Religious Affiliations of Famous Inventors II

With determination and vision, the Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur) became the inventors of the airplane. In this article, you will learn about their religious affiliation along with Thomas Edison and the inventor of the radio.

Orville and Wilbur Wright

The Wright Brothers successfully built the first airplane in the world that humans could control and power, as well as sustain body weights in flight. This achievement was made on December 17, 1903. The following two years would see the brothers developing their “flying machine” into the first fixed-wing aircraft. They weren’t the first to actually build and fly experimental aircraft, but were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight a possibility.

The highlight of their inventions was the three-axis control, which let pilots effectively steer aircrafts, as well as maintain the equilibrium of the plane. This method became known as the standard and is today, the standard of all fixed-wing aircraft.

The Wright Brothers have been classified as United Brethren , a religious affiliation that traces back to their father, who often traveled as a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison (nicknamed the “Wizard of Menlo Park “) is the inventor of the light bulb, phonograph and many other achievements. With his accomplishments, he is regarded as one of the top five most prolific inventors in history. He held more than 1,000 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Other inventions that he is credited with include a stock ticker and electric car battery.

Historians have characterized Edison as a ‘freethinker’ and his thoughts on religion were greatly influenced after reading Thomas Paine’s ‘The Age of Reason.’ Some have called Edison an atheist because of his defense of Paine’s thoughts and certain remarks he has made about religion, but this was not a proper characterization of his beliefs. Edison did not publicly respond to these accusations, but in a private letter, he did reveal that he had been misunderstood. He wrote, “what you call God I call Nature, the Supreme intelligence that rules matter.”

Guglielmo Marconi

The Italian inventor of the radio was Guglielmo Marconi, a man who earned the reputation of the “father of long distance radio transmission.” He invented the radio telegraph system and Marconi’s law, which highlighted the relation between height of antennae and maximum signaling distance. Marconi had greatly benefitted from the experimentation and accomplishments of scientists and inventors that had dabbled in the field before him. He took what he learned and created to the next level and prospered over other like-minded inventors because he was able to successfully commercialize radio and its associated equipment. Marconi has been affiliated with the Catholic and Anglican churches.

Alexander Graham Bell

Without the efforts of Alexander Graham Bell, we wouldn’t have the significant invention of the telephone to enjoy. The inventor was also a scientist and engineer who made strides in many different areas. He furthered the advancements of optical telecommunications. He worked on improving hydrofoils and aeronautics. Bell came from a family that worked on and studied elocution and speech. His mother and wife were deaf, which helped influence his desire to work in the field and experiment with hearing devices.

Ironically, the inventor of the telephone did not own one , saying that it hindered his concentration on his work. As for his religious beliefs, Bell was a Unitarian.