Advertisement

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

November 12: The Soviet Military Aircraft Designer

Aviation engineer Mikhail Gurevich, who co-designed the USSR’s MiG (Mikoyan-Gurevich) line of warplanes, died on this date in 1976, age 82. The first generation of MiGs destroyed 50 percent of German aircraft attacking Moscow in 1941. Gurevich and Artem Mikoyan (an Armenian), engineering partners for 25 years, also designed the post-war MiG jet fighter series, […]

Read More

August 9: The Jewish Wright Brothers

Otto Lilienthal, the first person in the world to make successful and repeated glider flights, had a fatal 49-foot fall in a glider on this date in 1896. Lilienthal was a German Jew who, with his brother Gustav, studied the flight of birds, received 25 patents for various inventions, and designed and flew a dozen […]

Read More

June 7: The Make-Up Man

Max Factor, Jr., who created pancake make-up and smear-proof lipstick, and built on his father’s innovations in early Hollywood to build a cosmetics empire, died at 91 in Los Angeles on this date in 1996. His Polish-born father, Maksymilian Faktorowicz, had been apprenticed at 9 to a wigmaker and cosmetician and had developed into a well-known […]

Read More

November 9: Inventors' Days

Of the numerous countries that have proclaimed “Inventors’ Days,” and at least four of them base their celebrations on the birthdates of Jewish inventors. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland observe it on today’s date, November 9th, in honor of the birth of Hedy Lamarr, the Austrian-born actress who invented a “frequency-hopping spread-spectrum communication system” that became […]

Read More

November 3: Fleischmann's Yeast

Charles Louis Fleischmann, who with his brother Maximilian created the first commercial yeast cake in America and transformed bread-baking, was born in Silesia on this date in 1835. The Fleischmann brothers, along with a financial partner, founded the Fleischmann Yeast Company in Riverside, Cincinnati in 1868 and exhibited their product at a fragrant “Vienna bakery” […]

Read More

April 5: The Inventive Mr. Kamen

Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway PT, one of the most highly publicized and least successful inventions of the past two decades, was born on this date in 1951. The Segway is a very neat, ecological, self-balancing, two-wheeled low-speed transport that unfortunately has little use in hard-core urban environments or highway-dependent suburbs and rural areas. […]

Read More

April 3: The First Cell Phone Call

Martin Cooper placed the world’s first cellular phone call in New York on this date in 1973. Cooper was a vice president of Motorola and led the team that created the phone. His call went to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, who was also working on cellphone technology together with Richard Frenkiel. The phone […]

Read More