Have you ever heard the name Jim Russell? He’s an American scientist. The name doesn’t ring a bell? Russell is the guy who essentially invented the compact disc and the DVD.
Wait a second: Didn’t Sony and Philips jointly develop this technology in the late 70s and early 80s? Yes, they did–but only after they licensed technology that Jim developed in the 1960s.
While working for a company on the US west coast, he came up with the idea of using a laser to read digitized music. But then they sold the patents on his work real cheap. One thing led to another, and Jim never ended up getting a cent from this work. He now lives in Bellevue, Washington, where one of his prized possessions is a collection of glass plates with scratches on them. Those scratches contain a digital recording of a TV show he recorded in 1974.
Jim Russell: the poor inventor of the CD and the DVD.