Top 5 Celebrity Inventors

What Michael Jackson, Howard Hughies and Marlon Brand have in common? First thing that comes to your mind is that they were Americans who were celebrity in different areas like music, art and movies. That can be only one way to look on it. Some of the most famous movie stars, musicians and presidents were also inventors who created really incredibly smart and useful things. You would be surprised to read some of the following Celebrity Inventors came out from such famous names.

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#1. Michael Jackson: anti-gravity shoes

If you remember the video for Smooth Criminal and the part where Michael and the dancers in the back are leaning forward so low (45 degree angle) you couldn’t help but think they were tied up with invisible ropes. Maybe for the video. But he also had live performance where he and the dancers were doing the exact same movement. Michael solved the problem with the help of two designs and developed a “method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion” patent for a shoe. The normal looking loafer has a strap around the ankle to secure it the dancer’s foot with a heel that has a secret slot that locks into a small post on stage. The rest is a history. While they were dancing small post from the stage would have popped up and they would have slot in these things in their heels. Easy like that. Still don’t believe? Check any of the live performances on YouTube.

Michael Jackson anti-gravity shoes

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#2. Howard Hughes: steel underwire push-up bra

He was a great director/producer, and a famous businessman, aviation pioneer, and in his later years, eccentric and reclusive billionaire. One of Hughes’ less known talents was his invention of the steel underwire for the push-up bras. While filming The Outlaw in 1941, Hughes thought that the actress Jane Russell didn’t look really good with small breasts. The young director employed his engineering skills to design an underwired, cantilevered bra to emphasize her assets. Even though the actress complained that the bra was hurting her and didn’t really wear it during the filming, still Howard’s invention ended up in a museum.

Howard Hughes:  steel underwire push-up bra

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#3. Marlon Brando: The conga drum auto tuner and pool shoes

Marlon Brando was one of the greatest actors of all time and the world remembers his roles in iconic films such as On the Waterfront, The Godfather I & II, and Apocalypse Now. But besides a great actor he was an inventor too. In 2002, Brando received a patent for a drumhead-tensioning device (an automatic tuner for conga drums using a single lever). The actor was passionate about Latin music his entire life and developed the device with the great Latin jazz percussionist, Pancho Sanchez. The Oscar winner also had a deep passion for inventing and even thought up of special shoes to wear in a pool to increase friction for a better workout in the water. Now you should thank Marlon Brando for having rubber shoes for swimming in the pool or in the sea/ocean.

Marlon Brando The conga drum auto tuner and pool shoes 1

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#4. Thomas Jefferson: A macaroni machine and improved dumbwaiter and plow

This American president who was a Founding Father and who took part in drafting the Declaration of Independence, was also an inventor and he had great influence in the area of patent law. When Jefferson was U.S. Minister to France he especially liked the food there, like macaroni. Jefferson loved macaroni so much that he designed his own machine detailing the pasta’s extrusion process. This way he made macaroni popular in the USA. Thomas Jefferson also designed a plow that would delve deeper into the ground than the standard wooden plow. Among Jefferson’s other innovations is an improved version of the dumbwaiter, a small lift intended carry objects rather than people.

#5. Desi Arnaz: The rerun

He was the creator of the show I love Lucy. But he was also famous for inventing several techniques that are now taken for granted in television sitcoms. Arnaz invented the television rerun. Broadcasting TV shows was very different back in the early 1950s because the show was taped live on the east coast, saved on a kinescope (a recording of a program that was filmed off of a video monitor) and then rebroadcast on the west coast. Kinescopes provided an inferior image and degraded pretty quickly. In the early days of television, most production was done in New York, but Lucy and Desi refused to leave Hollywood and insisted on taping the show I Love Lucy on the west coast. It was hard because the network was not happy about it, claiming that live production in L.A. was not practical and because of the time difference between coasts. But, Arnaz and Ball offered a solution: they would produce the show on film and dispense with the kinescopes altogether. In order to do this, Lucy and Desi agreed to cut their weekly salary from $5,000 to $4,000. The network agreed and this paved the way for television reruns and syndication.

Desi Arnaz: The rerun

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