Greatest in American innovation

From the soil to the skies, learn how National Inventor Hall of Fame inductees have impacted our lives and our world.

These National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) inductee stories will inspire you through their journeys as inventors and entrepreneurs. Learn about what led them to their breakthroughs, the challenges they faced to carry their inventive ideas to fruition, and how their inventions impacted society. These stories also emphasize the importance of protecting the intellectual property (IP) that innovators create, and the critical role IP plays in our economy and society.

Surgeon and researcher Dr. Charles Drew sitting in front of a microscope while wearing a white lab coat.
Dr. Charles Drew
Dr. Charles Drew was a renowned surgeon, researcher, and blood preservation pioneer Full Story >
A portrait of Maria Telkes superimposed on a background of her patent drawings.
Dr. Maria Telkes
The Sun Queen’s lifelong quest to harness solar energy Full Story >
Garrett Morgan with a medal pinned to his suit jacket alongside drawings from his smoke hood and traffic signal patent
Garrett Morgan
One inventor's quest to build a safer and stronger community Full Story >
Portrait of Dr. Robert Bryant smiling and in a white button up shirt with a blue lanyard
Dr. Robert Bryant
Chemist finds success through adversity by relying on values Full Story >
Black and white photos of Henry Baker and George Washington Murray, two African American men wearing suits and ties, with a handwritten list of inventors and their patents in the background
Henry Baker and George Washington Murray
Documenting the history of Black innovation one name at a time Full Story >
In a white lab coat, Dr. Patricia Bath smiles into the camera.
Patricia Bath
How Patricia Bath, physician and inventor, made it from Harlem to the Hall of Fame Full Story >
A middle-aged woman in a silk dress sitting in a chair while examining a typewriter
Beulah Louise Henry
How Beulah Louise Henry became one of the most prolific and beloved inventors of the 20th century. Full Story >
Lanny Smoot smiles while twisting a knob on a large machine as a Walt Disney Company employee
Lanny Smoot
With over 100 patents, Lanny Smoot turns the imaginary into reality. Full Story >
In typical Victorian dress, Samuel Allen poses for a formal portrait photograph.
Samuel Leeds Allen
How Samuel Leeds Allen invented and marketed an American classic, the Flexible Flyer sled. Full Story >
garrett brown sitting in middle of evolution of six chairs in white studio
Garrett Brown
How Garrett Brown’s “habit of invention” revolutionized cinematography and could launch another revolution for the mobility impaired. Full Story >
Headshot of Marian Croak
Marian Croak
Marian Croak is a pioneer in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the inventor of text-to-donate technology. Full Story >
Portrait of Hinda Miller, Polly Smith, and Lisa Lindahl.
Hinda Miller, Polly Smith, and Lisa Lindahl
Designed to decrease discomfort for female runners, the sports bra has become an athletic necessity as well as a modern fashion staple. Full Story >
A man in a white coat works with equipment in a laboratory.
Percy Julian
A scientist makes inroads in chemistry and civil rights. Full Story >
Floyd Smith parachute exhibit and the accompanying virtual skydive video
Floyd Smith
How inventor and entrepreneur Floyd Smith made the skies safer for aviators. Full Story >
 Jackie Quinn examines a piece of equipment on the ground with four team members working in the background
Jackie Quinn
NASA environmental engineer Jackie Quinn and her team created an emulsion system that removes contaminants from our groundwater. Full Story >
A left hand rests on a tabulation machine, and a right hand picks up a card.
Herman Hollerith
How a statistician's competitive spirit laid the groundwork for the modern census. Full Story >
Jim West in a laboratory with three of his graduate students.
Jim West
Highly regarded as an acoustic scientist, inventor Jim West is also a devoted mentor and advocate of diversity in STEM. Full Story >
Bob Metcalfe holding an Ethernet cable
Bob Metcalfe
The one wire that connected us all. Full Story >
Rory Cooper  in leaned back in a racing chair on a red track, leaned down to become aerodynamic, pushing himself to win
Rory Cooper
An accident changed Rory Cooper’s life and set him on a path to improving the well-being of people with mobility impairments. Full Story >
Image: 1950s KitchenAid illustrated advertisement of a housewife and husband excitedly admiring their new dishwasher. I the top right, dishes magically float from a hospital and industrial dishwasher into their household dishwasher.
Josephine Cochrane
How Josephine Cochrane defied social norms and invented the modern dishwasher. Full Story >
Image: Helmeted U.S. soldiers look out over the prow of a Higgens boat as it navigates crashing waves towards the beaches of Normandy on D-Day.
Andrew Higgins
How a New Orleans inventor helped defeat the Nazis. Full Story >
Image: Chemist Frances Arnold holds a beaker with yellow liquid up to the light.
Frances Arnold
Insights from the first American woman to win the Nobel prize in chemistry. Full Story >
Image: Johnson plays around with a Super Soaker® while wearing a shirt patterned with images of his famous creation.
Lonnie Johnson
How eight years of hard work led to the 'overnight success' of the Super Soaker®. Full Story >
Image: Crops being irrigated in the California Imperial Valley, circa 1919.
Harriet Strong
How one woman’s fortitude shaped agriculture and brought water to the American West. Full Story >