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"Ordinary, Everyday Products"

Stan Over the past 70 years, Stanley I. Mason, Jr. has invented dozens of items that Americans use every day, in their clothing, grooming, and dining.

Born in 1921 in Trenton, New Jersey, Mason created his first invention at the age of 7: a clothespin fishing lure that sold to his friends. Through a successful career in school, including a bachelor's degree from State College in Trenton, and service as a fighter pilot during World War II, Mason never lost his twofold impulse to invent better versions of practical products and to profit from his improvements.

In 1949, Mason had his first major breakthrough: changing his baby boy's diapers inspired him to invent, and later patent, the world's first disposable, pin-free diapers that were contoured to fit a baby's bottom. This humble yet significant innovation was only the beginning of a truly impressive career.

Mason calls himself "an inventor of ordinary, everyday products---not high-tech, but common, useful things." In the last 50 years, his over 100 inventions and 55 patents include the squeezable ketchup bottle, granola bars, heated pizza boxes, heatproof plastic microwave cookware, stringless Band-Aid ® packaging, dental floss dispensers, and "instant" splints and casts for broken limbs.

Mason used to take his ideas to the companies who sold the products, but now the companies come to him. By now, the company that Mason founded in Weston, Connecticut in 1973, Simco, Inc., has done successful product development for 40 of the Fortune 500 companies. Simco specializes in food-packaging, cosmetics, and medical devices.

Besides directing Simco, Stanley Mason frequently lectures at high schools on entrepreneurship, and has written, most recently, Inventing Small Products for Big Profits, Quickly . His career stands as proof that an aspiring inventor needs neither abstract theory nor high technology to become a major success.

[May 1998]

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