The GadgeteerGenius is good at what he does, but he doesn't have a particularly profound effect on TheVerse, because ReedRichardsIsUseless. This guy, however, is almost singlehandedly responsible for ending the MedievalStasis: the one person responsible for all the high technology in a setting. Anyone GivingRadioToTheRomans is likely to be this. See also AlternateUniverseReedRichardsIsAwesome.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Dr. Vegapunk of ''OnePiece'' is the primary reason the OceanPunk setting has robots with FrickinLaserBeams. The technology he's created, most of which is heavily controlled by TheGovernment, is explicitly described as ''500 years'' ahead of the rest of the world.
* Dornkirk, from ''VisionOfEscaflowne''; any number of {{Emperor Scientist}}s may have this going on as well.
** Which isn't much of a surprise when you realize Dornkirk is actually [[spoiler:[[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Sir Isaac Newton]]]].
* In her guise as the Crimson Scholar, [[LightNovel/MaoyuuMaouYuusha Maou]] is proving to be this to the Southern Kingdoms. In her case its slightly more realistic as she is moving gradually first with a Green Revolution in agriculture before moving on to the Guttenburg Press. Other characters also contribute such as the seeds of Liberalism and Alternate Currency.
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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}'', Dr. Manhattan's ability to make rare elements from scratch is the reason his world has cancer-free cigarettes, efficient zeppelins and cheap electric cars.
* LexLuthor in ''SupermanRedSon'' is responsible for technology decades ahead of its time.
** In main DC continuity, the city of Metropolis was "upgraded" by Brainiac around New Year's Day 2000 to be centuries ahead of its time.
* In ''ElfQuest'''s "Shards" arc, the half-elf, half-troll Two-Edge becomes this for the human warlord Grohmul Djun.
* In ''UniversalWarOne'', Kalish finds a way to travel through space and time, and litterally starts a new civilization.
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[[folder:FanFiction]]
* A major theme in FanFic/DungeonKeeperAmi. Justified- Ami has access to all the knowledge of the modern world, in addition to several kinds of magic and a hord of minions to impliment said Industrial Rovolution. A fair ammount of innovation is her own, as well, she is highly intelligent after all. This is what founds and feeds her reputation of cunning and genius.
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''MeetTheRobinsons'' has a fairly extreme example: Cornelius Robinson has invented all the cool new stuff we see the future has, ''and'' it's managed to become widely adopted by the time he's still middle-aged!
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt'', as stated above. Hank develops bicycles, gunpowder, and even electricity, enriching the lives of the medieval peasants. [[spoiler:Until the Church declares Hank a heretic and abolishes his inventions.]]
** He's also able to spread these technologies because he happens to meet the king early on and scares him into compliance with a conveniently timed eclipse. This allows him to set up a system of schools and manufacturing complexes which make his introduction of technology almost plausible.
* Leo Frankowski's ''The Cross Time Engineer'' series.
* The ''Literature/PrinceRoger'' series has {{Space Marine}}s crash on a planet chock full of alien barbarians. In order to make it across the planet to the spaceport, they ally with certain tribes and give them Roman Empire-era technology and tactics.
* ''Literature/{{Safehold}}:'' Nimue "Merlin" Alban brings modern technology ''back'' to the colonists, who are in a sort of involuntary SpaceAmish-ism.
** Among the locals, Baron Seamount is so this that at least one character argues ''against'' telling him about the technology stolen from them in part because he's already single-handedly progressing Safehold technology without access to the knowledge, thus furthering exactly the sort of inquisitive scientific mindset the protagonists want to encourage in Safeholdians generally. If everybody bringing technology back to Safehold is just duplicating stuff that was developed on Old Earth that's not going to encourage the desired mindset.
* Martin Padway in ''Literature/LestDarknessFall'' invents distilleries, the telegraph, the printing press, the telescope... He's a time traveller stuck in Italy just before Justinian's disastrous reconquest, so he tries to make the best of it.
* In "The Deadly Mission of Phineas Snodgrass", a {{deconstruction}} of ''Lest Darkness Fall'', a man goes back in time to the Roman Empire and brings them modern knowledge until a thousand years later the Earth is so overpopulated that the future sends someone ''else'' back in time [[TimePolice to kill him]] just as he arrives in Roman times. The last line in the story is "And darkness blessedly fell".
