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Inventions

The Invention of the Polygraph

The 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.... continue »

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)... continue »

The Inventors of Crayons: Binney & Smith

Binney & Smith was an outgrowth of a company begun in Peekskill, New York, in 1864 by Joseph W. Binney, the father of the man... continue »

Chewing Gum: First Gum Made to be Sold

While early Greeks and Mayans found various substances to chew on, it was Native Americans chewing on resin from spruce trees that inspired John Curtis... continue »

Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor: Ruth Wakefield (1903-1977)

The chocolate chip cookie (toll house cookie) was first created by Ruth Wakefield (1903-1977). Ruth grew up in Massachusetts, and in 1924, she attended Framingham... continue »

Cans and Can Openers: The Inventors

Before the can opener could be invented, someone needed to create a can for food storage. Napoleon Bonaparte was actually the man behind the idea... continue »

Bread-Slicing Machine: The Inventor

The invention of the bread-slicing machine eventually gave rise to the expression, "best thing since sliced bread."  Who was the inventor? One might expect that... continue »

The Signal Corps: War Communication Before Technology

Today our military has access to many ways to observe the enemy. From unmanned drones that fly reconnaissance missions to satellite imagery and infrared sensors... continue »

Stephanie L. Kwolek (1923-2014), Chemist and Inventor of Kevlar

Created the first of a family of synthetic fibers of exceptional strength Worked on the team that took her creation from invention to product implementation;... continue »

King Gillette: The Man Behind the Safety Razor

 King C. Gillette (1855-1932) came up with the idea for a disposable razor during his years as a traveling salesman. He realized how handy it... continue »

George Washington Carver (ca. 1865-1943), Internationally Known Scientist and Educator

Developed crop-rotation methods which changed the nature of agriculture; Discovered multiple different uses for crops such as the peanut; the peanut plant enriches the soil... continue »

When Point-and-Shoot Began: The Brownie Camera

Today we don’t even need to remember to take our cameras. We simply pull out our phones and take pictures of anything from a tourist... continue »