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Compiling a list of the most prolific inventors is a lot like chasing windmills. In this, the information age with data base searching capabilities that never existed before you would think the answer would just pop up on your screen with a simple click. Wrong. That being said we offer you this list for information purposes only. May be some day we can declare it the definitive list, but not today. Much research remains to be completed.
Thomas Alva Edison
(1847 -1931)
1,093 Most famous for his invention of the electric incandescent light bulb.
Melvin De Groote
(1896 - 1963)
925 Most of his inventions were chemical demulsifiers used to treat crude oil.
Elihu Thomson
(1853 - 1937)
696 His experiments eventually led to the adoption of alternating current technology.
Jerome Lemelson
(1923 -1997)
597 Lemelson received an average of one patent a month for more than 40 years..
Edwin Land
(1909 -1991)
535 He invented instant photography and founded Polaroid Corp.
John Hays Hammond, Jr.
(1888 - 1965)
427 His most important invention was remote control via radio waves.
George Westinghouse
(1846 -1914)
361 His inventions provided advancements in both transportation and electrical systems.
Philo T. Farnsworth
(1906 -1971)
150 Most of his patents were for radio and television equipment.
Robert Adler
(b1913 )
150 Most famous for his invention of the wireless TV remote control.
Nikola Tesla
(1856 -1943)
111 Recognized as one of the outstanding pioneers in the electric power field.
The prolific inventors list below was compiled by Kevin Maney, Technology writer for USA TODAY with assistance from ipIQ of Chicago and 1790 Analytics of New Jersey. The articles are listed below in the ON THE WEB section. This list appears on many sites and blogs and is the most frequent search engine result when searching for "Prolific Inventors". Only living inventors are included.
Shunpei Yamazaki 1,188+ Tokyo, Japan
Donald Weder 1,322+ Highland, IL
Kia Silverbrook 801+ Sydney, Australia
George Spector 723+ New York, NY
Gurtej Sandhu 576+ Boise, ID
Warren Farnworth 547+ Boise, ID
. Salman Akram. 527+ Boise, ID
Mark Gardner 512+ Cedar Creek, TX
Heinze Focke 508+ Verden, Germany
Joseph Straeter 477+ Highland, IL
The inventors listed below are still being researched.
Yoshiro Nakamatsu 3000+  
Francis H. Richards
(1850 - ?)
894 Most famous for his invention of the  "Richards Envelope Machine" .
Marvin Camaras 500+  
Reginald Aubrey Fessenden (1866 - 1932) 500+  
Dean Kamen
(b1951 - )
440+ Most famous for his invention of the Segway Human Transporter.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel
355 Most famous for his invention of dynamite and founding the Nobel Prise Foundation.
Ernest Alexanderson
(1878 - 1975)
345 His numerous discoveries formed the basis for the broadcasting industry.
Lee de Forest
L. C. Crowell 293  
 Edward Weston 280  
Luther Simjian
Manfred von Ardenne
(1907 - 1997)
200 Most famous for his work on radar, the cathode ray tube and television.
Charles Scribner 174  
Charles Kettering 160  
William Stanley 130  
Esther Takeuchi 126+  


Creation of the U.S. Patent System  
from The Great Idea Finder
Most Popular Inventors  
from The Great Idea Finder
Patent Scorecard   from The Great Idea Finder
Patent Search Resources   from The Great Idea Finder

Popular Patents
by Travis Brown / Paperback - 224 pages / Scarecrow Press (September 1, 2000)
Eighty stories of America's first inventions. Each includes a sketch of the invention, a profile of the inventor and a glimpse of how the invention has found its way into American culture.


USA TODAY The search for the most prolific inventors is a patent struggle 12/6/2005
What living person holds the most U.S. patents? In this era of information and lightning searches when patents are both more valuable than ever and a source of raging controversy you'd think such a simple question would be easy to answer.
USA TODAY You really can find identities of top patent holders 12/13/2005
Ah, patents. The topic has pretty much taken charge of my life since last week's column revealing the lack of any way to identify the top 10 living U.S. patent holders. Article
by Kevin Maney .
This report identifies prolific inventors who received a large number of utility patent grants
during the 1988 to 1997 period. Because no unique identifier such as an identification number is
available for identifying individual inventors, prolific inventors have been identified by searching
inventor names listed on the front page of issued patents.Prepared by the USPTO.PDF File Format
TOP TEN: Most prolific Inventors
Each man on this list is truly worthy of the title "inventor" because their work either directly resulted in a number of important technological leaps or their ideas allowed thousands of other scientists to bring us into modern times with a bang. In short, these men are the scientific giants on whose shoulders we stand.
Prolific Female Inventors of the Industrial Era
The most prolific women inventors of the early industrial era in the U.S. are sometimes known by the complimentary, if patronizing, title of "Lady Edisons." . From the Lemelson - MIT Program
Man Made Marvels
Top Five Inventors, Time article December 4, 2000 by Daniel Levy.
Top Ten: Modern Inventions
In recent times, inventors have concentrated on conceiving countless devices to make our everyday lives easier.
What are the greatest ancient inventions?
If we believe that we're civilised today, it's only because our early ancestors were constantly struggling to improve things for themselves and future generations.
Inventions That Changed the World,
Jeremy Clarkson demonstrates how five key technological advances, the gun, the computer, the jet engine, the telephone and the television, triggered scores of subsequent developments.
The 10 Greatest Inventions
I'm starting at the year zero. Otherwise, we'd never get out of prehistory. I mean, where would we be without the house? The plow? Clothing? Shoes? Wheeled vehicles? Fire igniters? Ships? The knife? The hammer? Money? Article by Tamim Ansary for MSN Encarta.

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