Gossamer Condor

For thousands of years, human beings have watched birds soar through the skies and dreamed of one day flying in a similar fashion, using their own power. Inventor Paul MacCready brought that dream to life in 1977 when he created the world’s first human-powered aircraft, the Gossamer Condor.

Medical Imaging Systems

Professor Albert Macovski has been called "the most inventive person" at Stanford University. Macovski has won this high praise by establishing himself, with over 150 patents in the last 50 years, as the nation's foremost authority on computerized imaging systems, especially those used in medicine.

Teleoperated surgical instruments

Akhil Madhani invented robotic instruments for use in fields as diverse as surgery and space exploration when he was a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Wireless Telegraphy

Radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi was born in Bologna, Italy, on April 25, 1874, to an Italian father and Irish mother.  Educated in physics at the technical school in Leghorn, Marconi had, by the age of 20, become very interested in the works of Heinrich Herz, who had discovered and first produced radio waves in 1888. Marconi was convinced that communication among people was possible via wireless radio signaling. In 1895, he began to experiment at his father’s home in Pontecchio, where he was soon able to send signals over one and a half miles.

Cinematic Background System

George D. Margolin has been a professional inventor and product developer for over 30 years, with successes in the realms of optics, computers, commerce, and medicine.


Chocolate lovers around the world have none other than Forrest E. Mars, Sr. to thank for the milk chocolate candies that “melt in your mouth, not in your hand.” The candy, of course, is M&Ms®. Not only did Mars invent, patent, and market the creation, but he also built a chocolate candy empire via the multinational conglomerate that would become M&M/Mars, Inc.

“Ordinary, Everyday Products”

Over  70 years, Stanley I. Mason, Jr.  invented dozens of items that Americans use every day, in their clothing, grooming, and dining.

Haptic Computer Interface

Thomas H. Massie of Vanceboro, Kentucky had many inventions to his credit as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The most impressive was a computer interface system that takes virtual reality to a new level.

Advances in Cancer Treating Drugs

In 1999, biotechnologist Jennie P. Mather set out to challenge conventional thinking when it comes to advanced pharmaceutical development. With nearly three decades of experience in cell biology research behind her, she embarked on her own path to launch a company to produce novel therapeutics targeted toward specific diseases. She used a process that closely analyzes the surface of a disease cell to develop antibodies that disable proteins on the surface of cells that are necessary for the disease to grow. She hopes that drugs created using this process will not only have a relatively fast development time, but will also become effective treatments for a variety of cancers, such as breast, prostate, lung, colon, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers.

“Lasting Machine”

Jan Ernst Matzeliger was born in 1852 in Paramaribo, Surinam (Dutch Guiana) to a Dutch engineer father and a native black Surinamese mother. The enterprising youngster showed early mechanical aptitude, and at just ten years old, he was already working in the machine shops that his father supervised. When he was 19, he left Surinam to sail the world and later to seek work in the United States. In 1873, he settled in Philadelphia.

ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer)

John William Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert are the scientists credited with the invention of the Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer (ENIAC), the first general-purpose electronic digital computer, which was completed in 1946.

Tune-O-Matic Bridge

In the guitar world, inventor Ted McCarty made his mark as an innovative instrument designer during the 1950s and early 1960s as the President of Gibson, Inc.

Mechanical Reaper

Cyrus McCormick, the "Father of Modern Agriculture," made one of the most significant contributions to the United States' prosperity when he invented the horse-drawn reaper in 1831.

Automatic Oil Cup

Frequently, if people want to make sure to get "the real thing" – a quality product or service – they ask for "the real McCoy." It's not certain where this phrase comes from, but many believe that it started with Elijah McCoy, one of the most prolific inventors in American history.

Robot Ants

Long Island, New York native James McLurkin loved working with Legos, models, and bicycles as child. But his tinkering went beyond mere child’s play. Soon, he was assembling parts and creating new toys from objects that he found around the house.  As a teenager, he was inspired to build his first robot, “Rover,”  which he completed during his sophomore year in high school. By the time he finished high school, he had created three robots on his own.

