Jewish Facts of Life

The Encyclopedia Britannica lists 321 Great Inventions,” of which 267 are credited to one or more individuals. If you were to calculate how many of those individuals are Jewish based on the percentage of Jewish people to the world population, there would only be one half of one inventor! How many Jewish inventors were included, and for what inventions?


The Jewish inventors honored by Encyclopedia Britannica include:

  • Levi Strauss, Blue Jeans, 1873
  • Maurice Levy, Lipstick, 1915
  • Lazlo Biro, Ballpoint Pen, 1938
  • J. Robert Oppenheimer, et al, Atomic Bomb, 1945
  • Edwin Herbert Land, Instant Photography, 1947
  • Denis Gabor, Holography, 1948
  • Peter Carl Goldmark, Long Playing Record, 1948
  • Robert Adler, Television Remote Control, 1950
  • Edward Teller, et al, Thermonuclear Hydrogen Bomb, 1952
  • Paul M. Zoll, Defibrillator, 1952 and Cardiac Pacemaker, 1952
  • Gregory Pincus, Contraceptives, early 1950s
  • Charles Ginsburg, Videotape et al Recorder, 1950s
  • Gordon Gould, Laser, 1958
  • Stanley N. Cohen (1/2), Genetic Engineering, 1973
  • Jason Lanier, Virtual Reality, 1989

(Fractions after a name indicate that the inventor named was one of two or three people credited with the invention. “Et al” indicates an unspecified number of people involved in the invention.)


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