The Self-Cleaning House

"Housework is a thankless, unending job, a nerve-twangling bore. Who wants it? Nobody! With my jaw set hard I was determined that there had to be a better way!" Frances Gabe of Newberg, Oregon was driven by her hatred of housecleaning to develop one of the most radical and yet practical inventions of all time: the self-cleaning house.

The Hologram

Dennis Gabor was born in Budapest, Hungary on June 5, 1900. As a youngster, he was interested in the inner workings of the things around him. At age ten, he designed a type of airplane-like carousel, and his parents helped him attain a patent for it. By the time he was a teenager, he had a small laboratory in his house where he worked on his own experiments in photography, radiation, and wireless x-rays and developed a passion for physics.

UV Waterworks

Among Ashok Gadgil's many inventions is a water disinfection system, which can provide healthy drinking water to at-risk populations for about seven cents per person per year.

Kinetic sculpture

We have seen how American art and invention can complement each other, from Harriet Hosmer and Caroline Brooks, to Patricia Billings and Temple Grandin, Arthur Ganson’s body of work is another example of how art and invention exist simultaneously in a single piece.

Geiger Counter

Nuclear physicist Hans Geiger, whose surname is known all over the world for his invention of the radioactivity measuring device known as the Geiger counter, was born Johannes Wilhelm Geiger in Neustadt-an-der-Haardt, Germany on September 30, 1882. He was one of five children born to Wilhelm Ludwig Geiger, a philosophy professor at the University of Erlangen.

"Ollie" Skateboarding Trick

Since its invention and popularization, the skateboard has become a standard item of equipment for young Americans. Today, with skateboarding as popular as it has ever been, the skateboard can be seen as an icon of youthful energy and adventurousness.

The Gerber Variable Scale®

Heinz Joseph Gerber was born in 1924 in Vienna, Austria. By the age of eight, he was building motors and radios. By the time of his death in 1996, Gerber had earned more than 650 U.S. and international patents and had singlehandedly saved an American industry.

PostScript Programming Language

The ease with which today’s average consumer can engage in extremely robust, high-quality desktop publishing can be credited largely to the work of John Warnock and Charles “Chuck” Geschke, who founded Adobe Systems, Inc. in 1982 to deliver the programming language known as PostScript to printer and computing device makers.

Global Position System Technology (GPS)

Global Positioning System technology, or GPS, has in recent years become a part of mainstream society, available to individual consumers in the form of handheld GPS devices, as well as in vehicles like farm tractors, helicopters, trucks, and automobiles. This technology, which has the ability to pinpoint specific locations on the planet with near-perfect accuracy, was originally developed in the 1970s for military applications and has since been deployed in navigation, national defense, air traffic control, search and rescue, and environmental research.

Erector Set

A.C. Gilbert was one of the most multi-talented inventors of all time. With many fields open to his ingenuity, he chose to educate and entertain children through toys.

Electric Food Mixer

Lillian Moller Gilbreth, the mother of 12 children, had good reason to improve the efficiency and convenience of household items.  She earned her master’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley in 1902 and enrolled in a psychology program shortly after.

Disposable-Blade Safety Razor

At the last turn of the century, King Gillette founded what would become a corporate giant, based on a simple yet essential invention: the safety razor with disposable blades.

Videotape Recorder (VTR)

Inventor Charles Paulson Ginsburg, otherwise known as the “father of the video cassette recorder,” was born in San Francisco in 1920. He received his bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in 1948 and worked as a studio and transmitter engineer at a San Francisco area radio station. He stayed there until 1951, when he received a telephone call from Alexander M. Poniatoff, founder and president of the Ampex Corporation in Redwood City, Calif., who believed that Ginsburg could help him with an important project.

Liquid-fueled rockets

Robert Hutchings Goddard was an inventor and visionary who, more than anyone else, paved the way for the Space Age.


Inventor-entrepreneur Anita Goel is bringing medicine, physics, and nanotechnology together in technologies that she hopes will begin to change the way diagnostics are performed in areas as broad as healthcare, water and crop testing, and food, blood, and air screening.

Convoluted Executions of Simple Tasks

Rube Goldberg was an inventor of the absurd, a social critic who used cartoons to point out the plight of people caught up in an overly complicated world.

Long-playing (LP) Phonograph

Peter Carl Goldmark was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1906.  He studied physics at the University of Vienna, where he received his BS in 1929 and his PhD in 1931, and began his career working for a radio company in England. In 1933, he emigrated to the United States and worked as a construction engineer until 1936, when he joined CBS, or Columbia Broadcasting System, as Chief Engineer of the Television Department.

