I'm looking for information and inspiration. I'd be interested to hear: Who are the makers and hackers from history worthy of mention? Who resides in the Great Pantheon of the movement? Who would be enshrined in the virtual Hall of Makers, Hackers and Curious Craftsmen?
Here are a few names that come to mind as obvious choices:
Leonardo Nikola Tesla Thomas Alva Edison Charles Babbage (and perhaps Ada Lovelace, as well) Alexander Graham Bell
here is one from left field: Burt Munro - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burt_Munro awesome since he made new engine parts by casting and questionable metallurgy (40% ford piston, 20% dodge crankshaft, 20% chevy leaf spring). a true maker!
Serendipitous! Mr. Odegard, I was about to ask if you knew about Jacque Fresco. Being interested in artistic design, I'm sure you're familiar with him. He's a Renaissance Man of Leonardo's stature. Click the picture for his Wikipedia article.
There is a fascinating documentary about him on streaming Netflix, Future by Design. Highly recommended!
No list of hacker heroes would be complete without Smokey Yunick. Not only did he invent things such as speed-proportional steering, he was always looking for a way to skirt, bend or even break the rules. Once he entered a car that was perfectly built at 7/8 scale - nobody could figure out why it was so fast until they took a measuring tape to the hood!