Technology

This series of messages focus on pioneers who developed technologies for making life more livable.

    • Fighting for the Independent Inventor

      Jerome Lemelson was born in New York in 1923. His father was a physician who immigrated to America. Jerome showed an interest in invention as a young child. He developed a tongue depressor with a light source for his father. He served in the Army Air Corps during...

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    • Home Security

      Marie Brown was the single child of African American parents. She was a nurse and her husband was an electrician living in a high-crime neighborhood in Queens, NY. Their work schedule varied, and Marie was often at home alone. Naturally, she was concerned for her...

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    • The Internal Combustion Engine

      Étienne Lenoir was born in 1822 in Luxembourg. He left his hometown when he was 16 and walked to Paris. He was interested in a technical career, but his family had no resources to fund his education. As a result, he was forced to take a job as a waiter in a restaurant...

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    • The Invention of the Dishwashing Machine

      Josephine (Garis) Cochrane was the daughter of a civil engineer, born in 1839. Her husband was a very successful merchant and Josephine became involved with the elite in Chicago. It was a dinner party at her mansion that changed the direction of her life. Josephine...

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    • The Origin of Nuclear Fission

      Elise Meitner was born in Austria into an upper-middle-class Jewish family. Her father was a lawyer and free thinker who encouraged curiosity in his eight children. Lise (the name she preferred) was attracted to math and science but was limited in her ability to study...

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    • Women Who Made Computers a Key to Success in WWII

      During World War II, the calculation of ballistic trajectories was critical to defeating the enemy. The calculation of these trajectories was complicated by weather conditions and other factors, making hand calculations very difficult. The Electronic Numeric...

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    • Microwave Ovens – A Story of Humble Beginnings

      Percy Spencer’s father died when he was 18 months old and he was given to an aunt and uncle to raise. When his uncle died when Percy was seven, he had to leave school to support himself and his aunt. He had a fascination with electricity and got a job helping...

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    • Communications Technology Meeting Societal Needs

      Marian Croak was born and raised in New York City. When she was 5, she would follow engineers and plumbers around the house to see how they worked. Obviously very smart, she did undergraduate work at Princeton and received a Ph.D. from the University of Southern...

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    • Making Innovations Practical

      Thomas Edison is widely known as the most prolific inventor in America’s history. His invention of the light bulb is widely known for lighting America. What is less well known is Edison’s light bulb only lasted for a very short period of time. It was the invention of...

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