Automated scanning and sorting machines

Jacob Rabinow (1910-1999) was born in Kharkov, Russia and emigrated with his family during the Revolution and arrived via China to New York in 1921.  In due time, earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering (1933) and graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from City College of New York.  In 1938, gaining a post at the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or “NIST”), Rabinow began his truly prolific career as an inventor.


For some time during the 1990s, Finnish researcher Ismo Rakkolainen’s living room was strewn with a pile of banana boxes and thousands of drinking straws. These materials comprised a laboratory of sorts as he worked on a prototype for what would become known as the fog screen. The device produces a magical illusion of giving a person the ability to walk through walls.

Reber Radio Telescope

Grote Reber was born in Chicago on December 22, 1911. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, in 1933, where he studied radio engineering. While still a student, he became very interested in radio astronomy – in 1932 he learned about.

Hair Conditioner

Dry, tangled, hard-to-manage hair met its match in Jheri Redding, inventor of creme rinse, when he developed the first version of the concoction (now better known as “conditioner”) in the 1930s.

Chemically Amplified Resists

Polymer chemist Elsa Reichmanis was born on December 9, 1953 in Melbourne, Australia. As a child she emigrated with her family to the United States and grew up in Syracuse, New York. An impressive student, she graduated from high school early and enrolled at Syracuse University as a chemistry major. She excelled in her studies and completed her bachelor’s degree in three years, graduating in 1972. Just three years later, she also completed a doctoral degree at Syracuse and received a PhD in organic chemistry in 1975 at the age of 22.

The TPak

When Kelly Reinhart was six-years old, she had an idea that would launch her into a kind of life that few children get to experience: that of a successful entrepreneur, inventor, and V.I.P.

Reynolds Wrap (U.S. Foil)

The entrepreneurial spirit clearly runs in the Reynolds family: Richard S. Reynolds, creator of “Reynolds Wrap” was the nephew of tobacco king R. J. Reynolds. In fact, the younger Reynolds worked for his uncle during the summers of his youth, until in 1919, he started his own business, the U.S. Foil Co., supplying tin-lead wrappers to cigarette and candy companies.

Microwave Scanning System

Few Americans have made such a sweeping contribution to the process and business of inventing as Robert Rines, a trailblazer in the realms of invention, education, law, and public policy.

Programming Language “C”

A true trailblazer in the field of computer technology, Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, born on Sept. 9, 1941 in Bronxville, New York, is credited with the 1972 creation of one of the world’s most popular programming languages, “C.”

Hang Gliding

A great number of men and women made contributions to the world of airplane flight during the industry’s early days in the 1930s through 1950s. Excitement ran high around this brave new world at the time, and more individuals wished they could have the opportunity to fly aboard or even pilot an airplane than there were opportunities to do so. Even as commercial flight began to take off, the expense was somewhat prohibitive for most.

Biointegrated Electronics

Bili Bonnet

When babies are born prematurely, they frequently require days or weeks of special care in hospitals’ neonatal intensive care facilities. These tiny patients present a variety of challenges for the nurses and doctors who care for them; their delicate bodies need both nurturing and protection, and standard equipment can be ill-fitting or otherwise less-than-perfect at doing the job.

Bread-slicing Machine

“Now that’s the best thing since sliced bread!”

Most are familiar with the decades-old expression above, but few can name of the man who invented the bread-slicing machine that gave the world packaged, sliced bread in the 1920s.

Advances in Puppetry

Born in Kansas City in 1910, Hazelle (Hedges) Rollins secured her place in history with the dedication she had to the art of puppetry. As an art student at the University of Kansas in 1929, Rollins was approached by a neighbor’s young son who had received a marionette from Italy as a gift. He asked her to make him another one. Rollins did so, carving a head out of wood. She instantly had an affinity for these objects and soon found herself creating lots of puppets. She began writing plays for them and putting on shows for school kids.

I.V. House

The mother-daughter team of Betty Rozier and Linda Vallino, of Hazelwood, Missouri, invented a simple device that makes it safer and easier for hospitals to provide patients with IVs.

Rubik’s Cube

One of the best-loved toys of all time, the Rubik’s Cube has puzzled and entertained people of all ages around the world. The device that became popular with the masses in the 1980s was created a decade earlier by Hungarian designer Erno Rubik. Born in Budapest in 1944, his father was an engineer and glider designer; his mother was a writer and artist.  Rubik pursued sculpture for a time before studying and earning a degree in architecture in 1967. Shortly thereafter he became a teacher in the interior design department at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest.

Bifurcated Vaccination Needle

Microbiologist Benjamin A. Rubin was born in New York City in 1917 in an era when smallpox was a dreaded uncontrolled disease.  At that time, the affliction was killing more than two million people per year. Little did young Rubin know, that years later he would be responsible for an invention that would contribute to the eventual eradication of smallpox:  the bifurcated vaccination needle.

Advances in Private Aircraft Development

Many of the most significant developments in private aircraft development over the last several decades may be attributed to aviation innovator, inventor, aeronautical engineer and entrepreneur Burt Rutan.