Patents

Were it not for tuberculosis, artist and furniture maker Daniel Mack writes, “It’s unlikely that there would have been an Adirondack chair.”

How the Adirondack Chair Became the Feel-Good Recliner That Cures What Ails You

The furniture piece has gone through countless permutations, but it all started at a time when resting outdoors was thought to be a matter of life or death

Harry Soref built Master Lock from the ground up.

Master Lock Has Had a Hold on the Industry for 100 Years

A century ago, Harry Soref made his Milwaukee-based company into a world leader with his invention of the laminated steel padlock

British schoolchildren dig into a lunch of fish sticks in 1974. Since its debut in 1953, the frozen food has proved to be a hit among kids and adults, owing to its palatability, low cost, and convenience.

The Surprising Success Story of Fish Sticks

The 1950s convenience food has enjoyed a winning streak—no less so than during the Covid-19 pandemic

A new way of chemically recycling single-use plastics might offer an incentive to keep them out of landfills.

Innovation for Good

New Chemical Process Turns Single-Use Plastics Into Fuels

Researchers say their method can break down hard-to-recycle plastics using half the energy of existing techniques

Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab’s sample of the whitest paint on record.

Innovation for Good

This Ultra-White Paint May Someday Replace Air Conditioning

Developed by researchers at Purdue University, the paint reflects 98.1 percent of sunlight

Seventeen-year-old Dasia Taylor was named one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Innovation for Good

This High Schooler Invented Color-Changing Sutures to Detect Infection

After winning a state science fair and becoming a finalist in a national competition, Dasia Taylor now has her sights set on a patent

Jennifer Doudna, a Nobel Prize recipient for her work on the gene-editing tool CRISPR, and the "life sciences revolution" are the dual subjects of Walter Isaacson's latest biography.

How Scientist Jennifer Doudna Is Leading the Next Technological Revolution

A new book from Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson offers an incisive portrait of the gene editing field that is changing modern medicine

Left, a portion of the patent plan designed by Marie Van Brittan Brown and her husband Albert, right.

Women Who Shaped History

A Brief History of the Invention of the Home Security Alarm

A hardworking nurse envisioned a new way to know who was at the door

The Dollar lift was 2,360 feet long and rose 634 feet in elevation.

How a Railroad Engineer From Nebraska Invented the World's First Ski Chairlift

The device was part of an elaborate plan on behalf of Union Pacific to boost passenger rail travel in the American West

The now “male coded” union suit was actually a game changer in the women’s rights and dress reform movements.

How 19th-Century Activists Ditched Corsets for One-Piece Long Underwear

Before it was embraced by men, the union suit, or 'emancipation suit,' was worn by women pushing for dress reform

PEZ has designed about 1,400 different character heads and innumerable variations.

How PEZ Evolved From an Anti-Smoking Tool to a Beloved Collector's Item

Early in its history, the candy company made a strategic move to find its most successful market

Five to ten percent of people will read an email, but 80 to 90 percent of people will read a text.

How the 2020 Presidential Race Became the 'Texting Election'

Campaigns took full advantage of text-to-donate technology and peer-to-peer texting to engage voters this election cycle

To solve the puzzle, you must twist the cubes so that eventually each side returns to its original color: The challenge is the astounding number of potential variations — more than 43 quintillion of them.

A Brief History of the Rubik’s Cube

Nearly half a century after its humble invention, the cube continues to be a global sensation. What’s the secret?

A Brief History of the Mason Jar

Around since 1858, the home canning classic is a sought after item for pandemic gardeners this summer

The little red car with the yellow roof that is propelled by foot power has been a hit with young children since its creation in 1979.

A Brief History of the Cozy Coupe

Invented by a former auto designer, the foot-powered kids toy still outsells engine-powered cars

A 1928 portrait of physicist Albert Einstein by Lotte Jacobi

Tesla's Patents, Einstein's Letters and an Enigma Machine Are Up for Auction

Christie's Eureka! sale features personal and academic objects owned by 20th-century scientists

Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, rode the self-balancing personal transportation device outside his home in 2002.

As Segway Retires, Its Inventor Gears Up to Grow Organs

Dean Kamen, inventor of the soon-to-be obsolete Segway, has assembled a team to mass-produce human organs for transplant

It won’t be surprising if 2020’s “quarantine summer” sees even higher than usual sales for the toy.

The Accidental Invention of the Slip ‘N Slide

A young boy's summer antics 60 years ago inspired his father to create the timeless backyard water toy

Could 2020 be America's Year of the Bidet?

Covid-19

The Bottom Line About Bidets

Amid toilet paper shortages, many Americans are making the switch—but does all the fuss about bidets really hold water?

The military latched on to the trampoline as a training device for pilots, to allow them to learn how to reorient themselves to their surroundings after difficult air maneuvers.

How the Trampoline Came to Be

Inspired by circus performers, George Nissen created the bouncing ‘tumbling device’ that still captures imaginations 75 years later

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