When in the 1930s, future Nobel laureates in physics Walter Brattain and John Bardeen tried to patent the invention of the transistor, it turned out that they were already several years behind the born in Lviv, Julius Edgar Lilienfeld, who filed his application back in 1925.
The failed discoverers were denied authorship, but this did not prevent them from receiving the Nobel Prize in 1956 precisely “for the discovery of the transistor effect.” Their fame was also shared by William Shockley, who announced the invention of the transistor in 1938, that is, 13 years after Lilienfeld had already done it.
This is due to Lilienfeld’s passion for the process of inventions as such. Having discovered the properties of semiconductors when converting current, he did not bother to write and publish an article on the advantages of transistors compared to the bulky vacuum electric lamps, and switched to the next invention. In 1931, he already patented an electrolytic capacitor. Then there was the improved X-ray tube that got his name, and a lot more.
Lilienfeld owns 75 patents issued in Germany and the USA. Many of his inventions have revolutionized electrical engineering and continue to be used in most of the appliances we use on a daily basis.