April's featured article
The National Inventors Hall of Fame Inducts 16 New Members
At a ceremony held March 31 at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., the 2010 class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame was formally inducted.
David Kappos, director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, said, "The 2010 inductees have collectively amassed 387 patents. Their innovations have saved millions of lives, improved the quality of life for countless others and transformed the way just about everyone on the planet communicates, navigates and entertains themselves."
The inductees include the following living inventors:
- Ralph Baer, inventor of television video games which has now spawned a $15 billion a year industry;
- Yvonne Brill, inventor of the hydrazine resistojet propulsion systems used in most geosynchronous communication satellites;
- Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry, who together, invented pressure sensitive adhesives that when applied to the edge of a piece of paper gave birth to 3M®'s popular Post-It® Notes product;
- Donald Stookey for glass ceramics used in cookware products such as Corning Ware®;
- Roger Easton, inventor of the TIMATION system that forms the basis of today's network of Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites which provide precise location data for military and civilian users.
In addition to the six living inventors, 10 others were recognized posthumously. Those include:
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan, who developed Aqualung diving equipment, more commonly known as SCUBA, that made exploring the world below the seas safer and more efficient;
- M. Judah Folkman: Angiogenesis inhibition which is used in the treatment of tumors and benefiting over
1.2 million cancer patients worldwide;
- Tracy Hall, Francis Bundy, Herbert Strong, Robert Wentorf, Jr. who invented the process to synthesize diamonds now used to create 90 percent of the world's industrial grade diamonds
- Field Winslow, W. Lincoln Hawkins, Vincent Lanza, inventors of polymer cable sheathing used in making copper and fiber optic cables sun and weather resistant.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located on the campus of the Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA, opened a special exhibit about the new inductees on March 31. The museum is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
You can learn more about the 2010 class by visiting wwww.invent.org/2010induction.