Inventors are what push us forward as a species – some of them slave for years with dogged determination, and some of them chance upon it by sheer accident – and these inventions fundamentally change the way we live our lives. In this list we tip our hats to the inventors who, for whatever reasons, never made a killing from their inventions. We use all of them to this day and our lives are all the more convenient for it. 

1. Nick Holonyak Jr – LED Bulb

Did not seek recognition after inventing the LED Bulb, not even the Nobel Prize. 

Nick Holonyak Jr invented the light emitting diode or LED in 1962 and predicted it had the potential to replace Edison’s lightbulb. While Holonyak’s colleagues believed he deserved the Nobel prize for his invention, the modest inventor said “It’s ridiculous to think that somebody owes you something. We’re lucky to be alive, when it comes down to it.”