Crayon Holder

Kids love to draw with crayons, but when these ever-popular writing tools break into small pieces or when they’ve been used so much they’re worn down to tiny bits, they can be hard to use, especially for little hands.

Vulcanized Rubber

Through years of research and a single stroke of luck, Charles Goodyear saved the doomed rubber industry by inventing a process that made the material durable and resilient enough for industrial use.

High-speed Analog-to-digital Conversion

Bernard Gordon, founder, chairman, and CEO of Massachusetts-based Analogic Corporation holds more than 200 patents worldwide. A lifelong inventor, Gordon’s creations include the fetal monitor, the high-speed analog-to-digital converter, the instant imaging computer-aided tomography (CAT) scanner, Doppler radar, and an advanced bomb-detection device.

Gore-Tex Fabric

Breathable yet waterproof. When it comes to fabric, these two qualities would seem to be at odds with one another, and indeed they were, until 1969. That’s when the father-son team of Wilbert L. and Robert W. Gore developed a process that resulted in the miraculous product known as Gore-Tex, the world’s first breathable, waterproof fabric. The material is used in a wide and growing variety of products from outdoor equipment and apparel to insulation, sealants, and medical implants.


Gordon Gould was born in New York City in 1920. As a child, he idolized Thomas A. Edison and other inventors, with the encouragement of his mechanically-minded mother. Later, Gould himself would conceive and design one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century: the laser.

Electrogasdynamics systems

For over thirty years, Meredith C. Gourdine was a pioneer researcher and inventor in the field of electrogasdynamics.

Liquid Paper

Typists who are prone to making mistakes when using old-fashioned typewriters or word processors have Bette Nesmith Graham to thank for creating one of the most simple, yet lifesaving inventions in all of office-supply history: Liquid Paper.

Livestock handling devices

Temple Grandin is our nation’s most expert designer of humane facilities for livestock animals.

The Implantable Cardiac Pacemaker

After earning a BS from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Buffalo and serving with the Navy in World War II, Wilson Greatbatch began working in medical research. One afternoon in the late 1950s, he was inspired by a mistake to invent one of the most significant medical devices of all time: the implantable cardiac pacemaker.

Aircraft Stall Warning Device

Leonard Greene holds patents on dozens of inventions in aviation technology – most notably, a device that warns pilots when they are in danger of experiencing a deadly aerodynamic stall.


To grow up in Maine is to know cold weather. Maine native and lifelong inventor Chester Greenwood helped to alleviate one of the most persistent of discomforts associated with brutal winter weather with his invention of earmuffs in 1873.


A 1996 Gallup poll found that two thirds of American teenagers would like to found a company.  K-K Gregory, a ninth-grader from Bedford, Massachusetts, has been living that dream.  She became an inventor-entrepreneur in 1994, at the age of 10.

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

Computer scientist Irene Greif is one of a growing group of American women making important contributions in a typically male-dominated field. Greif, who was a mathematics standout at Hunter College High School in New York as a teenager, was the first woman to earn a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1975.  She has also served as a faculty member there, appointed in 1982 as a principal research scientist. She headed up a research group in MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science to develop shared calendar, coauthoring, and real-time collaboration systems.

Simpler Eyeglass Production Methods

Sydney, Australia native Saul Griffith has created technology that will simplify the method for producing eyeglass lenses. This, he hopes, will eventually allow those around the world who could previously not afford eyeglasses to obtain them via the low cost and improved availability this technology will provide.

The Walkie-Talkie

The nonpareil pioneer of wireless telecommunications is Al Gross.  In 1938, he invented the walkie-talkie.  In 1948, he pioneered Citizens’ Band (CB) radio.  In 1949, he invented the telephone pager.  His other inventions include the basics of cordless and cellular telephony.

The Uno

It’s no secret that automobiles have created plenty of problems around the world, not the least of which include air pollution and street congestion. Forward-thinking individuals have begun to create a variety of innovative, alternative forms of transportation to help remedy the situation.


The everyday actions of any office worker undoubtedly involve making a photocopy. Though we take this seemingly simple, yet extremely helpful, time-saving operation for granted, only through the ingenious work and perseverance of people like Robert W. Gundlach are we able to so carelessly rely on the technology.

Water-based Fuels

Rudolf Gunnerman of Reno, Nevada has invented a safe, inexpensive, environment-friendly fuel that could revolutionize transportation and counteract the world's most prevalent source of pollution – the 3 billion gallons of petroleum burned every day worldwide.

Movable Type Printing Press

The printing press, invented by German goldsmith Johann Gutenberg in 1448, has been called one of the most important inventions in the history of humankind. For the first time, the device made it possible for the common man, woman, and child to have access to books, which meant that they would have the unprecedented ability to accumulate knowledge.