Posts Tagged: "inventors hall of fame"

Evolution of Tech: Roger Bacon’s high-performance carbon fibers find widespread use for thermal, mechanical properties

October 25th, will mark the 56th anniversary of the issue of the seminal patent for high-performance carbon fibers, which were invented by Roger Bacon, a 2016 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. This American physicist’s chance discovery of ultra-thin, incredibly strong fibers composed primarily of carbon led to great business success for Bacon’s employer, Union Carbide, as well as multiple recognitions of Bacon’s own work which kickstarted development into carbon materials which continue even today… The patent for which Bacon is inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame is U.S. Patent No. 2957756, entitled Filamentary Graphite and Method for Producing the Same. Issued October 25th, 1960, it claimed a method for producing filamentary graphite by confining a graphite rod surmounting a carbon block within a closed pressure vessel which has a means for introducing inert gases, striking a direct current arc between the rod and the block while maintaining a pressure level within the vessel between 1,150 pounds per square inch (psi) and 1,400 psi to effect vaporization of the rod onto the block to form a boule, cooling the boule, fracturing the boule and removing the graphite filaments contained within the boule.

Evolution of Technology: Roger Angel’s honeycomb mirrors enable extremely large telescopes

The use of larger mirrors enabled the creation of more powerful telescopes over time. However, by the 1970s the size of the mirror itself was becoming a limiting factor on building better telescopes as larger mirrors were prone to deforming. To address this, scientists began looking at creating large mirrors for astronomical telescopes by fusing together many smaller mirrors in a honeycomb structure. This year, the National Inventors Hall of Fame inducted a new member for his contributions to the production of large mirrors for astronomical telescopes: British-born astronomer J. Roger P. Angel. This Friday, August 19th marks the 30th anniversary of the issue date of the patent for which Angel was inducted.

EpiPen gives doses of life-saving epinephrine for nearly 50 years

The EpiPen continues to be a highly sought consumer medical device. Last September, Bloomberg reported that EpiPen sales had eclipsed $1 billion per year, proving to be a true cash cow for current owner Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL). This year, the National Inventors Hall of Fame inducted one of the masterminds behind the first line of defense most people have against serious complications from allergies: the EpiPen. This June 28th marks the 49th anniversary of the date of issue of the patent for which Sheldon Kaplan has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The Evolution of Food Safety: HOF Inventors John Silliker and Welton Taylor tamed Salmonella

The 2016 inductee class for the National Inventors Hall of Fame includes two microbiologists whose contributions to the field of food safety have helped to keep many foodborne pathogens, especially Salmonella, in check: John H. Silliker and Welton I. Taylor. These two scientists worked together to develop more effective monitoring techniques for food products in response to the growing concerns in the mid-20th century regarding Salmonella outbreaks, especially those which hit children the hardest. With the anniversaries for important patents issued to both of these food safety engineers having passed in early March, we thought we’d visit their scientific contributions from in our Evolution of Technology series here on IPWatchdog.

The Evolution of the Internet: The spanning tree protocol, a major achievement in Internet routing

While the history of Internet development involves many names and was not reliant on a single discovery, it is also true that certain innovations have done more to enable better networks for all. It is with that idea in mind that we’d like to profile the achievements made by Radia Perlman, the inventor of spanning tree protocol (STP) and a 2016 inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Thanks to spanning tree protocol, switched network environments are capable of connecting bridges and switches with multiple paths for data transmission redundancies without those redundancies causing a network loop, which can seriously degrade network service. Without STP, a single frame looping on an Ethernet network would create out of control data traffic that would prevent communications of all other data. February 4th marks the 24th anniversary of the issue of the U.S. patent protecting spanning tree protocol.

Per-Ingvar Brånemark’s discovery of osseointegration revolutionizes modern dental implants

This January 29th marks the 25th anniversary of the issue of a seminal patent in the field of dental implants, one that helped its inventor find a place in this year’s class of inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Per-Ingvar Branemark did not live to see his induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame; he passed away in December 2014 at the age of 85. He did, however, live to see his invention implantation system, which was originally so widely derided, become a standard medical procedure.

