Learn the stories of some of the greatest inventors

Browse Journeys of Innovation articles featuring NIHF inductees

The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) inductees are visionaries whose patented inventions have changed the world. Find inspiration from their journeys as inventors and entrepreneurs—what led them to their breakthroughs, the challenges they faced to take their ideas to fruition, and how their inventions have impacted society. Also learn about young inventors who were inspired by NIHF inductees after learning about them at Camp Invention and by meeting and interacting with them through the Collegiate Inventors Competition (CIC). These stories emphasize the importance of creating and protecting intellectual property, and the critical role it plays in innovation and ingenuity.

Browse all stories below, or search for a name or story title.

Daniela Blanco, a brown-haired young Latino woman, wears a white lab coat, safety glasses, and plastic gloves as she stands amid chemistry equipment in a well stocked lab. She pauses her experiment momentarily to smile at the camera.
Daniela Blanco
A chemical engineer and entrepreneur uses artificial intelligence to help others develop greener chemicals Full Story >
Two young teenagers wearing Camp Invention t-shirts in a school hallway
Mika’il and Ayaan Naqvi
How two brothers navigated their way from an idea to a business. 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 >
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 >
The Kinnos team poses in scrubs around the USAID logo.
Kinnos
How the co-founders of Kinnos learned from healthcare workers and developed a life-saving additive for disinfectants. Full Story >
Arlyne Simon stands in front of two body scan images.
Arlyne Simon
Words of wisdom from a woman in STEM on how to encourage young innovators. 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 Cochran
How Josephine Cochran defied social norms and invented the modern dishwasher. Full Story >
Young founders of Agrospheres sitting casually on a couch
Payam Pourtaheri and Ameer Shakleel
For a young startup, the seeds of risk and reward were planted long ago. 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 >
Image: Student studying at night using solar lights
Steve Katsaros
For the 1.2 billion people without electricity, one bright idea could change everything. Full Story >