7. George Nissen
(February 3, 1914 – April 7, 2010)
Nissen was one of the youngest inventors and his invention remains to be one of the great inventions of all time. He was born in Blairstown, Iowa. He used to be a gymnast in his high school. He got the idea of it while watching a circus in which he saw the trapeze artists drop down to net stretched below after finishing off their routines.
He wondered if there could be a thing that would keep them bouncing and flipping. At the age of 16, he strapped together a metal frame and a canvas sheet. But it did not turn out to be as springy as he had anticipated. He called it a bouncing rig. Several years later, he along with his gymnast teacher made a more flexible contraption with a nylon sheet.
They still called it a bouncing rig. After going to the college, he continued his gymnastics career and won three NCAA championships for his university of Iowa. In 1937, Nissen along with his two friends started performing gymnasts in Midwest and Texas and than in Mexico. He learnt the Spanish word for diving board over there which was “el trampolin”. He added an “e” to the word and the registered his Trampoline, which is a joy inducing device for many around the globe.