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No Individual May Have Hurt the Planet More Than Him

Thomas Midgley Jr. invented leaded gas and Freon with the best of intentions

(Newser) - Thomas Midgely Jr. was by all accounts a brilliant American scientist who died in the 1940s. He also just happens to have a remarkable claim to fame, or infamy, as laid out by Steven Johnson in the New York Times Magazine : "There may be no other single person in...

This Could Take Cooking Shows to Weird New Level

Japanese researcher invents a lickable screen

(Newser) - A Japanese researcher is generating headlines for his odd invention—a TV that allows you to lick the screen and taste different flavors. The device, called Taste the TV (TTTV) is yet "another step towards creating a multi-sensory viewing experience," reports Reuters . It makes use of built-in canisters...

National Inventors Hall of Fame to Induct Its First Black Women

Google exec Marian Croak, ophthalmologist Patricia Bath among 2022 inductees

(Newser) - The nearly 50-year-old National Inventors Hall of Fame will induct its first two Black female members next spring. Engineer Marian Croak and the late ophthalmologist Patricia Bath are two of seven honorees announced this month, who will join the Class of 2022, along with 22 others announced last year, reports...

He Invented the Cassette Tape. There Were 'Mixed Emotions'
Guy Who Invented
the Cassette
Tape Had One
Big Regret
in case you missed it

Guy Who Invented the Cassette Tape Had One Big Regret

Philips engineer Lou Ottens, dead at 94, said he wished Philips, not Sony, created Walkman

(Newser) - Sad news today for anyone who ever recorded a mixtape off the radio (complete with DJ interruptions and cut-off songs) or knows what this picture means. Lou Ottens, a Dutch engineer who invented the cassette tape, has died at the age of 94, per NPR . Local media reports Ottens died...

Other Creations of Famous Inventors

Mental Floss is out with a list featuring Edison, Tesla, others

(Newser) - You know all about Alexander Graham Bell's telephone. But did you know Bell also made a metal detector in an unsuccessful attempt to find the bullet in President James Garfield after he was shot in 1881? The device (which came along after one developed earlier in France) is one...

Inventor of One of World's Grossest Drinks Dies at 89
Pour One Out
for the Inventor
of the 'Sourtoe'

Pour One Out for the Inventor of the 'Sourtoe'

Capt. Dick Stevenson, who created popular cocktail with a toe floating in it, dies at 89

(Newser) - "I'm pretty sure I'm the only daughter in history that has to, following my dad's will, make sure that his toes are removed and dried." Dixie Stevenson explains why to the CBC : Her late father, Capt. Dick Stevenson, would like his digits used in the...

'The Most Brilliant Man That I've Ever Met' Has Died

Jerry Merryman helped invent the hand-held electronic calculator at Texas Instruments

(Newser) - Jerry Merryman, one of the inventors of the hand-held electronic calculator who's described as "the most brilliant man that I've ever met," has died. He was 86. Merryman died Feb. 27 at a Dallas hospital from complications of heart and kidney failure, said his stepdaughter, Kim...

Amid Craze, Fidget Spinner Inventor Makes Nothing

A cash-strapped Catherine Hettinger let the patent expire

(Newser) - It's hard to make money if you don't have any. That's the lesson from Catherine Hettinger, who is credited with inventing the original fidget spinner about three decades ago. In 2004, she says she could not afford the $400 patent renewal fee and thereby had to surrender...

Young Inventor Now Facing Schizophrenia Diagnosis

Joey Hudy's family faces mounting debt to help son

(Newser) - A science phenom known for impressing President Obama with his marshmallow air cannon at the 2012 White House Science Fair faces crushing debt after being diagnosed with a mental illness. Joey Hudy, now 20, is undergoing treatment for schizophrenia at a live-in facility in Tennessee that costs his family $25,...

He Bet His Life and Brought Joy to Millions
He Bet His Life and
Brought Joy to Millions

He Bet His Life and Brought Joy to Millions

'Newsweek' tells of the remarkable life of Henry Orenstein

(Newser) - His name is Henry Orenstein, and as a Newsweek profile makes clear, the 93-year-old New Jersey resident really ought to be a household name. For starters, he survived the Holocaust thanks to a risky gamble. For another, he's a prolific toy inventor and the brainchild behind the Transformers franchise....

Raise a Red Solo Cup to Its Inventor, Dead at 84
Man Who Invented Cup Now
Used Everywhere Is Dead

Man Who Invented Cup Now Used Everywhere Is Dead

Robert Leo Hulseman gave us the Red Solo Cup

(Newser) - "You're more than just plastic, you're more than amazing, you're more than fantastic," croons Toby Keith in his 2011 hit "Red Solo Cup," a song that Robert Leo Hulseman surely loved. The inventor of the plastic chalice known as the Red Solo Cup,...

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'...

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...

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...

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,...

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,...

Get Ready for Jetpacks —and Soon
 Get Ready 
 for Jetpacks 
 —and Soon 
in case you missed it

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...

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...

9 Celebrity Inventors
 9 Celebrity 

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

Super Glue Inventor Dead at 94
 Super Glue Inventor Dead at 94 

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;...

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