But this week I received a national press release with a headline that seized my interest: National Inventors Hall of Fame Announces mRNA, VoIP and Super Soaker Innovators Among 2022 Class.
How could the Super Soaker be included in this list? I did not know there was an inventors hall of fame. The skeptical, journalist part of my brain leaped to the conclusion that this must be some satirical piece from The Onion, or Babylon Bee.
But it wasn’t. This is a legitimate, prestigious hall of fame. The sidebar on this page is how they describe themselves.
(PLEASE RUN BELOW IN ITALICS AS A SIDEBAR)
About the National Inventors Hall of Fame The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) is the premier nonprofit organization in America dedicated to recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Founded in 1973 in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, NIHF is committed to not only honoring the individuals whose inventions have made the world a better place, but to ensuring American ingenuity continues to thrive in the hands of coming generations through its national, hands-on educational programming and collegiate competitions focused on the exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Explore the NIHF Museum digitally in Google Arts & Culture’s “Once Upon a Try” project. For more information, visit invent.org. To nominate an inventor for Induction, visit invent.org/nominate.
Lonnie Johnson, inventor of the Super Soaker, is being celebrated along with the inventor of the mRNA technology used in COVID-19 vaccines. An engineer, Johnson is the inventor of the Super Soaker®, which became a best-selling toy generating well over $1 billion in sales over its lifetime. Johnson’s longtime research focuses on energy technology, and his work today includes advances in rechargeable battery technology and thermodynamic technology to convert thermal energy to electrical energy. More than worthy of induction.
Marion Croak invented Voice Over Internet Protocol technology. Opthamologist Dr. Patricia Bath invented a new device and technology known as laserphaco for cataract removal.
Inventor of the automobile, Carl Benz, is posthumously being inducted this year.
Lots of STEM inventors of medical and technological devices are in the hall of fame along with the inventors of the hard hat, ibuprofen, center-pivot irrigation, the modern parachute, and the sports bra, among hundreds of others.
What a great way to recognize the people who have invented things improving all of our lives. Not just the important highbrow, egghead inventions, but also the common sense and fun things we use.
Visiting the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum in Alexandria, Virginia may have to go on my bucket list.