Click for the TGIF home page.
Your host Phil Ament Click to visit Great Idea Award Winners
Anderson, Robert ~ Electric Carriage ~ 1832
The automobile wasnít just invented. It is not the product of any single man or group. It is the culmination of a worldwide series of experiments and developments. Todayís automobile represents over 100,000 patents. One of those inventive people was Robert Anderson. In 1832, Robert Anderson of Scotland drove the first electric carriage  Source:.The Story Behind the Horseless Carriage
Arkwright, Robert ~ Mechanized Textile Loom ~ 1775
Richard Arkwright made improvements in the textile loom and in 1775 took out a patent for a new Carding Engine. Arkwright's machine included a cylinder carding engine, incorporating a crank and comb mechanism. The comb moved up and down, removing the carded fibers from the doffing cylinder in a "continuous filmy fleece". Source: Spartacus Education
Bose, Amar  ~ Speakers, Bose ~ 1968
In the 1950s, Dr. Amar G. Bose observed that loudspeakers didnít deliver natural sound. Extensive research into the science of sound led to the formation of Bose Corporation. Bose built its reputation with an uncompromising commitment to lifelike sound. Ground-breaking audio achievements have resulted in historic milestones which form the foundation for our future endeavors. Source: Radio Hall of Fame
Clemens, Samuel L.  (Mark Twain) ~ Self-pasting Scrapbook ~ 1873
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) had three patents on inventions of his own. His most famous patented (US140245) invention was his self-pasting scrapbook, a book with adhesive already on the pages so that items could be pasted in by wetting the page to activate the adhesive. This scrapbook sold 25,000 copies, which he said "was well enough for a book that did not contain a single word that critics could praise or condemn.
Source: The Patent Office Pony  also PBS
Colt, Samuel ~ Revolver Colt ~ 1836
In 1842, after six years and a production run of 5,000 pistols and rifles, the company declared bankruptcy, and liquidated its assets. U.S. Patent No. X009430 reissued February 25, 1836 to S. Colt for Revolving Gun- Source: Colt: Legend & Legacy
Crary, John Williamson Sr. ~ Brick making Machine ~ 1858
US Patents Nos. 21,186 and 67,728. Before Crary's invention bricks were formed by hand and of inconsistent dimensions/quality.
The Scientific American magazine, January 1861, featuring Crary's Brick making Machine. Source: U.S. Patent Office
Fleck, Abigail ~ Makin' BaconĆ ~ 1983
One Saturday morning in 1993, when she was eight years old, Abigail M. Fleck and her father, Jonathan, were cooking bacon in their St. Paul, Minnesota home. Inspired by an offhand comment from her father,. Abbey Fleck invented a new, quicker and healthier way to cook bacon, then founded a company to sell her product., The Makin' BaconĆ  Source: Inventor of the Week
Goodyear, Charles ~ Vulcanized Rubber ~ 1843
Rubber, so named because it could erase pencil writing, had long been considered a waterproofing agent, but in its natural state, it melted in hot weather and froze solid in the cold. After ten years of tireless work and abject poverty, Charles Goodyear perfects his process for "vulcanizing" rubber, or combining it with sulfur to create a soft, pliable substance unaffected by weather. Source: American Experience
Hargreaves, James ~ Spinning Jenny ~ 1767
James Hargreaves (1720-1777) improved on a machine that had been designed and built years before by an obscure artisan called Thomas Highs, who was the true genius of the Industrial Revolution. Hargreaves built his first machine alone, in 1767, that first Hargreaves Jenny had eight spindles - an improvement on Highs's six - and even larger versions followed. Source:  Cotton Times - Understanding The Industrial Revolution
Highs, Thomas ~ Spinning Jenny ~ 1764
Thomas Highs (1718-1803) was a reed-maker and a member of the Swedenborg religious sect. He had been the brain behind both the spinning jenny and another spinning machine called the water frame. However, he had no entrepreneurial flair and no money. Source: BBC Series Making History
Ives, Frederic Eugene ~ Halftone Printing Process ~ 1885
By 1874, Frederic Eugene Ives only 18 years old, was in charge of the Cornell University photographic laboratory. While there, he developed an early halftone process using a gelatin relief. He continued to improve this process, and in 1881 he worked on the first commercial production of halftone printing plates using his method; in 1885 he introduced an improved halftone screen. Source: Encyclopedia Britannica
