Mormon Inventors: Part One

While surfing the Internet, I came across an interesting website that I’d like to share some of its contents with you. The title of the page that I landed on was called, ” Some Things Invented by Latter-day Saints (Mormons).” The compilation is quite interesting, which includes as array of common items that we use today on a regular basis. In this article, we will explore what extremely popular invention in the entertainment field that some people will say they just cannot live without.


The invention I’m speaking of is the television and without Philo Farnsworth, we wouldn’t be able to watch CSI: Miami or reruns of Friends every night. Philo Taylor Farnsworth (1906-1971) is best known as being the first individual to display and acquire a patent for a working electronic television system that still serves as a model for the modern pieces we turn on every day. Another invention credited to his efforts includes the Fusor, which was a small fusion device that many other inventors built upon in later years.


The credit of inventing the electric traffic light goes to another Farnsworth, but this time it was Lester Farnsworth Wire, who lived from 1887 to 1958. In 1912, word spread throughout Salt Lake City, Utah that Wire had accomplished this helpful feat that allows us to navigate traffic so efficiently.


From 1814 to 1879, William Clayton was a man that wore many different hats. In the early times of the Latter Day Saint movement, Clayton tackled the positions of clerk and scribe under a Mormon religious leader by the name of Joseph Smith, Jr. Originally an Englander, Clayton would later become known as a well-known American pioneer, lyricist, musician, as well as inventor. The birth of the odometer was attributed to Clayton.


Without the efforts of Nathanial Baldwin, we wouldn’t be able to listen to our CD player or IPOD without the whole world knowing our musical preference. It is thought that Baldwin created the invention in 1910.

When it comes to Harvey Fletcher, he really knew his stuff when it came to the exploration of sound. Born in Provo, Utah, Fletcher received his education from Brigham Young University (also known as BYU). It was here that he obtained the tools and resources that led to an array of helpful inventions. The hearing aid, audiometer, and stereo sound are attributed to the hard work that Fletcher put into the creation of these items. In later years, Fletcher would become the founding dean of the BYU College of Engineering, which is now known as the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology.


Children, teenagers, and grown men spend hours and hours tapping on the controls of the latest Playstation and Xbox video games. Have you ever wondered who came up with the great idea to start creating such a satisfying piece of entertainment? Did you ever think it was the same man, who founded the fun-filled wonderland of Chuck E. Cheese Pizza-Time Theaters chain? Born in 1943, Nolan Bushnell founded Atari, and has become a highly respected American electrical engineer and entrepreneur.