanix Illustrated" (1928-1984), "Mother Earth News" (1970-1986), "The Home Shop Machinist" (1982-present), etc., and you can see many of the same kinds of things that are in "Make", just without the micro-controllers and LED's. (I remember one article in "Mother Earth News" on how to build your own Gas Powered Arc Welder, out of an old lawn mower and a alternator out of a car.) It's just that people these days have gotten so used to buying what's on the shelf in the store, that they've forgotten that they CAN make it themselves.

Enough ranting.

I went to the "North American Model Engineering Society" (NAMES) show (near Detroit) a couple times, and that was another very open, sharing, and inventive group of people. Everyone there was very willing and eager to share their knowledge and experiences. They also put on several seminars on tools, techniques, how to build your own CNC equipment, etc.

Westopher
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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Westopher » Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:02 pm

I just remembered another magazine of note. "Model Engineer" magazine, which has been in publication since 1898.

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Odegard
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Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Odegard » Fri Nov 18, 2011 8:52 pm

Regarding Booka's comment: there are many reasons to celebrate well-known and successful makers from the past. One of the reasons I asked the question was to learn who others in my community are inspired by. Another reason was to be inspired myself by the passions and interests of my fellow TC Makers, as well as the people being put forth into my imaginary, virtual hall of maker fame. I also wanted to learn more about who has done what, and maybe a little about how they did it.

I'd also point out that as we hope to inspire others in the general society, it sometimes helps to have a face and a story to tell. As inspiring as my pioneer ancestors were, making almost everything they needed to not only survive, but to thrive and raise children, I do not think Ole Martinson's story, or Valentin Mohr's story has as much inspirational value as the stories we can tell about Benjamin Franklin, for example. Or more properly, each of those two kinds if stories serve a different purpose. They inspire and inform in different ways.

I am endlessly interested in stories with faces, and names, and real events. If anyone wants to put a name into my virtual hall of fame, they certainly don't need to have a Wikipedia entry to qualify. But do prepared to tell their story here if they don't.

If we forget the contributions of individuals, we can easily forget as a society that individuals can contribute in ways that make a real and effective difference. Like those I hope to include on this list.


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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Booka » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:30 pm

I did not intend to belittle the standouts in the innovation world, they obviously have given great innovations, and we still learn from many of the ones that have been dead and gone for years...

I just thought I would mention those that do not do the exceptional innovation, just the every day maker who does not think twice about not doing it themselves.

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53bash
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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby 53bash » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:47 pm

John Britten, the New Zeland dude who came damn close to winning the Daytona moto GP bac in 1991 with a v1000 motorcycle he basically built in his home workshop, and which is STILL technologically more advanced (and fundamentally different in design) than what you see in races 20 years later. He'd come in second the previous year, and was in the lead until his (commercially purchased) electrical system's rectifier failed, despite having brazed a crack in his cylinder lining the night before.

Apparently he also had a raft of other projects that attracted local attention in New Zealand, and basically made a (very good) living as a freelance designer / builder. Struck down by cancer a few years after he built the v1000, so the world never really got a chance to see how his work would pan out.

And while we are at it, I'm shocked nobody has mentioned the Wright Brothers, who were not just builders but serious researchers who built scientific instruments used to acquire data and establish theoroms that are still quite valid.
Another good one that would probably go overlooked is John Boyd Dunlop, who invented the pneumatic tire... for use on his kids tricycle. You know, just a toy for the kid, right?
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Gyvven
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Re: Maker / Hacker Heroes

Postby Gyvven » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:56 pm

He's not historical... yet, but I recommend David Rock (of David's Farm fame). Sure, he's a redneck Canadian but he's made some very creative contraptions.
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