November 1, 2007 |
Most people don't see a radio when they look at a penny, or a microphone when they hold a pencil, but Cy Tymony isn't most people. A technical writer and computer expert by day, Tymony has a second life as a "re-inventor." He uses household items to re-create objects that are fun (electronic greeting cards) and practical (a homemade fire extinguisher).
February 3, 1990 |
Doug Malewicki would be the first to admit that some of his inventions have literally never gotten off the ground. Malewicki has invented a jet-powered motorcycle, a mileage-record-setting car, a speed-record-setting bicycle, a popular game for kids and a car-chomping mechanical dinosaur that performs at monster-truck shows. Malewicki is a real-life version of the scientist named Szalinski, portrayed by actor Rick Moranis in the hit movie, "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 1999 |
Sometimes braces are the mother of invention. That was the case with Dental Dots, the Valley-made product described in its literature as "the world's first disposable fingertip toothbrush." As John Stoltzfus, who owns the Reseda firm, explains, it was his late brother, Bob, who dreamed up these throwaway toothbrushes. Unlike John, his identical twin, Bob Stoltzfus, needed braces to straighten his lower teeth.
May 25, 2009 |
If we have the Great Depression to thank for inventions such as the Twinkie, Monopoly and the photocopier, this recession may be remembered for inspiring a biodegradable shower mat, a tie that holds iPods and a gadget that breaks the vacuum seals of jars. That's because some self-starters among the ranks of the unemployed, sick of trudging off to job fairs and sending out resumes, are starting businesses to finally launch that invention they've been mulling over for years.
December 17, 1987 |
Gordon Gould is the kind of person you look at and, knowing what he's been through, still say he's none the worse for the wear. Then again, maybe he created this contented persona to hide decades of anger. He's frequently asked if he's bitter, and he always smiles a little ruefully and says: "No." Perhaps that is because he is now a very rich man. He's 67, and it shows in the lines on his face, the gray in his hair--which has gracefully receded to the top of his head.
September 9, 1992 |
Visiting his sick mother at a hospital four years ago, Robert Markus watched in disbelief as nurses wrestled the aching patient onto a cold, hard bedpan. "It was a god-awful thing to see," Markus said. "Bedpans are the only things left in a hospital that haven't changed since the 19th Century. I thought, 'There's got to be something better.' " So the 70-year-old retired restaurateur and a partner went to work in a garage and developed an electric-powered, inflatable bedpan.
December 6, 1989 |
The American toy industry, once an entrepreneurial mix of clever marketing and lighthearted creativity, is not what it used to be. It's more careful, more self-contained and more secretive. And although annual sales last year were at a record $13 billion, the field seems to be dominated by a few large companies. Despite a boom in the number of children under the age of 12, the industry is in the midst of a shakeout.
August 29, 1990 |
Lou Rosenlund of Los Angeles was lugging concrete blocks to build a pig pen on his Montana ranch and complaining about how heavy they were when he got the idea. Why not build a lightweight block that would be just as strong? Five years later, he has just that--a lightweight block that he can drive his Cadillac over--and he's on his way to the Invention Convention in Pasadena this weekend to market it.