February 11: Thomas Alva Edison and the Jews

Thomas Alva Edison, modern history’s most prolific and tranformational inventor, with a record 1,093 patents to his name, was born in Milan, Ohio on this date in 1847. Edison (not Jewish) invented  an early motion picture camera and projector in the late 19th century, which soon brought him into conflict with Carl Laemmle and numerous […]

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June 11: Flight Instructor for the Wright Brothers

Russian-born Arthur L. Welsh (Laibel Welcher), the world’s first Jewish aviator, died in a flight-test crash in Maryland on this date in 1912, at age 30. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Welsh learned to be a pilot from Orville Wright and then established the Wright Brothers’ first flight school at Huffman Prairie in Dayton, […]

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August 2: Charles Lindbergh’s Jewish Engineer

Joseph Worth, an inventor and engineer who over the course of a decade helped design and build the radial, air-cooled “J-type” engine that powered Charles Lindbergh‘s Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, died in Florida at 98 on this date in 1991. Worth was born in Kamanetz-Podolsk in the Ukraine and […]

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October 21: Designer of the Trimline Phone

Industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss’ Trimline telephone was put into service (in Michigan) for the first time on this date in 1963. The Trimline moved the dial and a hang-up button away from the phone’s base and onto the handpiece, which made it possible to make calls without hovering near the phone. In 1977, Fortune magazine […]

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June 16: Berliner’s Helicopter

Officials of the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics watched Henry Berliner pilot the first controlled, horizontal helicopter flight in the U.S. on this date in 1922 (some sources dispute that it was the very first such flight). Berliner was the son of the famous inventor Emile Berliner, who had built and flown the first helicopter […]

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April 16: The Oncomouse

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled on this date in 1987 that animals created in laboratories can be patented. In April of the following year, Harvard was awarded the first patent under this ruling for the oncomouse, a mouse genetically engineered to be highly susceptible to breast cancer. The mouse was designed by Philip […]

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April 4: The Rolling Suitcase

Bernard Sadow’s patent application #3,653,474 for a rolling suitcase, filed in 1970, was granted on this date in 1972. “Whereas formerly, luggage would be handled by porters and be loaded or unloaded at points convenient to the street,” the patent stated, “the large terminals of today, particularly air terminals, have increased the difficulty of baggage-handling […]

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March 31: Anatol Josepho’s Photo Booth

Anatol M. Josepho, an immigrant from Siberia who invented the photo booth (“Photomaton”) in 1925, was born in Omsk on this date in 1894. Josepho was a photographer who went to Berlin at age 15, New York at 18, and Shanghai in his mid-twenties. His “Photomaton” debuted in September, 1925 at 1659 Broadway, between 51st […]

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June 4: The First Shopping Cart

Sylvan Goldman (1898-1984), owner of the Humpty Dumpty supermarket in Oklahoma City, introduced the first shopping cart on this date in 1937. Goldman built it with the assistance of a mechanic, Fred Young, based on a folding chair design, with wheels on the bottom of the chair legs and the seat replaced by two stacked […]

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May 23: Moog (as in “Vogue”)

Robert Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer, one of the first electronic instruments widely embraced in the musical world, was born in New York City on this date in 1934. His synthesizer was made possible by the invention of the transistor, which replaced bulky vacuum-tube electronic systems in the 1950s. The Moog synthesizer was demonstrated […]

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