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12 Firsts Who Didn’t Get The Credit They Deserved

There's a saying: history doesn't remember the people who got it right first time and there's some firsts that definitely don't get the credit they deserve. Vodafone believes that all firsts need a celebration: that’s why they’re challenging you to take the plunge and pitch your #First on First.com.

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1. The person who invented the pie

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It's criminal that the inventor of such a dish should be lost to the mists of history. The first instance of the pie can be traced back to ancient Egypt. There's even pictures of it carved into the tomb walls of Ramses II, located in the Valley of the Kings. No word on the filling, though.

2. The first person to slice bread

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Because we hail this as the invention that we measure all other inventions as being the best thing since. But poor Otto Frederick Rohwedder, he doesn't even have a park bench named after him.

3. Robert Yeates - the inventor of the can opener

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What makes this gadget so remarkable is that the first can opener was invented 48 years after the introduction of canned food. How were people opening them before this?! Rocks?! Yeates doesn't just deserve credit for the idea, he deserves credit for being smarter than everyone else who'd ever tried to open a can.

4. The first person to bother to domesticate the dog

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DNA testing has determined that the first domestic dog lived 33,000 years ago in the Altai Mountains, East-Central Asia. However, there's no word on whose bright idea it was to tame him in the first place - even though he should by rights have his day.

5. Nikola Tesla - AKA the forgotten man of invention

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Nikola Tesla is the Bad Luck Brian of the inventors world: his work was stolen by Thomas Edison and Guglielmo Marconi amongst others. His findings helped to develop the X-rays, remote controls, radars, robotics, and computers that we use today.

By all accounts he was a genuinely nice guy and wanted to improve the world rather than become rich and famous. He died penniless, alone and without any recognition.

6. The woman who invented paper bags

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Margaret Knight owned 26 patents but all she got was the title “Queen of the Paper Bags” for her most used invention, the paper bag.

Why should Knight get more credit? Ok, so she didn't invent the car or the wheel, but her invention, unlike these, has stayed the same for almost 200 years. We haven't had to improve on her perfection. Plus, we no longer have to carry things with our bare hands any more.

9. The guy who saved more lives than any other human

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You might have heard about him in school: Edward Jenner was the first man to immunise people against disease in 1796. Because of his findings, more human lives have been saved by him than any other human. But he didn't even get his name and face on a banknote.

10. The woman who invented the hair curler

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Beulah Louise Henry has been called “Lady Edison” because of her insight. She helped invent over 100 things and holds 49 patents.

What did she invent? Only the ice cream freezer, photocopier, hair curler, umbrella cover, a type of sewing machine and, ummm… inflatable doll. These are things we use everyday, which actually make our lives loads easier, without a second thought to their inventor.

11. The inventor of the stapler

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Because it is such a lovely little invention. Imagine your life without it: loose sheaths of paper flying everywhere, none of your notes held together - an avalanche of paper every time you move your arm.

There's a reason why this is the most stolen office supply.

Doing something for the #First time feels amazing.

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You could make your own personal history by doing a first – pitch your idea at Firsts.com or join the conversation over on Facebook and Twitter to get inspired!