Entrepreneurs & Inventors

Gas Station to Gas Empire: Gilmore

In the 1870s, Arthur Gilmore and Julius Carter first met in Southern California where they were both prospecting for gold. As it became clear that... continue »

Garrett A. Morgan: Successful Inventor of Safety Hood/Traffic Signal

Garrett A. Morgan was a prolific inventor who should be remembered for the safety devices he created. Both the safety hood (forerunner of a gas... continue »

Gideon Sundback’s Invention of the Zipper

Gideon Sundback is credited with inventing the first zipper, but he was not the first to patent the device.  Sundback, however, created the first zipper... continue »

Ida Rosenthal: Pioneered Bra Industry with Maidenform

Ida Rosenthal emigrated from Russia in the early 1900s and supported her family as a dressmaker. As she responded to the marketplace, she and a... continue »

Phineas Banning, Father of the L.A. Harbor

Phineas Banning is known as the “Father of the Los Angeles Harbor.” He deserves that title and more.... continue »

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Inspiration for a Doghouse

Frank Lloyd Wright is among the best-known architects in the world, but few... continue »

Cracker Jack: Ever-Popular Baseball Snack

Cracker Jack holds the spot as “most famous of baseball snacks.” Remarkably, it has held that honor for over 100 years. The snack itself began... continue »

The Magic Lantern-Early Form of Slide Projector

The magic lantern is a very old invention that served as a primitive slide projector. As improvements were made, the magic lantern eventually produced moving... continue »

How Jumbo Joined the Circus

Jumbo the elephant was identified as a possible “get” for the Barnum & Bailey circus in 1882 by a circus scout who found the elephant... continue »

P.T. Barnum’s Early Career

P.T. Barnum is remembered as a circus impresario and a huckster. Both those memories do him a disservice. He had a long and varied career... continue »

Drive-In Movie Theaters

The concept for the first drive-in movie business originated with one man in the late 1920s. Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr. came up with the concept... continue »

Jelly Beans: Candy History

Jelly beans in America probably date to the early 19th century. The first known mention of this candy was in a Boston newspaper in 1861.... continue »