Click for the TGIF home page.
Your host Phil Ament Click to visit Class Act Feature

Fascinating facts about Jerome Lemelson inventor of machine vision technology in 1954.

Jerome H. Lemelson
One of the most prolific American inventors of all time. His inventions, for which he amassed more than 600 patents, include essential parts of dozens of products in common use today, Lemelson filed patents in the fields of medical instrumentation, cancer detection and treatment, diamond coating technologies, and consumer electronics and television. Throughout his life Lemelson pursued his two great passions: developing new ideas and inventions; and promoting invention among the next generation of American innovators.
Inventor: Jerome Hal Lemelson
Jerome Lemelson photo courtesy Lemelson Foundation
Criteria: First to invent. First to patent. First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: July 18, 1923 in Staten Island, New York
Death: October 1, 1997 in Incline Village, Nevada
Nationality: American
Invention: Machine Vision Technology
Robot Vision book cover (see below)
Function: noun /
Definition: Machine vision used computers to analyze digitized images from a video camera. It was a breakthrough invention and the one of which Jerome Lemelson was most proud .
Patent: In 2004, the courts ruled that claims under Lemelson's machine vision patents, all tweleve, were unenforceable

CAPS: Lemelson, Jerome Lemelson, ARY, machine vision, bar code readers, computer vision, robot vision. SIP, history, biography, inventor, invention, story, facts.

The Story:


The Philanthropist   from The Great Idea Finder
Prolific Inventors   from The Great Idea Finder
Business History
   from The Great Idea Finder
History of Computing   from The Great Idea Finder

Inventing for the Environment (Lemelson Center Studies in Invention and Innovation)
by Arthur Molella (Editor), Joyce Bedi (Editor) / Hardcover: 424 pages / The MIT Press (2003)
Text describes the many ways in which invention affects the environment; defined broadly to include all forms of interaction between humans and nature. Topics include the relationship among technological innovation, public health, and the environment.
Industrial Image Processing: Visual Quality Control in Manufacturing
by Christian Demant, Bernd Streicher-Abel,  Waszkewitz / Hardcover: 353 pages /: Springer; (1999)
This practical introduction focuses on how to build integrated solutions to industrial vision problems from individual algorithms. It gives a hands-on guide for setting up automated visual inspection systems using real-world examples and the NeuroCheck software package.
Robot Vision (MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
by Berthold K. P. Horn / Hardcover: 480 pages  / The MIT Press; Mit Press edition (March 13, 1986)
This book presents a coherent approach to the fast moving field of machine vision, using a consistent notation based on a detailed understanding of the image formation process. It covers even the most recent research and will provide a useful and current reference for professionals working in the fields of machine vision, image processing, and pattern recognition.


Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
The Center's mission is to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation, to encourage inventive creativity in young people, and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States.
Lemelson Foundation
The Lemelson Foundation uses its resources to inspire, encourage and recognize inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs, with a growing emphasis on those who harness invention for sustainable development where the needs are greatest.
Jerome H. Lemelson Biography
One of the century's five most prolific inventors, Lemelson received an average of one patent a month for more than 40 years—all on his own, without support from established research institutions or corporate research and development departments.
Lemelson-MIT Awards Program
Bestowed annually, the Lemelson-MIT Awards were first presented in 1995. They are part of a comprehensive program administered by the Lemelson-MIT Program and established by The Lemelson Foundation to raise the stature of inventors and to inspire invention among young people.
Jerome Lemelson's Patents
Jerome Lemelson was one of America's most prolific inventors, with 601 patents to his name and others still pending. His versatile mind produced inventions in communications and medical technologies, robotics and machine vision, and a variety of industrial processes.
Invention Dimension - Inventor of the Week
Celebrates inventor/innovator role models through outreach activities and annual awards to inspire a new generation of American scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
Powers of Invention
To independent inventors, Jerome Lemelson was a champion; to companies, a litigious tormentor. Article from U.S. News & World Report - Science & Technology 2/11/02
Jerome H. Lemelson
America's Most Prolific Contemporary Inventor. A tribute, by Inventor Ronald J. Riley.
Lone Wolf of the Sierras (PDF file format)
One of the most prolific inventors in U.S. history--Jerome H. Lemelson--captured the most reader votes in the Eighth annual Design News "Engineer of the Year' competition. Article from Design News
The Lemelson Situation
Among the issues facing the machine vision industry today are those created by what has been referred to as ''the Lemelson situation.''  Article by Greg Smith, Competition Law Group LLC for
The Automated Imaging Association (AIA).

"America can regain its productive edge by creating new jobs and businesses based on American inventions. If we promote invention and innovation to America's youth, provide them with incentives to invent, and guarantee a strong patent system to protect their work, we can ensure America's economic superpower status." - Jerome H. Lemelson


  • In 1979, Lemelson testified before a Senate committee on the innovation crisis in the United States, describing what he perceived as an anti-patent philosophy. In that testimony, he stated that the obstacles put in the way of independent inventors--from the high legal costs entailed in preparing and filing patent applications to the failure of the courts to perceive or prosecute patent violations--were responsible in large part for the decline in U.S. technological innovation.
  • Lemelson had filed his original patent application for machine vision, back in the 1954. By 1989 the patents had only recently been approved.
  • The Lemelson-MIT Prize, endowed in 1994 by Jerome Lemelson is awarded to inventors from the United States for outstanding achievement. The winner receives $500,000, making it the largest invention prize.
  • Over a period of more than 40 years, Lemelson received, on average, one patent every month.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised September 26, 2006.

 Tim Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing before.
Learn more


The invention of the Internet, should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
Learn more

  The Aero Sport All-Terrain Bed with Dual Power Pump is the perfect addition to any camping trip or weekend getaway.
Learn more...  
This book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the technologically advanced reader alike.
Learn more
Click to visit FIRST
Click to visit Technology Catagories
Help us improve!
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.