Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

It may be hard to believe, but before the 1930s no one had ever had the pleasure of biting into a chocolate chip cookie. Why? The sweet world-famous treat had not been invented yet.

Walker Hair Care System

Few historical figures of the latter part of the 19th century fit the profile of inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist like Madam C.J. Walker. Having endured a difficult childhood, being female, African American, with virtually no formal education and with no family inheritance or outside resources to rely on, she overcame a series of formidable obstacles to become one of the wealthiest, most successful women in the United States in the early 1900s. She is considered a revolutionary in the area of personal hygiene and grooming for the nation’s black women, having begun an initiative to educate and give them tools to stay healthy and look their best, in particular, via her creation of the Walker Hair Care System.

Lava Lamp

Love it or hate it, the cultural significance of the psychedelic fixture known, as the lava lamp is hard to deny. The incredibly popular lamps came to signify the mindset of the 1960s both in Great Britain and the U.S., and sales resurged beginning in the early 1990s.

Laser Telemetry and Targeting Systems

Hildreth “Hal” Walker, Jr. has won fame as an innovative thinker, collaborator and role model, in the realm of energy technology, especially in applications of lasers. 

Patentable Business Models

Entrepreneur Jay Walker's accomplishments are somewhat unique in terms of how they fit in with the concept of invention. His innovative ideas have lead to patentable, intellectual property-based new business models.

RFID Technology

RFID, or radio frequency identification technology, is an integral part of modern society, using the power of electromagnetic energy to automatically sense and track information in thousands of applications, from network and building security to monitoring inventory and sales to preventing auto theft, keeping tabs on library books, and running unmanned toll booths.

New Interferometer

Dr. Cardinal Warde, a professor of electrical engineering at MIT, is considered one of the world’s leading experts on materials, devices and systems for optical information processing. Warde holds ten key patents on spatial light modulators, displays, and optical information processing systems. He is a co-inventor of the microchannel spatial light modulator, membrane-mirror light shutters based on micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), an optical bistable device, and a family of charge-transfer plate spatial light modulators.


Robert Watson-Watt was born April 13, 1892 in Brechin, Scotland. In 1912, he completed his BSc in engineering at University College, Dundee, which was then part of the University of St Andrews.

Automatic Dishwasher Detergent

Chemist Dennis W. Weatherby will forever be associated with one of the United States’ most well known household cleaning products, the automatic dishwasher detergent known as Cascade.

The Gardenburger

Health-conscious diners around the world can thank Paul Wenner for one of the most popular “health foods” in modern history: the Gardenburger.

Foil Electret Microphone

In the 1960s, a pair of Bell Labs scientists, James Edward West and Gerhard M. Sessler, worked together to produce the foil electret microphone. This type of microphone remains one of the most affordable and commonly used microphones today, with nearly 90 percent of all microphones made currently built based on principles developed by the duo.

Flexible Airfoil Section

Former Secretary of the Air Force, Sheila E. Widnall became the first woman placed in charge of a branch of the military when President Clinton appointed her to the post in 1993. Widnall entered the Air Force after 28 years working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she became a world-renowned expert in fluid dynamics and garnered three patents in airflow technology.

Liquid Embossing Process for Silicon Chips

Silicon chip manufacturing can be a costly proposition; the most prevalent method, photolithography (or optical lithography), offers precision but is an expensive process requiring several steps, pricey equipment and extremely clean operating facilities. It’s no surprise then that researchers are constantly searching for new ways to fabricate chips as the demand for these electronics components continues to skyrocket around the world.

Graphic Adventure Games

In 1979, computer game innovator Roberta Williams was a housewife with two kids and no experience or particular interest in computers. Meanwhile, her husband, Ken, worked for a computer company on huge IBM mainframe machines. It was around that time that the Apple computer was becoming a popular item in people’s homes. Ken saw the potential home computing could have for the future and brought his enthusiasm home with him. That got Roberta interested in home computers. She began playing video games, first a text-based adventure game called Colossal Cave. Before long she was hooked on video games—especially of the adventure-style genre.

Artificial Heart

Paul Winchell was more well known for his show business career than for his accomplishments as an inventor, so it may come as a surprise that it was this ventriloquist and television series character actor, who was the first to design and patent a concept for an implantable, mechanical, artificial heart.


It’s no secret that for women, the process of selecting, buying and wearing a swimsuit is one that can be difficult, frustrating and uncomfortable. For many years swimsuits were made simply of stretchy material cut into different shapes and sizes with very little structure or support.

The Plastic Soda Bottle

Nathaniel Wyeth’s most famous invention, one of the most convenient and readily recyclable items available for sale today, is the plastic soda bottle.