John Muir Inventions and Accomplishments


The first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of John Muir is an effort to preserve nature, not necessarily the inventions that he created. Muir is often quoted because of his philosophical thoughts because he saw nature as his home. His preservation efforts are often used as a foundation for environmental support to this day and his ideas regarding light and sensory perception cause people to think about their own existence.

Although John Muir’s inventions may not be of the traditional variety where a patent might be awarded, his contributions to this world are still noteworthy. Here’s a look at what we remember Muir for creating during his lifetime.

Yosemite National Park

John Muir had an intense passion for nature that is seldom replicated and he threw himself into the preservation efforts of the environment like none other of his time. He particularly loved the Yosemite Valley, but saw that local ranchers could easily destroy the fragile, pristine beauty of the region through the use of domesticated livestock. He articles about the need to protect the area were taken up by Congress in 1890, but the US government left control of the area in state hands.

The Sierra Club

The initial idea for The Sierra Club came from Professor Henry Senger. He contacted Muir and asked for his help in creating a club for people who loved mountains in some way. Muir was elected president of the club after the articles of incorporation were written and he served as such until he passed away. The Sierra Club was instrumental in keeping Yosemite National Park intact and helped to schedule local scientific meetings that were educationally based and eventually they were able to have Yosemite transferred to Federal control.

National Forests

Just 3 years after The Sierra Club was formed, Muir found himself in a conversation with William Dudley and Joseph LeConte at one of the scientific meetings they had in the community to create reservations for forests like were being created for the tribal populations in the country. This idea, which became the foundation of the modern US National Forest, helped to establish protected locations throughout the country where forests could be preserved.

A Unique Writing Process

Although it could be said that any writing is a process of creation, Muir invented for himself a unique process of writing that was simple, elegant, and transferred information from his words into the minds of his readers. He would get up early every morning, drink some coffee, and then get to work. Although he was never really fond of writing, it became the foundation of his life’s work and caused many people to look twice at what nature really had to offer.


What John Muir held differently than others was that all life was sacred. Instead of placing humanity in a place of dominion control, Muir held that wild nature was a higher state of being. He wanted to challenge what he called the “conceit of humanity” and encourage a different perspective of the world.

History of National Parks