Meet the improvers and shakers

Information about Edward Jenner and other people in history who have made significant improvements in their field

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Welcome to the world of improvement - text in the image above

Struggling to read the text that appears in the image above? Here is what is says:

Welcome to the world of improvement: Ideas can come from anyone, anywhere and at anytime. All of the people that you saw in the poster have all identified ways to improve something that could help others.

Edward Jenner - In 1796 Jenner developed the worlds first vaccine known as the Smallpox vaccine. The vaccine has now gone through several iterations of change since  one of these being growing the vaccine on the skin of animals. The research and studies that Jenner carried out on the vaccine showed others that vaccines can eradicate or reduce the impacts of illnesses and diseases that kill and now we have improvement after improvement in vaccines and how they are administered.

Mary Anderson - In 1903 Anderson was granted her first patent for an automatic car window cleaning device controlled from inside the car which is known today as the windscreen wiper. The windshield wiper came about as Anderson observed a trolley car driver struggling to see past the windows because of the falling sleet. The driver had to clear the windscreen by opening the window making everyone inside cold.  The invention was improved by Charlotte Bridgewood in 1917  where the windscreen wiper became an ‘electric storm windshield cleaner’ and in 1922 the Cadillac became the first car to adopt windscreen wipers. They are now fitted as standard on all vehicles with a windscreen.

Auguste and Louis Lumiere - The Lumiere brothers invented movies! They patented several processes that led up to the invention of their version of the cinematographe motion picture after they further improved the original development of it by Léon Guillaume Bouly in 1892. The brothers then went on to develop the first practical photographic colour process, the They went on to develop and patent the first practical photographic colour process, the Lumière Autochrome in 1903.

Alexander Fleming - Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 but at the time he was unable to produce large amounts of penicillin and because of this was forgotten about in the 1930’s and no one believed in its importance or on its value in the prevention and treatment of infections. Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham studied the molecular structure of the antibiotic (identified by Fleming) and in 1940  Abraham proposed a slightly different structure to penicillin and in 1945 they were able to identify a method to purify penicillin and the success of the trial inspired them to develop methods for mass production.

Garrett Morgan - In 1922 Morgan witnessed an accident between a horse drawn carriage and a car which started him to think about how accidents of this nature could be prevented. Traditional road signalling was stop and go and was delivered via a police officer but this approach was less visible to drivers so Morgan created traffic signals that had folding arms with stop and go written on many signs and was situated on a post above the traffic. The signals had an added option of being raised halfway which indicated caution when moving forwards and a traffic attendant was used to ‘crank the post to signal’. Improvements to the traffic lights system have continued throughout the years and today all traffic signals work automatically.

Hedy Lemarr - After a career in film Lamarr looked at exploring some of her improvement ideas which included the traffic stop light and the creation of a tablet that would dissolve in water to create a flavoured drink. Most notably, during WW2,  she looked at torpedo guidance systems with her friend George Antheil, specifically frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS), to avoid them from being tracked or jammed. This technology has been further innovated to help today’s technology such as Wi-Fi, GPS and cellphones. Bluetooth uses a technology known as Adaptive Frequency which is a variation of the Lamarr and Antheil’s FHSS.