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T

Tesla, Nikola
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a Serbian-American inventor who developed the radio, fluorescent lights, the Tesla coil (an air-core transformer that generates a huge voltage from high-frequency alternating current), remote control devices, and many other inventions; Tesla held 111 patents. Tesla developed and promoted the uses of alternating current (as opposed to direct current, which was promoted fiercely by Thomas Edison and General Electric). Tesla briefly worked with Thomas Edison. The unit of magnetic induction is named for Tesla; a tesla (abbreviated T) is equal to one weber per square meter.
Thompson, David
David Thompson (1770-1857) was a Welsh explorer (born in London, England); Thompson's family name was originally as Tomos. Thompson was also a mapmaker, surveyor, fur trader, and journal writer. . Thompson explored western North America, including what is now western Canada and the western USA. Thompson was the first European to explore the entire length of Columbia River. Thompson's detailed maps of western North America were the first ones made, and were the basis of maps for years to come. Thompson began working as a clerk for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1784. In 1796, Thompson explored Lake Athabasca. In 1797, Thompson joined and become a partner in the North West Company (a rival trapping company). In 1797-1798, Thompson went on an expedition down the Missouri River; he discovered Turtle Lake, one of the headwaters of the Mississippi River, in 1798. In 1807, Thompson crossed the Rocky Mountains and built the first trading post on the Columbia River. From 1818 to 1826, Thomson surveyed the border between Canada and the USA.
Thurman, John
John S. Thurman invented the gasoline powered vacuum cleaner (which he called the "pneumatic carpet renovator") in 1899. His vacuum was patented on Oct. 3, 1899 (patent #634,042). It may have been the first motorized vacuum cleaner. Thurman had a run a horse drawn, door-to-door carpet vacuuming service in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, charging $4 per visit (which was a large amount of money at the time).
Tombaugh, Clyde
Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997) was an American astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930. He also correctly predicted (in 1950) that the surface of Mars was covered with craters.

Truth, Sojourner
Sojourner Truth (1797?-1883) was an American preacher who dedicated her life to fighting for for civil and human rights. She was born a slave in New York State, but was freed in 1827. After becoming a preacher, she campaigned for the abolition of slavery and for women's rights. During the US Civil War, she helped black Union soldiers obtain supplies and also worked as a counselor for the National Freedon Relief Association.

Tubman, Harriet
Tubman
Harriet Tubman (1820 - 1913) escaped slavery in Maryland in 1849 and traveled north. Mrs. Tubman devoted her life to fighting slavery and championing the rights of women. She then helped hundreds of other slaves flee to the north to freedom via the Underground Railroad. Mrs. Tubman helped John Brown recruit soldiers for his raid on Harpers Ferry (1859). She spied for the Union during the US Civil War (in South Carolina). After the war, she lived in Auburn, New York, and founded the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged Negroes.

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