Blog

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    Inventor You Should Know: Peter Muller-Munk

    Berlin-born and Pittsburgh-based designer and inventor Peter Muller-Munk has been posthumously honored with an exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The exhibit details his industrial design career and includes his best known products, like the Normandie pitcher and the Waring waterfall blender. Muller-Munk immigrated to the United States in 1926, pre-Depression era, where he…

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    Generate Ideas with “Flow”

    It’s a demanding time of year with no limit to distractions, anxieties, and compounding responsibilities. Maybe you’ve had to pause on a passion project. Maybe you feel like you just aren’t producing anything of value. If you’ve hit a roadblock in your creative output, it’s important to take a brain-break. Have you played recently? When…

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    A Tribute to Veteran Inventors

    Veterans Day is an opportunity to celebrate the brave men and women who have served, or continue to serve, in our U.S. Armed Forces.  It is their sacrifice and dedication that has ultimately afforded us the freedom to shape our ideas, to create, and to offer our unique contributions to our country. The work of…

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    Makers: The Importance of STEM

    What is STEM? STEM refers to the academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The grouping informs policy and curriculum in the United States education system, most prominently, representing a contemporary focus on analytical development. There are several variations of this concept. eSTEM adds environmental considerations to the instruction of these disciplines. STREM includes…

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    Inventor You Should Know: Thomas Jennings

    Surely, scientist Madame C.J. Walker, astronomer Benjamin Banneker, and agricultural chemist George Washington Carver come to mind as legendary African American inventors. They are rightly celebrated as influential contributors to a rich culture of innovation, but they represent a great number of unnamed inventors—brilliant African American men and women who developed efficient processes and technologies…

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    Slinky: Is A Spring Toy a Good Idea?

    In 1943, Richard James, a naval mechanical engineer, sought to produce springs capable of stabilizing fragile ship equipment while at sea. He made prototypes of his idea and set them on a shelf. Then, one day, he accidentally knocked them over. He watched as they “slinked” off the shelf, onto a stack of books, down…

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    Inventor You Should Know: Mary Anderson

    Some of my favorite inventors who continue to inspire my work and my vision are well known icons of entrepreneurship, like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. It’s important to remember, however, that our world today is built on the foundation of the innovative ideas of many lesser known thinkers and makers often marginalized or forgotten…

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    Rubik’s Cube: Is a 3D Puzzle a Good Idea?

    Over 350 million Rubik’s Cubes sold! Lesson: Don’t pre-judge ideas! The Rubik’s Cube is a familiar and beloved three-dimensional combination puzzle game. Invented in 1974 by architecture professor Erno Rubik, and reaching peak popularity in the 1980s, it remains the top-selling puzzle game in the world. The original game has evolved into many theme and…

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    Patent Artwork: John Pattenden

    John Pattenden is the creator of Patent Artwork, a collage project that combines the legal language of patents with images and sketches of an invention. These serve as fine art, memorable gifts, and inspirational reminders of the potential of an idea. One of our team members caught up with Pattenden to learn more about his…

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    3D Printing in the News

    This month, I’ve explored 3D printing as a developing technology set to impact global commerce and quality of life, I’ve shared several of my favorite 3D innovations, and I’ve introduced the story of inventor Chuck Hull, the father of this groundbreaking invention. The inventor is largely a jack of all trades. It’s important to keep…