10 Stories

AR-15 Inventor's Family: He'd Be 'Sickened' by Mass Shootings

Eugene Stoner's kids, grandkids say he designed the rifle for military use only, not civilians

(Newser) - When Eugene Stoner designed "America's gun" (aka the AR-15) in the late 1950s, which was adopted for use by the Army as the M16, his goal was to create the "most efficient and superior" rifles for military use and give them a leg up over the Soviets'... More »

Town Has Honored Bust Since 1977— It's the Wrong Guy

Stockton-on-Tees commissioned a bust of the wrong John Walker

(Newser) - Try as they might, the denizens of Stockton-on-Tees, England, just can't seem to pay homage to John Walker, a 19th-century resident of the town and inventor of "one of the most significant objects in modern history," per the the Northern Echo . Take, for instance, the bust of... More »

Inventor Called 'Bill Gates of Home Repair' Dies at 96

German creator Artur Fischer had more patents than Thomas Edison

(Newser) - Think "inventor," and Thomas Edison's name will likely come to mind. But German creator Artur Fischer had a handful more patents to his name (over 1,100) than the famous US inventor (1,093), earning him a lifetime achievement award from the European Patent Office. That prolific... More »

Teen Invents Way to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

System tracks parents as they leave the vehicle

(Newser) - An inventor has developed a possible solution to the recurring problem of kids left in hot cars—and she did so before even graduating from high school. Alissa Chavez, 17, came up with the basic idea for her lifesaving contraption for a school science fair, the Washington Post reports. (Yes,... More »

Inventor Has Been Waiting 43 Years for His Patent

Gilbert Hyatt made millions off microprocessor claim

(Newser) - It's been 43 years since Gilbert Hyatt applied for a patent on a machinery-control system, and 35 years since he sought a patent related to liquid crystal displays. It takes an average of about two years to get patent approval—but Hyatt hasn't received it on either invention,... More »

Get Ready for Jetpacks —and Soon

But you'll need to have $150K to spare next year

(Newser) - At last, that staple of air travel from cheesy sci-fi movies and, of course, the Jetsons, looks to be reality soon: The Wall Street Journal reports that a New Zealand company plans to have its jetpacks up for sale next year, and at least 10 already have been reserved for... More »

10 Inventors Who Saw No Riches From Their Big Idea

Like the guys behind Post-It Notes...

(Newser) - Despite what you may think, a smash-hit of an invention doesn't necessarily set an inventor up for life. (Witness Doug Englebart , who invented the computer mouse but didn't see a dime from it.) As the BBC points out, there are plenty of others who failed to make... More »

9 Celebrity Inventors

Apparently they could quit their day jobs

(Newser) - It may surprise you, but sometimes Hollywood's elite invent stuff, too—and in these nine cases, rounded up by Time , those inventions are actually pretty cool:
  • Your back really itches, you can't reach it, and the person scratching it for you can't quite seem to find the
... More »

Super Glue Inventor Dead at 94

Harry Wesley Coover Jr. never got rich off his most famous invention

(Newser) - The name Harry Wesley Coover Jr., who died Saturday at the age of 94, might not ring a bell, but you've almost certainly heard of his most famous invention: Super Glue. Coover first stumbled upon the adhesive (formal name: cyanoacrylates) while working on clear plastic gun-sights during World War II;... More »

Fred Morrison, Frisbee Inventor, Dies at 90

Plastic disc has sold more than 200 million

(Newser) - Walter Fredrick "Fred" Morrison, the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, died Tuesday in his Utah home. He was 90. Morrison sold the production and manufacturing rights to his "Pluto Platter" in 1957. The plastic flying disc was later renamed the "Frisbee," with sales surpassing 200... More »

10 Stories