Mergenthaler, Ottmar ~ Linotype ~ 1886
Ottmar Mergenthaler's (1854 -1899) invention of the linotype composing machine in 1886 is regarded as the greatest advance in printing since the development of moveable type 400 years earlier. Source:
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Morgan, Garrett ~ Traffic Light ~ 1923
Garrett Augustus Morgan (1877-1963), is best known for his invention of the automatic traffic signal. He also is the inventor of the gas mask, used by firemen in the early 1900s and by soldiers in World War I. Source: US Department of Transportation
Newton, Isaac ~ Reflecting Telescope ~ 1688
A stimulating journey into the revelations of Sir Isaac Newton. Learn about his discovery of Gravity and Optical Theories. Learn why cars roll uphill, why dogs chase cars and Newton's secret library. While sitting in the shadow of an apple tree Newton made a great discovery. By watching an apple fall he was able to make the call. He identified the reason as gravity. A ThinkQuest-NYC project. Source: Newton's Castle
Ohm, Georg ~ Ohm's Law ~ 1827
In 1827, using equipment of his own creation, George Simon Ohm  (1787-1854) determined that the current that flows through a wire is proportional to its cross sectional area and inversely proportional to its length or Ohm's law. These fundamental relationships are of such great importance, that they represent the true beginning of electrical circuit analysis. Source: Corrosion Doctors
Otto, Nicholaus August ~ Internal Cmbustion Engine ~ 1876
A German traveling salesman named Nicholaus Otto constructed the first practical internal combustion engine; it used a four stroke cycle of a piston to draw a fuel-air mixture into a cylinder, compress it, mechanically capture energy after ignition, and expel the exhaust before beginning the cycle anew. Issued (US) patent 194,047 on August 14, 1877. Source:
Greatest Engineering Achievements
Parker, Philip M. ~ W-O-D Project  ~ 1999
The Websters-Online-Dictionary Project is the world's largest dictionary of modern language usage (
the equivalent of 500 encyclopedias). The dictionary will soon consist of over 400 modern languages, and 10 ancestral languages, with some 30 million individual entries across languages  The dictionary is free to consult over the Internet. Source: About the W-O-D Project
Schroeder, Becky ~ Glo-sheet ~ 1972
Rebecca Schroeder from Toledo, Ohio, USA was ten when she became an inventor. Becky got a patent for her invention in 1974; she was on television and won awards for it. She improved upon the idea over the next few years eventually calling it the Glo-Sheet. The Glo-Sheet has been used in many places. Doctors use them so they can check patient's notes in the dark without waking them up and the US Navy and NASA have used them. Source: To Young To Vote
Stanley, William ~ Transformer ~ 1886
On March 20, 1886, William Stanley demonstrated a system of high voltage transmission via a "parallel connected transformer." The device, combined with high-voltage transmission lines, made it possible to spread electric service over a wide area and allowed alternating current to be available at different voltages. Patent 349,611. Source: Inventor of the Week
Tull, Jethro ~ Seed Drill ~ 1701
In 1701, two years after beginning farming, Jethro Tull invented a horse-drawn seed drill. In those days, there were no tractors, and they used animals like horses or oxen to pull the plow. This new invention would drill a hole and plant a seed automatically. The grains could be planted evenly in straight rows without waste. Source: Education Helper
Watts, William ~ Shot Tower ~ 1782
In 1782 an English plumber named William Watts saw possibility in that. He realized that if he dropped molten lead far enough through the air, it, too, would form into spheres. The surface tension of lead is a lot higher than that of water, so it forms very perfect spheres indeed. He saw that he had a new way to make buckshot. Source: Engines of Our Ingenuity
Disclaimer   Author    inventors   inventions   timeline  category  games    a-navbarend.gif (873 bytes)
home  | idea history  |  idea showcase  |  special features  | resource center  | guest services  history articles  |  search   a-navbarend.gif (873 bytes)
Copyright © 1997 - 2007  The Great Idea Finder  All rights reserved.