From the Archives: Alternate Endings – Inventor Close Ups
August 13, 2015
August 13, 2015
Here on Insights, we talk frequently about the process of invention. But sometimes, the most impactful inventions weren’t pursued at all – they happened by accident. The inventions featured in this post from the archives may surprise you. Learn more about the people and stories behind these products, and see how many you use every day.
Giving credit to inventors reminds us that it’s people behind the scenes who help drive big box office smashes in today’s consumer-driven world. These people have pioneering spirits and what’s-possible attitudes that keeps them thinking, striving, and solving; especially when their original hypotheses are disproven and new inventions rise from constructive failure.
Percy Spencer: invented the microwave oven in 1945 when he noticed a melted candy bar while working on building magnetrons for radar sets
Spencer Silver: invented the pressure sensitive adhesive behind Post-its in 1968 instead of a super strong aerospace adhesive
Ruth Graves Wakefield: invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1930 when she replaced the standard ingredient in a batch of chocolate butter drop do cookies
Dr. Roy Plunkett: invented Teflon, one of the slipperiest substances known to man, while experimenting on potential alternative refrigerants
Dr. Harry Coover: invented Super Glue in 1942, and rediscovered it in 1951 when its quick bonding properties stuck in the market
We believe that inventors are real-life superheroes, on par with the action hero characters played by Jeff Bridges in Tron and Morgan Freeman in the Batman series. Check out these Movie Monday blockbusters as we continue to celebrate National Inventors Month. Alright, Mr. DeMille, they’re ready for their close ups.
Inventors inspire us, and those who made news this month were no exception. Check out this month’s News You Can Use for some of these noteworthy innovations, from a woman who developed an underwater wheelchair, to two inventors whose inventions make medicine more affordable.Read More
We asked the men and women of our Behind the Breakthrough Series – what inspires you? Hear from two interviewees from IV’s Global Good division on how they approach some of the world’s most significant challenges.Read More
The problem of head trauma in football is getting lots of attention – and for good reason. While it’s still unclear whether helmet technology can ever prevent concussions, inventors are hard at work on new technologies that could make football safer.Read More