AKRON, Ohio, June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Entertainment industry innovator Walt Disney and personal computer pioneer Steve Wozniak are among seven inventors who will be inducted later this year into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF). The honorees' inventions brought about advances in a broad range of technologies, including computers, medicine, manufacturing and communications. Joining Disney and Wozniak in the NIHF Class of 2000 will be Reginald Fessenden, Alfred Free, Helen Murray Free, J. Franklin Hyde and William Kroll. Induction ceremonies will be held in September at Inventure Place, Home of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron. "While we are certainly celebrating the outstanding individuals who are being inducted, we also wanted to focus on the inventor in everyone," said Thomas E. Smith, president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation. "Few people will attain the level of fame of this year's inductees. What's important is not the final outcome, but rather, the route to invention - the process of open-minded investigation." The inductees' accomplishments and contributions to society were celebrated today in a satellite-linked news conference. Portions took place at the Ronald Reagan Building International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.; and at Inventure Place, home of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron. Inventure Place houses the permanent exhibit honoring all 151 inventors inducted since the National Inventors Hall of Fame was established in 1973. The inventions that earned places in the Hall of Fame for this year's inductees were: * Disney's multiplane camera, which yielded better looking, richer animation and was first used for a full-length feature with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. * Wozniak's Apple II personal computer, which brought together the central processing unit (CPU), keyboard and disk drive in an affordable unit complete with color and graphics capabilities. * Fessenden's wireless radio communication, which utilized heterodyne principles in combining radio waves to transmit voice and music and led eventually to the radio broadcasting industry of today. * The Frees' dip-and-read tests for urinalysis, which allowed for easy self-testing of glucose levels by diabetic patients and paved the way for further dip-and-read testing. * Hyde's fused silica and silicones. Fused silica is ultra-pure high- quality glass, used in fiber optics, spacecraft windows, telescope mirrors and precision lenses for manufacturing. Silicones are polymers derived from silicon and other elements, which are used in high- temperature electrical insulation, gaskets, caulks, seals, lubricants and hydraulic fluids. * Kroll's titanium and zirconium processing, which enabled these elements to be produced in a metallic state. Titanium's wide-ranging applications include artificial joints, aerospace technology, denture bases, golf clubs, wheelchairs and watches. Zirconium applications include surgical instruments, fiber optics, jet engines, radar equipment and nuclear reactors. The National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation Selection Committee, composed of representatives from national scientific and technical organizations, votes each year to select the most qualified inventors from those proposed in open nominations. In voting, the committee considers whether the nominee's invention is covered by a U.S. patent, the invention's contribution to the nation's welfare and the extent to which it promotes the progress of science and useful arts. Inventure Place, which houses The National Inventors Hall of Fame, is dedicated to inspiring creativity and invention throughout the nation. Invention takes many forms, from research and development and artistic expression to entrepreneurship, and it is the mission of Inventure Place to promote these and other activities to keep the nation at the forefront of technological leadership. Inventure Place has welcomed more than 700,000 guests -- primarily families and more than 215,000 children on field trips -- since opening to the public in July 1995. The National Inventors Hall of Fame was founded to celebrate the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of great inventors. The hall is dedicated to the individuals who have brought about technological advances, fostered by the U.S. Patent system, that have greatly increased the general welfare of society.
SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame