1 / 9    

7 celebrities who hold their own as inventing geniuses

Michael Jackson performing in 2002.

Ideas born from artistic inspiration

Art can lead to amazing inventions. Think Leonardo da Vinci drawing technologies to fly and reach the ocean depths long before the plane and submarine existed.

"It's not just a very narrow scientific look at things. It's really where we live our everyday lives ... and for an artist or performer, that can be a very unique place," said Rini Paiva, executive director of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Les Paul started playing at local drive-in restaurants as a teenager but realized that if more people could hear his guitar, he'd get more tips. "[He] started shoving socks and rags in his acoustic guitar," said Alaina Rutledge, director of educational programs for Camp Invention. Soon the electric guitar would be born.

Here are seven celebrity inventors whose creativity resulted in ingenious patents. Most have not become billion-dollar game-changers, but one did, in fact, help win World War II and develop an idea that led to the Wi-Fi era.

—Posted 19 August 2015
By Lauren Flick, producer, CNBC.com

Micahel Caulfield | Getty Images