7 Bulgarians Who Changed Your Life Without You Even Knowing

Photo of Maria Angelova
21 December 2017

Bulgarians play a significant role in technological and scientific advances, even though their names are rarely heard. Read on to learn about the Bulgarians who have invented things that have changed your life for the better.

St. Cyril and Methodius, Cyrillic script

Although Cyrillic script might be incomprehensible and perplexing for many, the alphabet is used by millions of people around the world, from Russians and Serbians to Mongolians and Ukrainians. Bulgarian brothers Cyril and Methodius created the script and were later pronounced saints by the Orthodox Church in the 9th century.

Cyrillic script | © young shanahan/Flickr

John Vincent Atanasoff, The Computer

John Vincent Atanasoff, an American whose father was Bulgarian, worked with colleague Clifford Berry to create an electronic digital computer called the Atanasoff-Berry Computer. It was quite far from contemporary computer technology, but it was a big step forward.

Asen Yordanov, The Airbag

Asen Yordanov was a prominent Bulgarian inventor who worked in Bulgaria and in the US. His part on the team that created the airbag in the 1950s is his contribution that most tangibly changed your life and provided safety while driving.

Airbag | © AngieJohnston/Pixabay

Peter Petroff, Electronic Wristwatch

Peter Petroff created a prototype of the digital wristwatch for NASA that was called Pulsar. Petrov was a productive inventor who also created the first computerized air pollution control system, as well as heart-monitoring equipment.

Dimitar Sasselov, Discovered the Most Remote Planet in the Milky Way

Bulgarian astronomer Dimitar Sasselov works as a professor of astronomy at Harvard University and is director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative. In 2003, he and his team discovered the most remote planet in the Milky Way to date.

The Milky Way | © Free-Photos/Pixabay

Georgi Nadjakov, Copy Machine Process

Georgi Nadjakov eased the work of thousands of office assistants around the world when he discovered the photoelectric effect, which is now used as the main technology in copy machines.

Dr. Stamen Grigorov, Yogurt Bacteria

Bulgarians are hugely proud of their yogurt, in part because in 1905, Bulgarian scientist Dr. Stamen Girgorov discovered the bacteria that turns milk into yogurt. As Bulgaria and surrounding Balkan countries are its natural habitat, you can prepare yogurt at home in Bulgaria by adding a spoon of Bulgarian yogurt to fresh milk.

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