Pez Dispenser & Candy

Eduard Haas’ name may be unfamiliar to most people, but the case couldn’t be more different when it comes to his 1927 invention: Pez candy and the original Pez dispenser.

Process for the Manufacture of Aluminum

Eight months after graduating from Oberlin College in 1885 with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914) invented an inexpensive method for the production of aluminum.

Food Preservation Methods

Like his coeval Frederick Jones, Lloyd Augustus Hall played a major role in the American food industry.  While Jones revolutionized food transportation, Hall invented ways to preserve the foods themselves.

Semiconductor Injunction Laser

In 1962, Robert Hall created a revolutionary type of laser that is still used in many of the electronic appliances and communications systems that we use every day.

Radio-operated Remote Control Systems

John Hays Hammond was both a whimsical and practical inventor:  his interests ranged from music and cooking to electronics and torpedoes.  Born into a privileged family in 1888, Hammond would never have to look far for inspiration to invent; among his family’s friends were the Wright brothers, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla. 

Capacitor-less Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Cell

As an Electrical Engineering PhD student at Yale University, one of Jin-Ping Han’s projects turned from a failure to a success very quickly. For over a year, she had been working hard on developing a semiconductor memory device that could store data for a decade or more in a computer’s hardware. When she realized her device had a much shorter memory span than she had hoped for (around ten minutes rather than ten years), she assumed her work had all gone to waste.

The Barbie Doll

In 1959, Ruth Handler invented something that became so quintessentially American as to be included in the official "America's Time Capsule," buried at the celebration of the Bicentennial in 1976: the Barbie doll.

CompuRest Keyboard Stand

Anyone who uses a computer regularly should know how important it is to pay attention to body and wrist position in order to avoid excessive strain. New York native Joanna Nayer Hardin, known alternatively as “The Computer Lady” or Harlem’s “Computer Diva,” learned how to type in 1966 and was typing regularly on the job by the 1970s.

Genome-based therapeutics

William Haseltine – biophysicist, professor, inventor, and entrepreneur – has been a leader in the international effort to use human genes to battle disease, especially AIDS.


The ubiquitous handheld organizer known as the PalmPilot was first conceived in 1992. Its inventor, Jeff Hawkins, initially set out to conduct research related to the function of the human brain. He was interested in the ways in which the brain acquires and stores information, which, in essence, develops intelligence. His creation of the world’s most popular personal digital assistant grew out of his interest in this field and has since launched an entire new industry.

Polymer Cable Sheath

Walter Lincoln Hawkins was born on March 21, 1911. He was orphaned as a young child and was raised by his sister.  He faced a difficult upbringing in a world where it was difficult for African Americans to find adequate encouragement in education and at work. He attended the acclaimed, all-black Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., where he showed promise in math and science and developed a sense of self-confidence that propelled him toward his dreams.

The Antifungal Drug Nystatin

One of the most famous tales in the history of American medical science is the long-distance collaboration of Elizabeth Lee Hazen (1885-1975) and Rachel Fuller Brown (1898-1980), who developed and patented a wonder drug of the 20th century: the world's first successful fungus-fighting antibiotic.

Rocket-based Surveillance Systems

When Andrew Heafitz was a child, family members could tell by his passion for rockets, airplanes, Legos, and building toys that he was a natural engineer. By the time he was in junior high school, he was creating gadgets, including a high-speed camera made of balsa wood that he flew in a model rocket. He applied for and received his first U.S. patent for the camera shutter. In high school, he was a Science Talent Search Finalist.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Liquid crystal scientist George H. Heilmeier was born in 1936 in Philadelphia. He earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and then moved on to Princeton where he earned MA, MSE, and PhD degrees in solid-state electronics. Soon after graduation, he joined RCA Laboratories, where his work on various electronic and electro-optic devices led to his promotion to Head of Solid State Device Research in 1966.

Vacuum Ice Cream Freezer

Beulah Louise Henry was born in 1887 and was dubbed "Lady Edison" in the 1930s. She earned 49 patents, but her inventions number around 110. Her first patent was granted in 1912 for a vacuum ice cream freezer. Later, Henry invented an umbrella with a set of different-colored snap-on cloth covers (1924). She also invented – literally overnight – the first bobbinless sewing machine (1940).

In 1932, Henry invented the "Protograph" for use in businesses. The device made four typewritten copies of documents at a time without carbon paper.  She also created "continuously-attached envelopes" to aid in mass mailings (1952). For children, Henry invented "Dolly Dips," which were soap-containing sponges (1929) and the "Miss Illusion" doll, a doll whose eyes could change color and close as if in sleep (1935).

