The Unknown Gadget Inventors

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We have all heard of Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, but what about Eugene Polley or Don Linder?

Most people who invented the gadgets and technologies we all use every day are virtually unknown; basically, they are hidden in relative obscurity. Who are these "pionerds", (that's  pioneer + nerd).

Steward Wolpin scoured the technology history books and came up with the top ten:

1. Nathaniel Baldwin, Headphones: Way back in 1910, originally called "Baldy Phones", struggled to find their niche until the radio craze of the 1920's.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 11.42.16 AM2. Eugene Polley/Dr. Robert Adler, Remote Control: If you are a channel surfer you owe Zenith engineers Polley and Adler a big thank you. In 1955 the Flash-Matic came to be, the first wireless remote control.

3. Ralph Baer, Video Games: Willy Higinbotham built the first video game a ball and paddle game in 1958. But in 1966 Loral researcher Baer patented his won ball and paddle game that could be played on the home TV. It was called the Odyssey, launching the video game craze.

4. Lew Urry, Alkaline Battery: Eveready ordered Urry to get batteries to last longer. The Energizer Bunny was born.

5. Don Linder, Cell Phone: Motorola exec Martin Cooper is rightly known as the father of the cell phone, he came up with the idea. But it was the soft spoken engineer Linder that actually built it.

6. Ed Roberts, Personal Computer: In the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics was the first personal computer. Built by ex-Air Force officer Ed Roberts, the Altair 8800 started the PC phenomenon.

7. Steve Sasson, Digital Camera: Sasson should be up there with Edison and Philo T but is unknown for inventing the first digital camera in 1975.

8. Don Rea, Handheld GPS:Along with his late partner Norm Hunt, prompted and enterprenerd named Ed Tuck to found Magellan.

9. Larry Webber, Flat Screen HDTV: Webber spent  20 years turning plasma display technology into large flat screen TVs.

10. Jim Barton/Mike Ramsay, DVR: Founded TiVo which made it stupid simple to time shift record, store and playback our favorite shows.

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