Monday, 11 April 2016

“Albert Einstein failed math”—& Other Myths About Innovators

Artist extraordinaire James Grasdal is putting the finishing touches on the 13th book in the Superman Duffy comic series—MYTHCONCEPTIONS. Which, you may have guessed has a little something to do with common “myths.” I love myths! So for this year’s A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m going to “bust” as many of them as I can—every day (except Sundays) on the blog, throughout April.

Not familiar with the A to Z Challenge? Get the details here, and then hang on, because I’m about to blow your mind with my myth-inspired posts. (P.S. Comment on the blogs throughout the month for a chance to WIN a complete set of the Superman Duffy comics, including lucky #13, MYTHCONCEPTIONS.)
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MYTH: Albert Einstein failed math in school.

I love Albert Einstein. 

It’s not just because he’s a famous physicist, though that’s pretty cool, but he’s always quoted as saying such great and relevant things. Like, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Or, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Einstein was smart, too—patenting the famous theory of relativity. Which is why the fact that he didn’t actually fail math in school kind of bums me out. Now what excuse will I use for my less-than-awesome math marks? <sigh>

In all seriousness, though, this “myth” about Albert Einstein got me thinking about other invention / inventor myths. Like, did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb? Both Thomas Edison and another inventor named Joseph Swan are usually given credit, but actually, they were both working off previous inventions. Who knew? Erm, turns out Edison didn’t invent the X-ray, either.

Seems like a lot of people from history took credit for other people’s inventions. Henry Ford, for instance, didn’t invent the automobile. He was just the first to develop an inexpensive, standardized car that was accessible to millions. Same principle applies when it comes to the Wright Brothers—they didn’t invent the airplane, though they did perfect a previous invention.

If you thought Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, you’re going to want to check again. That honour goes to a man named Antonio Meucci, who, unfortunately couldn’t afford a patent—so Bell stepped in.

Nikola Tesla is responsible for many inventions—including the radio. My grandpa says he always though that was Marconi. Myth busted!

And this one is out of this world. The idea that Galileo Galilei invented the telescope is a myth. I repeat, it’s a myth.

New inventions are patented every day, in all corners of the world, for all parts of life, including agriculture. I couldn’t hunt down any specific farm innovation myths, but here’s a cool fact about an inventor from Saskatchewan: Kevin Therres, a farm equipment mechanic, invented the only Jet Engine Funny Car to run on 100% canola diesel fuel. It’s true! You can read about it in Gotta Jet!

Speaking of that, I’ve…gotta jet. My “J” post isn’t written and the A to Z Challenge is back in full swing. Are you caught up on all of my posts? Visit the archives! See you tomorrow. <grin>

~ Chase Superman Duffy

P.S. Comment on this post, or share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to WIN a complete set of the Superman Duffy comics. A winner will be chosen at random on May 1.


  1. It's amazing how these myths perpetuate, isn't it? I did know about Tesla inventing the radio, though!

    Stormy’s Sidekicks!

    @LGKeltner from
    Writing Off the Edge

    1. Before doing research for the post, I didn't know MOST of these myths! I love learning new things.
      Thank you so much for stopping by the blog!

  2. Wow so many things I hadn't realised were myths until now! Such a great post, thank you!

    @LunaNoctis from There She Goes

    1. Thank you so much! Researching for these "myth" posts has been so much fun. I'm definitely "learning something new every day."
      Thank you for stopping by the blog!