Why don’t we just celebrate all year long?

Once upon a time, August was designated as National Inventors Month and then it was changed to May.

Promoting a positive image of inventors and the real contributions they give to this world is a big deal and recognition on a national level with specific time frame set aside for it is certainly awesome.

(Of course, for all other recognition worthy moments throughout the year, there’s patentplaques.com)

Just what is National Inventors Month?
Continue reading “A Day Late and a Dollar Short”

If the name maser doesn’t ring a bell, maybe laser will.

The first working laser was reported in 1960 and described as “a solution looking for a problem.”

“Today, lasers are everywhere: from research laboratories at the cutting edge of quantum physics to medical clinics, supermarket checkouts and the telephone network.” (The First Laser, Charles H. Townes from A Century of Nature: Twenty-One Discoveries that Changed Science and the World.)

laser-patent-292922March 22 marked the day in 1960 when Arthur L Schawlow and Charles H. Townes were granted US Patent 292922 for the maser which is now known as the Laser.

But, before thoughts of an Obi-wan Kenobi/Darth Vader duel dance in your head, ponder this: it took more than a few Nobel prize winning physicists to study atoms doing a jig –to pave the path and forge into the future –with the light beams now known as lasers.

Explained, a Laser or, light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation are powerful light beams driven by energy (excited atoms) “that are capable of zooming miles into the sky or cutting through chunks of metal” Continue reading “Molecules, Microwaves, Masers and Lasers”

Hughes' US Patent 14,917 for a Telegraph Machine

Hughes' US Patent 14,917 for a Telegraph Machine

It’s time to wish “Happy Birthday” to another inventor time sometimes seems to have forgotten, although it probably shouldn’t have.

You see, without music professor and serial tinkerer David Edward Hughes, a lot of modern conveniences – tv, radio, telephone, and music recording namely – probably wouldn’t exist. Although he was awarded countless honors in his lifetime, it seems he’s hardly a household name today.

Then again, as a man as well-known for his humility for his genius, maybe that’s how he’d have wanted it.
Continue reading “Humility on the Radio: A Moment in History”

Science & innovation are border-blind. That is, great minds come from all corners of the planet, inspired by infinite experiences.

Every year, The World Intellectual Property Organization celebrates World IP Day on April 26, commemorating the day it was established in 1970. Organizations all over the world will hold events to celebrate innovation and encourage future generations of great thinkers.

Of course, we can all thank the future of innovation on the great work of those who have come before us. So today, on the eve of World IP Day 2013, we’d like to share (in no particular order!) 6 great, inspirational quotes from a few of the greatest contributors to our innovative history: Continue reading “Celebrate World IP Day With These Great Global Innovators”

"Congreves," the first successful friction matches ever successfully sold.

"Congreves," the first successful friction matches ever successfully sold.

This week we commemorate the 186th anniversary of the first-ever sale of friction matches.

As the story goes, a young Englishman named John Walker had become rather sickened by his surgeon apprenticeship and left the field in 1818 for a less gruesome job as a chemist: something he was apparently (and quite fortunately) good at!

By Walker’s time, a number of chemicals were known to create fire quickly, but none had yet figured out how to keep this quick flame alive and transfer it to a slower burning substance like wood or coal. Walker found himself dedicating many hours in his High Street shop in Stockton-on-Tees to the discovery of such a solution. Continue reading “Surgery & Sandpaper: The Match Turns 186”

I’ve had a hard time holding my tongue about this for the past few weeks, but I’ve finally been given the “go ahead” to let the cat out of the bag:

Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have been welcomed into the exclusive Stanford Inventor Hall of Fame alongside sixteen other modern innovators.

The best part? Continue reading “History in the Making: Google Co-founders Inducted into Inventor Hall of Fame”

Ok, that’s a lie.

I’m sorry, but after this morning’s fact-checking debacle, I just couldn’t resist.

To be fair, my morning started out “normal enough” as I perused the web for a good invention history factoid to share with you on our daily Today in Invention History Facebook posting. I got pretty excited when I discovered that – supposedly – the rubber heel for shoes/boots was patented today. After all, they are pretty important part of our daily lives (assuming, of course, that you wear shoes on a daily basis!) Continue reading “Today in History, Nothing Was Invented”