At work we were discussing the topic of the 'fathers of technology'. The question posed was who we considered those to be. There were quite a few responses which tossed out some of the most important technologists of our time, but they invariably centered around break-through modern technologies. One could say that I look for a reason to be 'different', so I decided to center my opinions around those that had pioneered the way for technologies to emerge and florish.
Innovations are deeply rooted in the necessity of solving a problem. Others come at whimsical moments. No matter their genesis, in order for good ideas to take root and grow, they need an environment that promotes and rewards that kind of behavior. America became a land of opportunity, not just because of the rich resources and untamed land that existed here, but because the socio-economic climate promoted the creation and distribution of technological advances. The founding fathers recognized this from the very beginning when they created our new nation. Many technological feats could not have been accomplished in our nation without a framework to reward those doing the hard work of not only coming up with great ideas, but also implementing them so that society could benefit from them.
Therefore, I think the title of 'fathers of technology' rightfully rest on those that created the environment for fostering the growth of technology, among those Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. These great men, character flaws aside, were in and of themselves inventors of great technologies.