* Subverted in ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'': Arthur ''thought'' he could do this since he comes from a technologically advanced place (compared to the place he ends up at), but then he realizes he didn't know how any of that stuff actually worked. The one invention he ends up bringing to them is... [[SatiatingSandwich sandwiches]].
* Also subverted in PoulAnderson's story ''The Man Who Came Early'': A 20th-century American GI teleported back to Viking-era Iceland tries to fast-forward technological progress, but fails utterly.
* J.F. Bone's novel ''The Meddlers'': A man's starship runs out of fuel (wire made out of precious metals) and he lands on a primitive planet. He must teach the natives how to use technology so he can get enough fuel to get home.
* Creator/VernorVinge:
** Sherkaner Underhill takes technology from WWI-ish to present day singlehandedly in ''Literature/ADeepnessInTheSky''.
** ''Literature/AFireUponTheDeep'' reveals that every spaceship carries 'uplift' files, in case they get caught in the slow zones where higher end technology won't work, and they have to build lower-tech replacements to get back to the higher zones.
* In Michael Swanwick's ''Jack Faust'', German scholar Johannes Faust kickstarts a technological revolution that skyhooks Renaissance Europe into the early 20th century in the space of a century. Justifiable in this case, as the story is written more as a fable than a realist novel (at least, if the parts where Mephistopheles tells Faust how to create new technologies is anything to go on).
* Subverted in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' with Leonard of Quirm, who could create massive technological change had the Patrician not had him placed in a large, airy room for which he has the only key, where his failure to consider the consequences of his inventions can't do any harm. This is a man who created [[ILoveNuclearPower something]] for use in the mining industry "for when they want to move the mountains out of the way".
* While not a ''one'' person Industrial Revolution, the core cast of ''{{Everworld}}'' manages to plant the seeds for technology, starting in ''Enter the Enchanted'', where April shows Merlin how to perform a blood transfusion, but more significantly in ''Discover the Destroyer'', where Jalil and David manage to get a ''lot'' of gold for showing the fairies how to construct a telegraph. It all comes to a head in the last two books where the technology has spread so drastically that there is now electricity and cable cars. It goes even ''further'' when, after battles, April instructs the elves in safety from germs and bacteria, as well as other things. Christopher was of the belief that April's contribution brought the study of medicine in Everworld forward by about five hundred years practically overnight.
** Not to mention trading the formula for gunpowder (out of a high school chemistry book) to some aliens in exchange for a [[AbsurdlySharpBlade little upgrade]] to their pocketknife.
* The protagonist of R. A. Lafferty's ''Rainbird'' is this. So brilliant is he that at the end of his life he invents a time machine so he can give his younger self all his future inventions, allowing young!Rainbird to work on even more advanced technologies. [[spoiler: After trying this once too often, old!Rainbird freaks out young!Rainbird and causes him to give up inventing altogether, thus erasing all Rainbird's inventions from history.]]
* Ayla from the ''EarthsChildren'' book series single-handedly invents and introduces to prehistoric Europe an absurd number of things, including making fire with pyrite and stone, sewing needles, wound suturing, animal domestication, bras and sanitary napkins for women. We are also supposed to believe that she is the first person ever to realize that children are conceived as a result of sex.
* In [[Creator/DaveDuncan David Duncan's]] ''The Seventh Sword'' series an Earth engineer Wally Smith is transported into the body of a swordsman on a primitive world. He finds himself unable to speak of anything advanced -- the language lacks the appropriate words and the warrior's vocabulary is too limited and one-sided. When he does manage to explain something, the locals are wary of anything new. After meeting local "sorcerers", who already possess the secret knowledge of [[spoiler:writing, firearms and spyglasses]] and are ready to learn new things, Wally muses that if he is captured, "He would be thrown into the nearest torture chamber and laid on the rack, producing a secret a day for the sorcerers like a battery hen, a one-man industrial revolution." While undesirable, it does fit his goal of developing this world. Later he finds less painful ways to collaborate with them.
* In ''Literature/UltimaThule'', Tommy Paine deliberately and repeatedly invokes this trope among multiple worlds of the United Planets over a period of years. He's not just doing it for kicks, though.
