Inventors are inspirational. Jerome Hal Lemelson was an inventor, engineer, and businessman. He is remembered as a prolific inventor. He had 605 patents. He is a controversial figure, however he believed deeply in invention and innovation. He is connected to a wide variety of inventions and fields of work. These connections include automated warehouses, industrial robots, toys, and home and office equipment.
Jerome “Jerry” Hal Lemelson was born in Staten Island, New York on July 18, 1923. He was the oldest child of a physician and his first invention was related to his father’s work. He invented a lighted tongue depressor for his father to use. As a teenager he made and sold gas-powered model airplanes. He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.
After the war he attended New York University and graduated with a master’s degree in both aeronautical and industrial engineering. He wrote ideas down in notebooks, of which there were thousands completed throughout his life. He worked for the Office of Naval Research and Republic Aviation before working as a safety engineer and then becoming an independent inventor. He invented a universal robot for industrial systems. He worked on systems for video filing of data. He worked on patents to develop data and word processing technologies. He worked on patents to manufacture integrated circuits. He applied some concepts to toys and wrote patents for them.
With family, he established the Lemelson Foundation to support inventors, invention, and innovation. He died of liver cancer in 1997. He worked on bio-medical patents during his last year of life. In 1995, he was named Engineer of the Year by Design News readers. The John Templeton Foundation awarded his life in 1998. Be inspired! Have a bright day!