NEW YORK, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The History Channel(R) and Invent
Now(R) Inc., a subsidiary of the National Inventors Hall of Fame(R)
Foundation, announced today the 25 semi-finalists of the Modern Marvels Invent
Now(R) Challenge, a national competition that provides an opportunity for
independent inventors to be recognized and to influence the ever-changing face
of invention. The Challenge, which is named in part for Modern Marvels(R),
The History Channel's long-running signature series that showcases this
nation's passion for ingenuity and innovation, is searching for America's next
great invention idea. The semi-finalists, who hail from 17 states across the
U.S. and range in age from 19 to 80, were chosen from nearly 4,300 submissions
entered, a number that confirms that the inventive spirit in America is alive
and well. This spring, the Challenge will ultimately name the invention of
one of these 25 semi-finalists as the 2006 Modern Marvel of the Year during
Modern Marvels: Great Inventions Week on The History Channel May 24-27th.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051031/HISTORYLOGO )
A panel of judges that included inventors, technologists and experts from
the National Inventors Hall of Fame and The History Channel chose inventions
that cover a breadth of categories -- from household inventions to sporting
goods -- with medical and construction, tools and hardware ranking the highest
among the semi-finalists. All of the inventors' ideas are true modern marvels
that will not only impact the lives of the inventors, but if brought to
fruition, could also have dramatic global implications. The semi-finalists
range from a doctor who found a breakthrough in bladder management that will
prevent infections and save millions of dollars in antibiotics, to a
firefighter who created a 360-degree fire-resistant light that will help
firefighters, divers and the military save lives daily, to an engineer who
found a way to turn fly ash into durable, cost effective bricks, a process
that has great economic and environmental implications. (See "Meet the Semi-
Finalists" below for full details.)
"These semi-finalists represent the dreamers in America who have the
tenacity to pursue their ideas in order to make an impact on the way all of us
live-just like their predecessors, Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison," said Judy
Klein-Frimer, Co-Creator of the Challenge for The History Channel. "Our
signature series, Modern Marvels, showcases everyday inventors of our past
whose contributions remain vital to us today, so we are proud to support
everyday inventors of the present who will have a significant impact on
advancing our quality of life in the future."
The Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge will showcase the inventions of
the semi-finalists through an upcoming national exposition. The exposition
will travel to the California Science Center in Los Angeles (April 7-15th),
the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (April 20-30th), the Museum of
Science in Boston (May 5-14th) and culminate at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand
Central Terminal in New York City (May 22-27th). The 25 semi-finalists will
also be invited to attend a one-day invention seminar while in New York to
help further develop their invention ideas (May 25th). The exposition will
then travel to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, OH where it will
be on display through August 2006.
"For over thirty years, the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation has
been recognizing the world's most influential inventors," said Jeffrey
Dollinger, President of Invent Now, Inc. "We've always believed that the
inventive spirit present in our Hall of Fame Inductees exists in everyday
people across the country, and the incredible response of entries to this
Challenge provides evidence that there are thousands of everyday inventors out
there just looking for their ideas to be recognized."
Famed inventor, Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple based on his invention
of the personal computer, agreed that today's inventors need an outlet. "In a
country where our focus on science and technology is dramatically shrinking,
competitions such as this are critical in providing a platform for everyday
inventors." He added, "It was the science fairs and school competitions that
motivated me as a young inventor and ultimately helped to make me believe my
invention could become a ubiquitous tool."
The winner along with the four other finalists will be announced at the
New York exhibition event and have their invention ideas and stories featured
during Modern Marvels: Great Inventions Week on The History Channel (May 24-
27th) at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST, which will include brand-new episodes on the
inventions of Benjamin Franklin and '80s Tech among others. The Challenge
winner will have his or her idea named the 2006 Modern Marvel of the Year and
will receive a $25,000 grant. Viewers can catch the highly successful series,
Modern Marvels, on The History Channel Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
Log on to http://www.History.com/invent for more information on the semi-
finalists and the Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge.
Meet the Semi-Finalists (Alphabetical Order)
1. Brent W. Crutchfield, Veterinary Student, Greensboro, NC
Quick-See: Quick-See uses paper coated with thermo-chromic ink set to
change color allowing people to cut their pets' nails at the
appropriate place. The artery and nerve within the quick of the nail
causes the color to change over the area not to be cut.
