Michael Owens left school at 10 and was consequently a poor speller.
He also wasn't very good at drawing, couldn't read a blueprint and lacked mechanical talent.
But he could visualize new inventions in three dimensions.
He also communicated well with engineers, who designed his machines to make glass bottles. "His automation of the bottle-making industry changed the course of civilization," Quentin Skrabec, author of "Michael Owens and the Glass Industry," told IBD. "His machines made possible pasteurized milk and baby bottles, inexpensive containers for beverages, standardized pharmaceutical bottles, and better storage for fruits and vegetables, which improved diets."