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Posted: 1362662881000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Alcorn, Ball, Barlow, Bibb, Brightman, Brown, Cheek, Colgan, Craig, Crutchfield, Devol, Fitz, Ford, Franklin, Hicks, Hillerich, Johnston, Jones, Kaelin, Morgan, McDowell, Peden, Sellers, Shelby, Smither, Sperti, Stubblefield, Thompson

Last week I wrote of patents. This week let’s look at some of the inventors and what they invented. I’ll just be listing the older inventions; today there are so many new ideas in our ever increasing technology.

ALCORN, Sophia KIndrick (1883-1967), Lincoln Co, KY. She taught school at the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville where she developed a method for teaching deaf and blind children how to speak. Called the Tadoma teaching method, it is still used.

BALL, Charles P., Danville, KY. Mr. Ball invented and patented an improved vaporizer in 1879.

BARLOW, Thomas Harris (1789-1865), Nicholas County, KY. He had many inventions, including a steamboat, a miniature and a large stem locomotive, a planetarium, an automatic nail and tack gun and a rifled cannon.

BIBB, John, Frankfort, KY. This War of 1812 veteran created Bibb lettuce in his greenhouse, 1870.

BRIGHTMAN, Carrie, Crittenden Co KY, patent 131,048 for a medical compound for the treatment of dyspepsia, 1872.

BROWN, Ruth T., Newport, KY. Patent 143,959 for an improvement for buckets, 1873.

CHEEK, Joel, Burkesville, KY. Cheek succeeded at blending several top-quality types of coffee beans into a more superior flavor. In 1892 he convinced the Maxwell House Hotel to serve his coffee to their guests. Thus it became known as Maxwell House Coffee.

COLGAN, John (1840-1916), Louisville, KY. Although Mr. Colgan did not invent chewing gum, he did create Taffy Tolu Chewing Gum which helped the gum to retain its flavor for a much longer time. It was made of tree sap and powdered sugar.

CRAIG, Elijah (1738-1808). A Baptist minister from Kentucky, he invented bourbon whiskey and built Kentucky’s first paper mill.

CROAN, Dicie, River View, KY. Patent 243,693 for a compound for chicken cholera, 1881.

CRUTCHFIELD, Sallie E., Lexington, KY. Patent 178,236 for improving ironing stands, 1876.

DEVOL, George Charles, Jr., Louisville, KY. He was known as the “Father of Robotics” in 1912. He held over 40 patents but is best known for his invention of the industrial robot. He also assisted in developing radar scanner and the first commercial microwave oven.

FITZ, John, Bardstown, KY. He created a model paddle steamer in 1785 and later developed propulsion by floats on a chain. He obtained a patent in 1786 and then built a steamboat which underwent a successful trial in 1787. The next year he built a second boat that was able to make 30 mile trips; in 1790, a third boat that ran a series of trials on the Delaware River.

FORD, Elizabeth, Pellville, KY. Patent 227,235 for a brush for greasing griddles, 1880.

FRANKLIN, Agnes Louisa, Frankfort, KY. Patent 302,992 for a cuff retainer, 1884.

HICKS, Amanda M and Dishman, Alonzo, Clinton, KY. Patent 300,085 for heating and ventilating device for buildings, 1884.

HILLERICH, John Andrew “Bud”. Maker of the Louisville Slugger. There is some dispute over this, but Hillerich and the Louisville Sluggers play a huge role in baseball’s history. The name Louisville Slugger was patented in 1894.

JOHNSTON, Elizabeth B., Germantown, KY. Patent 187,016 for improving devices for killing mosquitoes, 1877.

JONES, Frederick, Covington, KY. Mr. Jones held over 60 patents but is best known for inventing an automatic refrigeration system for long-haul trucks in 1935. He also invented devices for movie projectors and developing box office equipment that delivered tickets and gave change.

KAELIN, Margaret and John, Louisville, KY. Mrs. Kaelin was flying burgers while holding a couple of pieces of cheese. Mr. Kaelin suggested she toss the cheese on the burger. From then on it was served at their restaurant. 12 Oct 1934.

MORGAN, Garrett, Paris, KY. Invested a safety hood and smoke protector which was used to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie, 1914. He also invented the traffic signal after witnessing a collision between an automobile and a horse-drawn carriage.

McDOWELL, Magdalene, Henry Clay Estate, Lexington, KY. She was an artist, architect and patented inventor of the fire back plan heating device in the early part of the 20th century.

PEDEN, Mary Catharine, Caverna, KY. Patent 195,531 for an improvement in medicinal compounds, 1877.

SELLERS, Matthew, KY. This early flight pioneer successfully flew his quadroplane in 1908.

SHELBY, Mary A., Moscow, KY. Patent 193,621 for an improvement in stoves, 1877.

SMITHER, Sue E and William M., Keene, KY. Patent 304,965 for a trace attachment, 1884.

SPERTI, George, Covington, KY. No dates are shown as Mr. Sperti invented many things including Preparation H, Aspercreme, the Sperti sunlamp, a meat tenderizer, a way to freeze dry orange juice concentrate, many cosmetics and medical creams.

STUBBLEFIELD, Nathan, Murray, KY. Wireless telephone. This was demonstrated on 1 January 1902.

THOMPSON, John, Newport, KY. He invented the first hand held machine gun. General Thompson was obsessed with the idea of creating a machine gun that would be of a help in World War I. The first shipment of guns arrived in New York City on the day the war ended, 11 November 1918.

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