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Inventions

Abraham Lincoln’s Patent: The Only President-Inventor

Lincoln's patentTo read this patent application today is to be transported to a time before the name, Abraham Lincoln, carried such import—before he was the President who led our country through a war that literally could have torn the country in two.

Lincoln's patent

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.

polygraph

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.

The Inventors of Crayola Crayons: Binney & Smith

Edwin Binney (1866-1934) and Harold Smith  (1860-1931) were cousins. They formed Binney & Smith in 1885 when they took over the chemical company started by 151513038-2Edwin’s father, Joseph.  The company made colors used for industrial purposes like the iron oxide paint now known as “red barn” paint and charcoal and black pigment used for things like making tires look black  When they took the helm, they maintained the industrial business but began looking for ways to expand their  market.

Crayola

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 (1827-1897) to create the first chewing gum that was sold commercially.

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