How many of you realized the following:
1) The founder of Planter's Peanuts was an Italian immigrant.
2) One of the most influential and important men in NASA's history was the son of Italian immigrants.
3) Want to relax in a hot tub? Thank the Jacuzzi brothers!
4) Enjoy the radio? Yup, you guessed it...
"Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter "S", telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902.
In addition to Marconi, two of his contemporaries Nikola Tesla and Nathan Stufflefield took out patents for wireless radio transmitters. Nikola Tesla is now credited with being the first person to patent radio technology; the Supreme Court overturned Marconi's patent in 1943 in favor of Tesla.
5) Even "cursive" handwriting is owed to the Italians.
From About.com: "Articles written by hand had resembled printed letters until scholars began to change the form of writing, using capitals and small letters, writing with more of a slant and connecting letters. Gradually writing became more suitable to the speed the new writing instruments permitted. The credit of inventing Italian 'running hand' or cursive handwriting with its Roman capitals and small letters, goes to Aldus Manutius of Venice, who departed from the old set forms in 1495 A.D. By the end of the 16th century, the old Roman capitals and Greek letterforms transformed into the twenty-six alphabet letters we know today, both for upper and lower-case letters."
6) Do you enjoy a good espresso from time to time? Thank Achilles Gaggia! He invented the modern form of the espresso machine back in 1946.
7) Need batteries for your camera? Or that iPod? Say "Grazie" to Alessandro Volta! (and yes, that's why we call power units "Volts"...)
8) Even the thrilling world of Accounting (where my hubby toils each day) owes much to the Italians. They invented the concept of "double entry" accounting - which has only changed a bit, since its inception in the Renaissance. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blmathmatics.htmAccounting
9) Want some wine? You might use a double-winged corkscrew, invented by Dominick Rosati, to pop it open.
10) Enjoy ice skating or hockey...? The Zamboni is called that for a reason. Want to guess why?
11) Pellegrino Turri invented carbon paper (the older readers might remember that one) in 1806. We dust our hands off in his memory.
12) Running a fever? Not sure? Santorio Santorio (no, that's not a typo) was the first to put numbers on the "Thermoscope" to gauge the rise in temperature. This evolved into the modern thermometer.
13) Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone? Don't be so sure, ya'll! http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bl_Antonio_Meucci.htm
And a bonus!
14) CSI. The X-Files. Law and Order. Bones. None of these shows would have a forensic leg to stand on without the work of: "Italian doctor, Fortunatus Fidelis is recognized as being the first person to practice modern forensic medicine, beginning in 1598. Forensic medicine is the "application of medical knowledge to legal questions." It became a recognized branch of medicine in the early 19th century."
Of course, there are many, many more. But I've bored you long enough.
Here's your Caramella per gli Occhi, ladies!
Italian Actor Luca Argentero