Kodak is notoriously known for its late entry to digital cameras. What you might not have known was that in 1975, Steven Sasson invented the digital camera at Eastman Kodak. By 2008, 78% of Americans owned digital cameras that relied on Sasson’s basic design.
A defibrillator prototype by Claude S. Beck successfully revived a patient by directly shocking a heart in 1947. Eventually, more innovations allowed the paddles to be used on the chest. Above the defibrillator is an artificial heart prototype from 1977 from Dr. Robert Jarvik. The electrohydraulic heart was not only held together with Velcro, but was the first artificial heart implanted into a human in 1982.
In 1960, a laser was invented that was called “a solution looking for a problem” because it had no purpose; it was invented for the sole purpose of inventing it. As it turned out, this technology found many applications.
The work shop of Ralph Bear, inventor of the first video game, is on display. Small basement shops and garages have been the birthplace of many of America’s innovations.
James Ritty was a problem solver. With the help of his brother, he developed the “incorruptible cashier,” which kept paper records of transactions. This revolutionized retail by making it harder for the cashier to pocket money.
Edison’s “little monster” dolls, while ahead of their time, required you to speak excessively loudly into the recording device, which in turn made it sound like the doll was yelling at you. Today, however, with more innovations making audio equipment smaller, more cost-effective, and of better quality, we see talking toys and dolls everywhere.
Alexander Graham Bell was exploring the elements of sound because he was concerned with the condition of his deaf mother, which led him to patent the first single-pole magneto telephone in 1876.
Patent law has never been perfect. Eli Whitney spent most of his time in court defending his patent on the cotton gin. Due to patent thieves, he never saw much money from this invention. This is the actual model Whitney carried to court to defend his patent.
Fordson’s gas-powered tractors dropped in price in the 1920s. This model is depicted getting ready to crush horse-drawn farming.