I recently attended the Time Warner STEMFest at Discovery World here in Milwaukee. I was floored by the museum's Les Paul exhibit. Since he is a Wisconsin native, the exhibit is a vast exploration of his life and how his inventive mind literally transformed music.
I knew Les Paul's name from his Gibson guitar line, but I had no idea that he was a true scientific inventor at heart. He grew up learning about sound by using the family piano, studying the rumbles from the nearby train station, and analyzing a record player (phonograph). He built most things that he used, from his original guitar idea that he shared with Gibson to his own recording studio.
Distortion, reverb, and delay were all terms that Paul mastered within the musical lexicon. He also helped launch multitrack recording, which enabled him to put different vocals / instruments on different tracks and mix them together.
Check out the pics below from Paul's exhibit and make sure to swing by if you're in the Milwaukee area!