Entrepreneurs & Inventors

The Presidential Turkey Pardon

[caption id="attachment_6771" align="alignleft" width="205"]turkey pardon President Obama and Sasha with Popcorn, 2013
Getty Images, Alex Wong[/caption]

While we think of the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey as a long-standing tradition, it has actually been a relatively short and an erratic one.

Acquiring the official turkey, however, follows a much longer and steadier tradition.

turkey pardon

“Kilroy Was Here”-A Story from World War II

Kilroy was hereThe words, “Kilroy was here,” alongside a drawing of a long-nosed, bald fellow peering over a fence still pop up occasionally on walls and buildings today.  But the original legend of Kilroy dates to World War II and a man named James J. Kilroy (1902-1962), who lived in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Kilroy was here

The Invention of the Polygraph

polygraphThe lie detector—or polygraph machine–was first created by John Augustus Larson (1892-1965), a part-time employee of the Berkeley Police Department who was earning his Ph.D. in physiology at the University of California at Berkeley.


The Story of Cigar Store Indians

cigar store IndianIn the 19th century many people could not read, so store owners placed carvings of various symbols in front of their shops so passersby knew what was sold inside. A carving of a wooden Indian indicated a tobacco store; a red, white and blue striped pole symbolized a barber; three gold balls represented a pawn shop; a mortar and pestle indicated an apothecary.

cigar store Indian

American Inventors: The Stories of Men and Women Who Devise Answers to Vexing Problems

Inventions are the ultimate result of successful problem-solving.

But how on earth did people come up with the first ideas for luxuries (and now necessities) as disposable diapers, the dishwasher, the cell phone, and blue jeans?

inventor of cell phoneRecently I have been asked to speak on this topic to various audiences, including the Larchmont (NY) Historical Society. The Society was kind enough to arrange to have the presentation recorded so I can share it with readers.

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