* In Scott Westerfeld's ''{{Literature/Leviathan}}'' trilogy, CharlesDarwin discovered not only the theory of evolution, but Mendelian genetics and DNA. This advanced the understanding of biology so quickly that by the onset of UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, Britain and her allies (the "Darwinist" powers) have replaced much of the machinery in their societies [[OrganicTechnology with genetically engineered animals instead]], like a BioPunk version of TheFlintstones.
* Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace in ''TheDifferenceEngine'', and most of the [[FollowTheLeader many "Victorians with computers"]] SteamPunk stories that came after it.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* On ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', [=McKay=] does this to/for a civilization he mistakes for a Sim game, bringing them from MedievalStasis to SteamPunk over the course of two years.
** Which doesn't sit well with his "game" opponent John Sheppard, whose country reflects his military mindset, and who constantly complains that [=McKay=] cheated by advancing them too fast.
** Sheppard has also advanced them beyond what they would normally have, just not to the extent of [=McKay=].
* Kahler Jex puts an [[TheWildWest Wild West]] frontier town decades ahead of where it would be in terms of technology, science and medicine in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "A Town Called Mercy."
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''{{GURPS}} Time Travel'' supplement ''Alternate Earths'' has this. In the "Gernsback" parallel, UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla's inventions revolutionized the modern world.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''{{Arcanum}}'' gives us Gilbert Bates, who invented the verse's first steam engine, sparking an industrial revolution that transformed Tarant from a backwater hole into a world superpower. [[spoiler:And by 'invented', I mean 'blatantly copied off an abandoned dwarven prototype that he had been shown'.]]
** [[spoiler:Then again, Gilbert Bates did realize the potential of the device, which the dwarves did not. Given that Gilbert Bates is based on Bill Gates, this was probably intentional. That said -- funnily enough, a talk with a dwarven king implies the dwarves might or not have realized the potential, but Bates certainly didn't stop to think of side-effects.]]
* Mordred on the 'Astro-knights' island in ''{{Poptropica}}''.
* Many, many AlternateHistory stories cast UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla as this. For instance, ''CommandAndConquer'' did it.
** ''Red Alert'' does it with Einstein.
** [[DarkMessiah Kane]]. A more generous interpretation of his actions is that he's preparing humans to be able to use [[GreenRocks Tiberium]] and deal with the [[AlienInvasion Scrin]].
* In ''LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'', Lexis is responsible for technology based on [[{{Magitek}} Energy Cores]].
* Lucca in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'', in fact; she lead to [[spoiler: Porre becoming a military superpower]] based on her technology in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''.
* The Kappa were already technologically advanced in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', but the Goddess Kanako feeds a dead sun god to a Hell Raven to give them access to nuclear power; and start their Industrial Revolution.
* [[MadScientist Infel]] from ''ArTonelico2'' is a one-woman ''{{Magitek}}'' Revolution. Nearly everything about current-age Reyvateils can be traced to her [[spoiler:including the [[TheVirus I.P.D. outbreak]]. She's the BigBad]].
* Jade Curtiss of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' developed [[spoiler:fomicry, a magical method. of instant, nearly exact cloning that can work on objects as well as people.]] This invention changed the very landscape of the world of Auldrant, and Jade was just a kid!
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Kevyn from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' might count. He invented the teraport and pretty much changed the whole interstellar ball game: it's amazing how much new tech used and taken for granted in the comic is based off the teraport.
** PlayedWith in that though he ''is'' smart enough to be a revolutionary scientist of this caliber, [[spoiler:it turns out that the teraport is actually [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-04-06 fairly derivative]]. The Gatekeepers have been suppressing the teraport for ''millennia'', [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2005-07-10 as per a treaty]] with {{Eldritch Abomination}}s. He's just the first genius ''lucky'' and/or ''weird'' enough to have surrounded himself with tough guys at the same time that he attempted to market the teraport, which [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2001-08-19 kept him alive long enough to realize he was being threatened]] and thus to open-source it.]]
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Mechanist of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' fame can produce tanks, jet skis, and a huge freakin' drill, but the concept of a hot-air balloon [[AvatarTheAbridgedSeries eluuuudes him]].
