From the telephone to the light bulb and beyond, these six essential inventions weren’t actually created by the famous inventors who got credit for them. Here’s who should have made the history books.

While the light bulb may be the quintessential human invention — not to mention the very symbol of inspiration itself — the process of invention couldn’t be further from flipping a light switch. Invention is a slow, gradual grind, with one inventor carefully building off the achievements of the last until we finally have the product that history has decided is the invention.

However, once we have that invention, we tend to forget all those inventors that came before, and instead pretend that that last inventor in the chain conjured brilliance from nothing, turning darkness into light.

Worse yet, we sometimes ignore the inventor who should have been known as the last one in the chain. Often, those inventors are ignored because they aren’t from the right class, or don’t have enough clout, or aren’t from the right nation.

Whatever the reason, here are six famous inventors — including the man behind the light bulb itself — who don’t actually deserve credit for their most famous creation.

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the assistant editor of All That Is Interesting.
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