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
* 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
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
SOURCE National Inventors Hall of Fame