Player Piano

John McTammany (1845-1915) has been credited with the invention of the player piano. He also patented several devices that were important to the development of automatic piano construction.  However, it has been said that credit must be shared with many others, both in the United States and in Europe, for having contributed important principles and components to what became a very popular distraction during the early part of the 20th century.

Structured Custom Design of Integrated Circuits

Carver Mead has made many of the Information Age’s most significant advances in microcircuitry, which are essential to the internet access and global cellular phone use that many people enjoy and take for granted every day.

The Glove and Battie Caddie

Austin Meggitt's invention, the Glove and Battie Caddy, solves a problem that has plagued young baseball and softball players for decades: how to transport their gear when riding their bikes.


Robert M. "Bob" Metcalfe, developer of Ethernet and other Internet-related technologies, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946. Fascinated by technology and gadgets as a child, he already knew at the age of ten that he wanted to become an electrical engineer and attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Roller Coaster Safety Technology

The inventor sometimes referred to as the “Thomas Edison of the roller coaster” was John A. Miller, who earned more than 100 patents related to coaster technology and ride safety.


Geologist and engineer John Milne is known as one of the most significant contributors to the understanding and evaluation of earthquakes. He compiled a substantial body of observational research, developed the first international network for seismological data, and created what may be considered the world’s first modern seismograph.

Gaynor Minden Pointe Shoe

There is room for technological improvement in all types of fields, including the arts. In 1993, Eliza Gaynor Minden designed and developed the Gaynor Minden pointe shoe, which provided a more functional, durable, and comfortable shoe for ballerinas around the world.

Hot Air Ballon

Before there were airplanes, man was able to experience the wonder of floating high above the earth with a somewhat simpler invention: the hot air balloon. The device, invented by French brothers Joseph-Michael and Jacques-Etienne Montgolfier, allowed humans for the first time to view the world from a bird’s perspective and helped inspire subsequent interest in the developing field of aviation.

Moog Filter

Robert Moog was born in 1934 in New York City. When he was a child, his mother encouraged him to study music, so he learned to play the piano. Meanwhile, he spent a great deal of time with his father as well, with whom he liked to tinker with electronics.  By the time Moog had reached his teenage years, these two interests had converged, and building simple novelty electronic musical instruments had become a hobby.

The Gas Mask

Because of repeated incidents of firefighters being overcome by smoke when attempting to put out fires in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Garrett Morgan (1877-1963) wanted to do something to help.

The Cast Cooler

Young inventor Krysta Morlan demonstrated talent in the field of assistive technology with her inventions and her initiative as a college student. Diagnosed at three years old with a mild form of cerebral palsy, Morlan knew the challenges posed to those with physical disabilities. When she was in ninth grade, the Vacaville, California native underwent close to a dozen surgical procedures to help improve her condition. After enduring hip to ankle casts in the California heat with no way to alleviate the pain and discomfort, she invented her first device, the "Cast Cooler."

Morse Code

Samuel Finley Breese Morse, inventor of several improvements to the telegraph, was born in Charlestown, Mass. on April 27, 1791. As a student at Yale College, Morse became interested in both painting and in the developing subject of electricity.

The Original Car Seat Cozy

Entrepreneur and inventor Sharon Mullen may be a perfect illustration of the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This Hampton, New Hampshire wife and mother established her own company, Inventive Parent, in 2000 after her son was born. She quickly found that caring for a newborn required innovative solutions to problems for which helpful products did not exist. She was surprised to find, for example, that attachable blankets did not exist for baby carriers and car seats for children over one year old.

Integrated Optical Add/Drop Filter

A team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate students conquered a major challenge of high-capacity optical communications by inventing a device that can splice a single signal into or out of the many that are being transmitted together along a fiberoptic line.