Stolen Inventions Throughout History

plagscan stolen inventions

As we have mentioned in several articles so far, plagiarism can be found in different forms and industries, even in video games. This time, we have collected the most prominent cases where inventions were stolen throughout history:

  • The Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell got his patent back in year 1876 and was credited as the inventor of the telephone. It took more than hundred years for the US Congress to declare that actually the true inventor was a poor Italian entrepreneur by the name of Antonio Meucci. Meucci presented his “teletrofono” invention to the Italian American press in the city of New York, about 16 years Bell got his patent. He sent the creation in an attempt to see it on the market. He got rejected by the Western Union telegraph company. When he asked for them to return the prototype to him two years later, they bluntly responded that it is lost. Alexander Bell on the other hand, who actually shared a lab with Meucci, somehow managed to get a deal with Western Union, thereby stealing his invention. He was sued by Meucci for this, however Meucci died shortly after which was an end to the proceeding.

  • The Telescope

Many know Galileo for the telescope, however there are many claims that he was not the real inventor. Back in 1608, a Dutch eyeglass manufacturer by the name of Hans Lippershey applied for a patent for the telescope, which was never granted. The response for it was that it is an invention that is very easily reproducible. After a year, his story spread to Italy, where Galileo decided to engineer a copy of his own. He had conceptual information of the version Hans did, on which he improved and got the glory.

  • Light bulb

Many people out there recognize the name of “Thomas Edison”, as the creator of the light bulb. This fact was and still is taught in some schools to be true. The schools are or have been claiming him as the first patent owner of the modern light bulb. Electrical light bulbs actually were already used about 50 years before the first patent date of Edison. That lead to him losing all patent ownership privileges for the bulb in Great Britain and the US.

There are additional claims out there that he even stole the idea for the invention from a British inventor by the name of Joseph Swan, however Edison persuaded Thomas for the rights as a business opportunity that flourished afterwards.

  • X-Ray Photography

Around the year 1887, Nikola Tesla, was one of the pioneers who explored the potential of X-Ra by using the cathode tube. After about eight years, Edison started looking into the ability of materials to respond to x-ray exposure thereby stealing his invention. This lead to developing a standard for medical x-ray examination. The research was stopped around year 1903, because one of the employees got cancer from having the X-ray tubes in the hands. The name of that person was Madison Dally.

  • The Power Generator

Sometime around early 1880s, inventor Nikola Tesla came up with the AC generator, with which electricity was being successfully transmitted between great distances. This was being conveyed much more efficiently than with DC power, with which a generator was needed for each several miles iteration. Edison was profiting well from the DC power invention. Naturally was not too interested in changing the technology, or even worse having another inventor taking his place. They had been in a dispute for a long time over many creations. Edison was not the inventor of the power station. He was in turn the first one to create the commercially capable station for deliverance of efficient electrical lighting.

If you have other examples of plagiarism in the film industry, please comment below. We are happy to read from you!

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3 thoughts on “Stolen Inventions Throughout History

  • Chinesisch Fachübersetzungsdienst München

    Toller Beitrag! Die Thematik ist zurzeit sehr Up-To-Date und wird es womöglich in der Zukunft bleiben.

  • Gabriela Lang

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  • Sadie

    You should have talked about Louis Le Prince. He was the actual inventor of moving images (film-machine-thing), but he mysteriously disappeared along with copies of his newest model blueprints right before Edison came out with it. Prince was never seen again and his family attempted to sue Edison for stealing the idea but eventually lost because Edison had better lawyers. A lot of people think Edison kidnapped or killed Prince so that he could get the credit for creating it. It’s actually really sad because it’s very obvious, if you just look, that Prince came up with it first, but no one bothers and his name is completely forgotten.