Inventing Modern America: From the microwave to the mouse buy the book about the book links and resources about the Lemelson-MIT program games
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Doug Engelbart
Thomas Fogarty
Ashok Gadgil
Stephanie Kwolek
Paul MacCready
Table of Contents

Inventing Modern America: From the Microwave to the Mouse celebrates the best of American ingenuity and inventiveness. The book features in-depth profiles of these 35 inventors, organized into five categories: Medicine and Health Care, Consumer Products, Transportation, Energy and Environment, and Computing and Telecommunications. One inventor from each category is featured on this web site—look for the Featured button.


Medicine and Health Care
Raymond Damadian: MRI scanner (1977)
Thomas Fogarty: balloon embolectomy catheter (1961) Featured
Wilson Greatbatch: implantable cardiac pacemaker (1962)
Dean Kamen: portable medication technology (1970s)
Mary-Claire King: advances in the treatment of breast cancer (1990)
Robert Langer: biomedical applications of polymers (1980s)
Rosalyn Yalow: RIA, or radioimmunoassay (1959)


Consumer Products
Leo Baekeland: Bakelite, the first modern plastic (1907)
Harold "Doc" Edgerton: stop-action photography (1931)
Philo T. Farnsworth: electronic television (1927)
Stephanie Kwolek: Kevlar (1964) Featured
Jerome Lemelson: apparatus for driving tape in a cartridge (1972)
Jacob Rabinow: self-regulating clock (1954)
Percy Spencer: microwave oven (1947)


Ole Evinrude: outboard boat motor (1907)
Henry Ford: assembly line (1913)
Robert Goddard: liquid-fueled rocket (1926)
Paul MacCready: human-powered aircraft (1977) Featured
Garrett Morgan: traffic signal (1923)
Elmer Ambrose Sperry: gyrocompass (1911)


Energy and Environment
George Washington Carver: industrial applications for agricultural products (1910s)
Carl Djerassi: non-toxic pest control products (1960s)
Sally Fox: naturally colored cotton (1989)
Buckminster Fuller: geodesic dome (1950)
Ashok Gadgil: ultraviolet water purification system (1993) Featured
Stanford Ovshinksy: mass production of photovoltaic cells (1983)
John Todd: ecosystems for combating pollution (1984)


Computing and Telecommunications
Nolan Bushnell: video game (1971)
Douglas Engelbart: computer mouse (1968) Featured
Al Gross: walkie-talkie (1937)
Erna Schneider Hoover: computerized telephone switching system (1965)
Grace Murray Hopper: computer compiler (1952)
Raymond Kurzweil: optical reading machine for the blind (1976)
Carver Mead: very-large-scale integrated circuits (1971)
Steve Wozniak: personal computer (1976)


Inventing Modern America also includes a Foreword by Lester C. Thurow, Introductions—to the book and to each category of inventions—by James Burke, and a full bibliography.



Doug Engelbart Thomas Fogarty Ashok Gadgil Stephanie Kwolek Paul MacCready
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