Sorry guys, it’s time to make you feel slightly inadequate.
The calculator, Braille, Water skiing. You probably had no idea that these – and a bunch of other popular, everyday items – were all invented by genius kids.
Yep – while most of us spend our childhood and teen years waiting for the school bell to ring, there are a few exceptional young minds out there who are more excited about inventing things – things that ultimately changed history.
Here are some of those exceptional young people. Mind absolutely blown.
1. The calculator was invented by an 18-year-old.
The first mechanical calculator (Pascal’s calculator or the Pascaline) was invented by a young man called Blaise Pascal.
He was from France, and was a child prodigy who was educated by his father. Ultimately he was a highly celebrated mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher. In 1962 he invented and built the first digital calculator.
It came about because he wanted to help his dad with tedious tax accounting.
2. Braille was invented by a blind 15-year-old.
At the age when most of us were figuring out how to deal with acne, a boy by the name of Louis Braille figured out a system to allow blind people to read.
Another French-born genius, Braille went blind at five after an accident.
He attended one of the first schools for blind people in the world, and he invented Braille due to his yearning to read more in-depth content.
3. Water skiing was invented by an 18-year-old.
Ralph Samuelson from Minnesota once had a thought – that if you could ski on snow, then you could surely ski on water.
On July 2, 1922 Samuelson (being towed by his brother Ben) realised if you lent back on the skis and put the tips up, you could stay standing.
And on July 8, 1922 Samuelson made the first ever water ski jump.
4. The first fully-working electronic TV was invented by a 21-year-old.
Ok, so this one was invented by someone slightly older than 18 – but it is still super impressive.
Philo Farnsworth was a farm boy who grew up on a property, but he was also an electronics prodigy – and while he was ploughing the family farm he came up with a genius idea. He wanted to project a recorded image on to a screen. And by the time he was 21 in 1927, he developed the world’s first fully-electronic working television.