Did you know that one of the earliest typewriters was invented by a man for the woman he loved, who was going blind? She used the typewriter to write letters to her friends, including to the inventor. Isn’t that a cool story?
Having heard that at a seminar recently (on Web Accessibility, if you would believe it), I went looking for inventions inspired by love, and here’s part of my list.
There’s the ‘funky’ shopping cart invented by the man whose wife couldn’t carry the shopping bags and didn’t want ‘an old lady shopping trundler’.
There’s the man who invented a faster hair dryer (though that might have been impatience rather than love).
Almost two decades before Alexander Bell, an Italian immigrant invented a voice communication device to link his basement laboratory to the second-floor bedroom of his bedridden wife.
What about the sound technician married to a woman with cystic fibrosis that invented a device using sound to break up mucus in his beloved’s lungs?
The same desire to make life better for a loved one inspired two women. One invented a shirt that her husband could close with magnets so that his Parkinson’s did not prevent him from dressing himself. One created a belt that let her husband take the equipment that constantly cleansed his blood out onto the golf course, giving him back his freedom.
And then there’s familial love. For example, two rather famous men reckon they owed their invention to their mother’s love.