Electron Microscope

James Hillier was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada on August 22, 1915. He was interested in art as a youngster, and he first believed that he would pursue a career as an artist. But his natural talent for math and physics won him a scholarship to the University of Toronto, where he and fellow student Albert Prebus would later build the world's first practical electron microscope.

Unfolding structures

Chuck Hoberman is all at once an inventor, artist, engineer, and architect, whose expandable, collapsible structures are both practical and pleasing to the eye.

The Microprocessor

Before the invention of the microprocessor, computers used to take up acre-sized rooms. Different integrated circuit chips were needed for every application that a computer performed. The relatively inexpensive and compact central control systems that we know today didn't exist until Ted Hoff invented the microprocessor.


No doctor’s office or medicine cabinet is complete without a supply of aspirin, the world’s most popular and, in many ways, miraculous painkiller. This multi-purpose drug was first stabilized and patented during a three-year span from 1897 to 1900 by Felix Hoffman, a chemist with Friedrich Bayer & Co. in Germany.

Visual Voice(TM) telephony software

Krisztina Holly is an inventor and entrepreneur with roots at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Her co-inventions in computer telephony include a system that was eventually sold for nearly $13 million.

Enzyme Treatment for Lactose Intolerance

Delicious and satisfying, milk and milk products contain a variety of important nutrients such as calcium and riboflavin, which are important for good health. However, millions of people are unable to enjoy a cold glass of milk because they suffer from a condition known as lactose intolerance. These individuals lack an enzyme called lactase in their intestines that is necessary for breaking down lactose, the main type of sugar found in milk.

DNA Sequencer

Scientist and inventor Leroy Hood grew up in Montana. He studied biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and received his BS degree in 1960. Four years later, he received his MD from Johns Hopkins University, and he achieved his PhD in biochemistry at Caltech in 1968.

Computerized Telephone Switching System

One of the most well-rounded American inventors since World War II is Erna Schneider Hoover. She earned a BA with honors from Wellesley College in medieval history and a PhD from Yale University in philosophy and foundations of mathematics before teaching for some years at Swarthmore College. Finally, in 1954, Hoover accepted a research position at Bell Laboratories in northern New Jersey. There she created a computerized switching system for telephone call traffic and earned one of the first software patents ever issued.

The United States Flag

When the United States of America was born on July 4, 1776, it did not have an official national flag. However, one of the many different standards then carried by Continental troops, known as the Grand Union, can be considered the first true U.S. Flag, in that it was sanctioned by General George Washington. It borrowed the British King's Colours for its upper left corner (the “canton"), with the body of the flag taken up by 13 red and white stripes that represented the Colonies. Washington first had the Grand Union raised on Prospect Hill in Somerville, Massachusetts, on New Year's Day in 1776, for the inauguration of the Continental Army.

The Compiler

The achievements of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, which include, most notably, the invention of the compiler, cemented her place at the forefront of the computing revolution that began in the early 1940s. Trained as a mathematician, her career spanned six decades. During this time, she remained simultaneously connected with several disciplines and industries, including academia, industry, and the U.S. military.

Digital Micromirror Device

Larry Hornbeck spent nearly two decades developing a revolutionary technology that has, in recent years, begun to offer consumers the chance to enjoy some of the most sophisticated digital imagery ever available. The invention, known as DMD, or the digital micromirror device, is at the core of a system called DLP®, or Digital Light Processing, from Texas Instruments. DLP has brought crystal clear digital images to hundreds of local movie theaters via digital projection systems and to thousands of homes via high-definition television sets. The technology has, in many ways, reset the bar for the visual quality of motion pictures and television programming.

Illuminated Nut Driver

When Kristin Ann Hrabar was just nine years old, she had a simple idea for a device that solved a common problem. Her father asked her to hold a flashlight over a tight space that he was working in while he fixed a household item with a screwdriver. She thought this would have been a lot easier for both of them if the tool had a light source of its own. That’s when she began working on the illuminated nut driver, which she turned into a successful project for her third grade science fair.

"Pick-and-place” Nano-Assembly Machine

Brian Hubert says he never goes to sleep without a pen and notebook by his nightstand so that he can record ideas for new inventions. He obviously had the right idea. In March 2001, he had two patents with three pending and was chosen as the 2001 recipient of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for his invention.


David Edward Hughes was born in London, England in 1831. His family was musically talented – he, his sister, and his two brothers were considered prodigies, and the family performed together around the world. In 1838, the Hughes family emigrated to the United States.

Safety Pin

Mechanic and independent inventor Walter Hunt secured a place in American history when he invented the useful, everyday device known as the safety pin in 1849.


Chemist James Franklin Hyde, the “Father of Silicones,” is credited with launching the silicone industry in the 1930s after he developed a method of creating silica, an ultra-pure form of glass.