Electronic Television

Philo Farnsworth conceived the world's first all-electronic television at the age of 15. By the time he died, he had earned over 300 U.S. and foreign patents for electronic and mechanical devices.

Lite Lift Shovel

Tish Fearn, winner of the 2003 British Female Inventor of the Year award, wasn’t about to let tendonitis force her to quit taking care of horses. The South Africa native, who was born without a left hand, had been using a traditional shaving fork to muck out the stables at the National Equine Defence Society in Birkin, U.K. for years, and the task was becoming increasingly arduous.

Liquid crystal display (LCD)

James Fergason holds over 125 U.S. patents in liquid crystal technology, including the first practical use of liquid crystals. He is perhaps best known for his discovery of the twisted nematic field effect, which led to the creation of today’s liquid crystal displays (LCD).

The Ferris Wheel

George Ferris conceived, designed, and built an engineering marvel, which astonished the world at its debut and became a mainstay of American recreation.

Rechargeable Pacemaker Battery

Physicist Dr. Robert E. Fischell has earned nearly 200 U.S. and international patents over the course of his career, but he insists that his inventing proficiency happened by accident.

Super MoneyMaker Pump

Thousands of poor citizens of African nations such as Kenya have been able to transform their lives and build successful small businesses because of the ingenious inventions and non-profit support organizations created by Martin Fisher.

Zeolite Y

Chemist Edith Flanigen was born in Buffalo, New York on January 28, 1929. She received a BA from D'Youville College, where she graduated as class president and valedictorian, and continued her studies at Syracuse University. There, she completed an MS in inorganic physical chemistry in 1952.

Makin’ Bacon® Cooking Dish

Inspired by an offhand comment from her father, Abigail M. Fleck invented a new, quicker, and healthier way to cook bacon and founded a company to sell her product.


No scientific story illustrates the power of luck coupled with ingenuity quite like the tale of the discovery of penicillin. The scientist credited with the invention of this groundbreaking drug, Alexander Fleming, was born on August 6, 1881 in Ayrshire, Scotland. A bright student, Fleming worked in a shipping office for several years before returning to school to pursue a degree in medicine. He earned his MD, with honors, from St. Mary’s Medical School in London in 1908. He then worked for Almroth Wright's research team there, where he developed a strong interest in bacteriology.

Metallurgical Processes

Metallurgist and inventor Merton C. Flemings was born on Sept. 20, 1929 in Syracuse, New York. He first became intrigued with science in high school, inspired by a physics teacher. His research has focused, for more than 50 years, on ways to produce, recycle, and improve products through understanding and applying the underlying science of the materials those products are made of.

The Assembly Line

Most people credit Henry Ford with inventing the automobile. The fact is he didn't – such a complex machine is the result of a combination of technologies developed by many people over time. He did, however, invent the moving assembly line, which revolutionized the way we make cars and how much they cost.

Naturally colored cotton

When Sally Fox first saw brown cotton seeds and lint, she had no idea she was about to become a pioneer.

The Franklin Stove

Benjamin Franklin was probably the most significant “founding father” of the United States of America who never served as its President.  But he was much more than a statesman.  He was a man of letters, a publisher, a philosopher, a scientist, and the first major American inventor.

Cool Dog

Innovation can come in many forms, including tasty, creamy, edible ones. Just ask Peter Franklin, inventor of an entirely unique ice cream treat called the “Cool Dog,” which looks like, eats like, but doesn’t quite taste like an all-American hot dog.

Glyphosate Molecule

In 1970, organic chemist John E. Franz developed a new class of herbicide that allows for the destruction of difficult perennial and annual weeds without danger to nearby vegetation, soil, or animals, even bacteria. The glyphosate molecule, which he discovered and studied to develop its properties, has become the basis for the world’s most widely used type of herbicide and has helped change the face of agriculture by enabling the development of no-till farming.

Pop-Top Aluminum Can

Today, it’s easy to take for granted the experience of grabbing an ice-cold cola out of the cooler at the beach or at a picnic and popping it open instantly to drink when you wish. But before Ermal Cleon Fraze came up with his 1959 invention of the pop-top aluminum can, this was impossible. Canning foods and beverages were popular by then, of course, but openers or keys were necessary to get into the containers’ contents. Fraze changed that by coming up with a way to include an opening tool directly on the can itself.

Dip-and-read Home Diabetes Test

A distinguished chemist and promoter of science, Helen Murray Free invented a number of tests that revolutionized certain types of analyses in the laboratory and diagnoses at home.

Post-it® notes

In the 1970s, Art Fry invented what is probably the most significant office supply product since the paperclip: the Post-it® Note. But he could not have created this now ubiquitous item without the previous invention of his colleague, Spencer Silver.

The Geodesic Dome

Richard Buckminster Fuller, New England transcendentalist and futurist inventor, sought to harmonize technology with nature. His most famous attempt is the geodesic dome.

Commercial Steamboat

Henry Ford did not invent the automobile; Samuel Morse did not invent the telegraph; nor did Robert Fulton invent the steamship. But like Morse and Ford after him, Fulton used his insight and energy to turn a challenge of engineering into a large-scale commercial success, thereby transforming the world.