Ten Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction

The innovators behind objects like the cellphone or the helicopter took inspiration from works like “Star Trek” and War of the Worlds

Leonard Nimoy, Ep. # 1, 'The Cage' 1966 - 1969 (© Paramount/Courtesy Everett Collection)


(© Bettmann / Corbis)
One of the most famous literary characters of the early 20th century was Tom Swift, a genius inventor who was the protagonist in a series of juvenile science fiction books. NASA physicist Jack Cover, who invented the Taser, was a fan—“Taser” is an acronym for one of Swift’s fictional inventions, the “Thomas A. Swift’s Electric Rifle.”

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