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[GadgeteerGenius Archimedes]] may well have done this - for a certain, probably low value of mechanisation given the reasons listed below - for the Roman empire, but then a soldier [[NiceJobBreakingItHero went and killed him]] because he was too busy [[ReluctantMadScientist working on a math problem]] to respond to the [[WatchingTroyBurn Roman army sacking the city]]. It could have been something to do with all of the giant death machines Archimedes had built for the Carthaginians, such as a crane for crushing Roman ships. The Greeks at the time had invented a rudimentary mechanical calculator. It probably wouldn't have made a great deal of difference due to the economics of the situation, but one cannot help but wondering WhatCouldHaveBeen...
** Some say the soldier in question was asking him [[DeathByIrony where he could find Archimedes because his boss wanted him alive.]]
** In real life, an industrial revolution - with steam engines and all their associated paraphernalia - could never be started by a single man. It's not for want of brilliance, but rather because of simple economics. The first steam engines were, frankly, pathetic and were only commissioned because it was cheaper to use them (to pump the water out of coal mines, feeding them with the low-quality coal that wasn't suitable for transportation and sale) than to pay for draft horses. So it was with all pre-efficient-steam-engine-mechanisation; if labour costs rose past a certain level, people invested in labour-saving tools. If labour costs fell below that level, as their tools wore out they simply hired more people and/or draft animals. There had been many cycles of mechanisation and de-mechanisation before the nineteenth century, but the efficient steam engine was a real game-breaker that had very specific origins - decent-quality coal being mined below the water table in large amounts for sale to towns and cities at the heart of a good-sized and well-developed (i.e. linked up by loads of navigable rivers and canals) regional market wherein it was relatively easy to get loans (from banks) and labour costs were rising.
*** Even if such a person was to, say, forcefully enact an industrial revolution it would not get far due to a lack of widespread literacy, educated technicians (who will maintain those steam engines?), an efficient and reasonably wealthy banking system and a myriad of other factors. This is assuming that the one-person-industrial-revolution knows how all of this stuff is supposed to work - the machinery, the institutions, and the economic system - in the first place, anyhow.
* ThomasEdison came close in real life. His inventions (or inventions from his lab, anyway) gave birth to electric lighting, the recording industry, the cinema industry, and lots of incremental improvements in telegraphy, power generation, and other fields. He's often a villain in fiction nowadays because of his feud with Tesla, but how can you hate a real-life inventor who actually had a pipe organ in his laboratory?
** He also inadvertently gave birth to major film studios based in Hollywood by monopolizing film-making technology, forcing independent film-makers to run as far away they could. Namely, to California.
** Edison could be an indirect example. Though many inventions attributed to him may actually have been from the various inventors he employed, it was his business methods that enabled those inventions to crystallize in the first place. Quite a few also spread because of his efforts to promote them -- his celebrity status earned the public's trust for new technologies with his name stamped on them.
* Well, UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla ''is'' widely credited as the inventor of most of the electrical systems in use today. The guy pioneered AC and perfected its use in the USA, then went on to develop things like radio, remote control, fluorescent lightbulbs and the wireless transmission of electrical power (which we're only ''now'' implementing into consumer products). Also, VTOL aircraft and a DeathRay... maybe.
* One example that appears in real life is Samuel Slater, known as the "Father of the American Revolution." In the late 1700s, America was still very much pre-industrial, with very little manufacturing. At this time, England still maintained a strong monopoly on the textile industry, because of its mechanization of that industry. Slater was able to sneak plans for these machines out of England by memorizing the details of the plans. He came to the United States, and helped build these machines, and revolutionized the textile industry in the United states, kicking off the American industrial revolution, as his moniker indicates.
** It's worth noting that Slater had the benefit of luxurious loans from British banks keen on investing funds overseas, as well as horrifically high US import-taxes (tariffs) of 50% on all non-edible goods, and that tax was on top of shipping costs. This makes the USA's 19th-20th Century (and even present-day!) [[GunboatDiplomacy insistence]] that underdeveloped countries, like she herself had been, drop their tariff-barriers to 5% or less ever-so-slightly hypocritical. Perhaps the best example would be the joint-imposition of 2% tariffs upon Meiji Japan until 1902, when Britain campaigned for them to be raised again as a condition of their newly-forged Anglo-Japanese Alliance... though the most troublesome times would have to be the 'Banana Wars' she waged in Latin America in the 1920s [[BananaRepublic to protect her commercial interests at the expense of the local peoples]]. While the USA was glad to have benefited from this trope, she enforced the aversion of this trope elsewhere for the better part of several decades.
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