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1. Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931)
Edison filed over 1,000 patents. He developed and innovated a wide range of products from the electric light bulb to the phonograph and motion picture camera.
When Thomas Edison was interviewed by a young reporter who boldly asked Mr. Edison if he felt like a failure and if he thought he should just give up by now. Perplexed, Edison replied, "Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp." And shortly after that, and over 10,000 attempts, Edison invented the light bulb. Great success is built on failure, frustration, even catastrophe". Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-years-old and did not read until he was 7.

2. The Wright Brothers
Successfully designed, built and flew the first powered aircraft, showing that man could fly. One of most important inventions of Twentieth Century.

3. Benjamin Franklin (1705 - 1790)
Polymath who discovered electricity and invented the Franklin stove.

4. Charles Babbage (1791 – 1871)
Created first mechanical computer, which proved to be the prototype for future computers. Considered to be the 'Father of Computers'

5. James Watt (1736 – 1819)
Inventor of the steam engine, which was critical in the industrial revolution. His invention of a separate condensing chamber, greatly improved the efficiency of steam.

6.Alexander Bell (1847 – 1922)
Credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Also worked on optical telecommunications, aeronautics and hydrofoils.

Mary Anderson often visited New York City by car. In winter she noticed that when it rained or snowed, drivers got out of their cars all time to clean their windows. In 1893 she began designing something to clean the window from inside the car. People, especially men, laughed at her idea. But they didn’t laugh for long. She invented the windscreen wiper in 1925 and by 1950 all American cars had them.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What sprig to your mind when you hear the word invention?
  2. What are the best and the most useful inventions of the mankind in the 20th and 21st centuries?
  3. How did the invention of television change people's life? Do you think it is a useful invention? What is the role of television in your life? How often do you watch it?
  4. What do scientists say about the influence of mobile phones on our health?
  5. When did you buy or get your first mobile phone? Do you think you can live without your mobile or is it now an important part of your daily life? Are you anxious when the battery is flat or you are out of reach?
  6. Do you think each and everyone of us are in the world for some reason?
  7. Do you believe that one day people will live on the moon and on other planets?
  8. Why isn't it possible today?
  9. What would you invent if you were a scientist?
  10. Have you ever tried to do something and you did not succeed? How many times did you try?
  11. Have your friends ever laughed at your ideas?

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