2. Dr. David L. Cull, Surgeon, Greenville, SC
Hemoaccess Valve System: The Hemoaccess Valve System is a device that
is able to regulate blood flow in arteriovenous (AV) grafts which are
used to connect patients with kidney failure to a dialysis machine.
3. Robert E. Fischer, CEO, Optics One Incorporated, Westlake Village, CA
Light Pipe: A new flashlight innovation that behaves like a
kaleidoscope, creating near perfect light uniformity at the output end
of the pipe.
4. Dr. David E. Flinchbaugh, Doctor, Orlando, FL
UroCycler Bladder Management System: This invention allows patients
who must wear an indwelling urinary catheter to regain nearly normal
bladder function and live healthier lives by preventing dangerous
infections, painful muscle spasms and encrustation, thus saving
hundreds of dollars in unnecessary antibiotics.
5. Matthew C. Grossman, Student, Austin, TX
Shift Bicycle: This bicycle is intended to help small children learn
to balance on their own without the crutch of training wheels and the
worry of skinned knees. The bicycle features two rear wheels that are
spread apart at slow speeds to provide critical stability, and as the
rider gains speed, the two rear wheels merge together to act as one
wheel until the rider reduces speed and consequently returns the
bicycle to the two wheel configuration.
6. Carol S. Grove, Patternmaker, Brooklyn, NY
Contour Clone: The Contour Clone is made up of pairs of strips of
plastic that slide over each other and lock, making perfect fitting
garment patterns for all body types allowing a complex shape like the
human body to be made two-dimensional.
7. Greg Hart, Realtor, Galloway, OH
Candlewatch: Candlewatch is an automatic candle snuffer that sits on
top of a candle and uses a timer to snuff out the candle flame,
avoiding potentially dangerous fires.
8. Donald P. Hilliard, Electrical Engineer, Camarillo, CA
Precision Parachute Recovery System: An automated GPS-guided parafoil
recovery system for precision landing of payloads that guarantees a
safe non-destructive landing at the desired location.
9. Kristin A. Hrabar, Retail, Aberdeen, NJ
Illuminated Nutdriver: This new nutdriver hand tool uses two forms of
light to assist the user in dark places (to avoid holding a tool and a
10. Dr. Sundaresan Jayaraman, Professor, Atlanta, GA
Wearable Motherboard (Smart Shirt): This invention is a flexible,
wearable and comfortable garment with sensors for "unobtrusively"
monitoring a variety of vital signs, including heart rate, respiration
rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), body temperature, and pulse oximetry
11. Russell D. Keller, Truck Driver, Oklahoma, OK
Drag Vent: An air diversion device captures a flow of air from above a
roadway vehicle and forcibly diverts the captured air to the center of
the low pressure area at the rear of the vehicle, thus reducing the
amount of drag force applied to the vehicle and increasing the
vehicles efficiency of operation.
12. Robert C. Kelly, Firefighter, Burlingame, CA
Resc-hue Lite Line: The Resc-hue Lite Line is a waterproof, fire-
resistant light that is based on electroluminescence principals and
provides 360-degree lighting when firefighters, divers, the military
or anyone in a low light environment needs it most.
13. Behrokh Khoshnevis, Professor of Industrial Assistance Engineering,
Los Angeles, CA
Contour Crafting: Contour Crafting is a computerized fabrication
technology for the automated construction of whole structures as well
as sub-components, allowing a single house or colony of houses to be
automatically constructed in a single run.
14. Randal J. Kwapis, Computer Engineer, New Boston, MI
Typhoon: The Typhoon is an everyday manual wheelchair that utilizes
shock-absorbing technology to make the chair easier to propel over
rough terrain like grass and gravel.
15. Henry Liu, Retired Professor of Engineering, Columbia, MO
Durable Fly Ash Bricks: This new process transforms fly ash, which is
the dust collected from the smoke generated from coal combustion at
power plants, into durable bricks.
16. Justin D. Marty, Inventor, Salt Lake City, UT
Quad Zipper: The Quad Zipper, which functions by disconnecting two
parallel rows of zipper tape and reconnecting the two adjacent rows of
zipper tape, allows a garment such as a jacket to transform from a
jacket, to a blanket, to a vest, without the user ever needing to
remove the original jacket.