Harriet Strong, Queen of Walnuts and Hall of Fame Inventor of Water Storage, Flood Control Systems

The story of its inventor, Harriet W.R. Strong, is a reminder of the incredible resilience that most innovators show in the face of adversity, whether those challenges are life or work-related. On December 6th, 1887, Strong was issued U.S. Patent No. 374,378, titled Dam and Reservoir Construction, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It claimed an improvement in collecting and retaining water consisting of a series of reversed arched dams built one above the other in an inclined channel or valley so that the water in each lower dam acts as a brace or support for the dam above; the series of dams was connected by gates. This irrigation innovation allowed for lower-strength dams to be used higher up in the dam series and worked to save water in steep inclines or valleys instead of letting it drain away.

Evolution of Diapers: How the waterproof diaper cover made parenting much simpler

Marion Donovan invented a few products that made some everyday life tasks easier, the most important of which is the waterproof diaper cover. Donovan’s dedication to addressing problems posed by parenthood helped to sanitize one of the dirtiest jobs of parenting while helping to make her quite wealthy, a veritable American Dream of inventing. Donovan’s invention presaged the eventual development of disposable diapers, which now represent nine out of every ten diapers used in the developed world. Donovan will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on May 12, 2015.

Evolution of Technology: Bluetooth, the once and future king

Although not the only innovator to have a hand in the development of the wireless communications standard, Jaap Haartsen was responsible for some important Bluetooth advances and is the sole inventor listed on the patent protecting basic Bluetooth communications. He will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on May 12, 2015.

National Inventors Hall of Fame announces 2015 inductees

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), announced the 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees, all of whom have changed the world through human, social and/or economic progress. Among this year’s class of Inductees is Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura, responsible for the blue light-emitting diode (LED) which enabled the white LED, and the…

The Evolution of Video Game Consoles: A Tribute to Ralph Baer

Over the past week the world lost a major name in video game technology, the man who originally developed the entire concept of playing games through a television screen display. Ralph Baer, a 2010 inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, passed away on Saturday, December 6th at the age of 92. From his mind sprang a wide array…

The Evolution of Modern Ballpoint Pen: A Patent History

Bíró was not the first inventor to conceive the use of a rolling ball in socket mechanism for an ink writing utensil. By the latter part of the 19th century, a few designs for this type of utensil would be developed and even patent-protected by their inventors. Although none of these became truly commercially successful… It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that the invention of the ballpoint pen likely saved the lives of Bíró and his family… When anti-Jewish laws went into effect in Hungary in 1938, Bíró fled to Paris and eventually wound up in Argentina with his brother and other members of his family.

IBM Inventors Join Hall of Fame for Pioneering Programmable Computing

As the Supreme Court contemplates the patent eligibility of computer systems, the National Inventors Hall of Fame will induct three IBM (NYSE: IBM) engineers for their invention of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), which was developed more than 70 years ago to rapidly and accurately perform complex mathematical calculations. The ASCC was a precursor to today’s cognitive computing systems like IBM Watson, which rapidly analyze data and learn and interact naturally with people. The ASCC ushered in the programmable computing era, which would ultimately provide the ability to put a man on the moon and to make the Internet a reality.

The Evolution of the Clean Room: A Patent History

Willis Whitfield is the inventor of the system we today know as the clean room. In 1962, Whitfield developed a clean room technology that pumped air in through HEPA filters installed in the ceiling and drew air out through the floor at the bottom of the room. By using the force of gravity and a steady stream of air to propel airborne particulate to the ground, Whitfield’s system was able to keep the levels of dust and other particles to incredibly low levels within an enclosed room. Whitfield’s invention worked so well, in fact, that many found it difficult to believe his results. However, Whitfield’s clean room technology was about 1,000 times more effective at removing particulate from the air within closed spaces.

The Evolution of the Modern Athletic Shoe: A Patent History

Among this year’s inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame is William Bowerman, the creator of the modern athletic shoe. Bowerman’s portfolio of patents include some of the foundational innovations that made Nike, the company that he helped to establish, such a force in the sporting equipment industry… We take a long view at the development of casual sneakers for use in athletic and recreational activities. From the first attempts at creating shoes with better stability while running, through contemporary inventions involving digital analysis utilizing shoe sensors, athletic shoes have greatly increased in technological complexity over the past 100 years.