17. W. Denney Pate, P.E., Engineer, Tallahassee, FL
Cable-Stay Cradle System: The Cable-Stay Cradle System directly
impacts the service life of a bridge. The system allows for a
continuous stay to be carried from a bridge deck through the pylon and
back to the bridge deck. This process eliminates anchorages in the
pylon and prevents interaction among the strands of the stay, thus
increasing the service life of the bridge.
18. Dr. Hugh S. McLaughlin, Doctor, Groton, MA
Activated Carbon Facilitated Oxidation (AC FOX): AC FOX is a new
phenomenon whereby activated carbon exhibits a slow oxidation in air
over a temperature range of 150 to 375 degrees Celsius. The phenomenon
can be used for applications including oxidation of vapor phase
organics, destruction of organic liquids, regeneration of spent
activated carbon and industrial heat & power generation applications.
19. Stuart Minica, Mechanical Engineer, La Vernia, TX
Magnetic Levitation Arrow Rest (Air-Rest): An arrow literally floats
on air, only touching the bowstring of a bow, by a special arrangement
of rare earth magnets to achieve magnetic levitation.
20. Joe M. Salazar, Master Technician, Lufkin, TX
Brake Alert: Brake Alert is a visual color indicator for vehicles
equipped with air brakes that attaches to the slack adjuster designed
to alert truck drivers in plenty of time to service air brakes.
21. Dr. Daniel M. Schuman, Doctor, Henderson, NV
SinuClear Microlaser Hand Tool: Multi-purpose surgical-hand tool to
work around delicate vital body structures without causing injury to
the healthy tissue. The tool has a dual therapeutic and diagnostic
22. Wayne D. Schwartz, Rancher, Spivey, KS
Pro-Treiner: This remote controlled equine training system consists of
a compact electromechanical device that emulates the way that reins
control a horse. A power unit attaches to the horse's saddle with
flexible lines that extend from the power unit to the horse's bridle.
23. Robert P. Slager, Hearing Business Distributor, Portage, MI
Liperator: The Liperator increases the possibility for better
understanding of a telephone conversation by a hard-of-hearing person
through use of sound from the phone line to generate realistic lip
movements viewed on a screen by the listener.
24. David R. Ward, Inventor, Ashland, OR
Strawjet: The Strawjet is a farm implement that processes straw
(wheat, flax, sunflower, tobacco, hemp, etc.) in the field after the
plant has been harvested, into a mat, similar to a large bamboo window
blind. This is used to construct composite building panels in much the
same way as fiberglass or carbon fiber, but uses a binder made from
paper pulp, clay, and cement rather than plastic resin.
25. Sean G. Westcott, Engineer, Eugene, OR
Solar-Powered Bus Stop Light: The Solar-Powered Bus Stop Light allows
a waiting passenger who sees an approaching bus to press a button
located on the bus stop pole, illuminating a light that signals the
driver to stop.
About The History Channel
The History Channel(R) is one of the leading cable television networks
featuring compelling original, non-fiction specials and series that bring
history to life in a powerful and entertaining manner across multiple
platforms. The network provides an inviting place where people experience
history in new and exciting ways enabling them to connect their lives today to
the great lives and events of the past that provide a blueprint for the
future. The History Channel has earned six News and Documentary Emmy(R) Awards
and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to
historic preservation and history education. The History Channel reaches more
than 89 million Nielsen subscribers. The website is located at
About the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation
The not-for-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation is the
premier organization in America dedicated to honoring and fostering creativity
and invention. Each year a new class of inventors is inducted into the Hall
of Fame in recognition of their patented inventions that make human, social,
and economic progress possible. Founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law
Associations, the Hall's permanent home is Akron, Ohio, where the inventors in
the Hall are honored and from where it administers its national programs and
subsidiaries, including Camp Invention(R), Club Invention(R), the Collegiate
Inventors Competition(R), Invent Now(R)Inc., and Inventive Education(R), Inc.
Known for its annual "Coolest Inventions" issue and ongoing editorial
coverage of innovation in America, TIME Magazine has joined The History
Channel and the National Inventors Hall of Fame as the media partner for the
Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge. The United States Patent and Trademark
Office is also supporting the Challenge. Additional partners include the
American Society of Civil Engineers, DeLorme Publishing, Inc., Intellectual
Property Owners Association and the Licensing Executives Society.
SOURCE The History Channel