Now that American Heritage Heroes has hit the blogs I was thinking about a set from a few years ago. It's Upper Deck's, The History of the United States, a 300 card set that's basically a grammar school text book in trading cards. Here are six of my favorite cards from the Inventors and Inventions subset.
None other than Albert Einstein. Unless he's about to diagram a "sweep right" we're not going to understand it.
In 1921 Einstein traveled to the US with Chaim Weizmann the future 1st President of Israel. From Einstein by Walter Isaacson, "It was by all accounts, a pleasant Atlantic crossing, during which Einstein tried to explain relativity to Weizmann. Asked upon their arrival whether he understood the theory, Weizmann gave a delightful reply: "During the crossing, Einstein explained his theory to me every day, and by the time we arrived I was fully convinced that he really understands it."
Les Paul passed away this summer. You can't imagine rock and roll without him.
A great picture of Edwin Land demonstrating his revolutionary Polaroid film.
"Although Land never received a formal degree, he received honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Willams College, Tufts College, Washington University, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, University of Massachusetts, Brandeis University and many others. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to a U.S. citizen, in 1963 for his work in optics. He held 535 patents, compared with Thomas Edison's 1,097 American patents. In 1977 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1988 Land was awarded the National Medal of Technology for "the invention, development and marketing of instant photography".
Did you even know there was a "Mr." Zamboni? Well aren't you smart! You can go resurface the ice now.
I actually played "Pong" on a first generation Atari when I was in high school. It seemed cool at the time.
For some reason I always think of Gilda Radner when I see a slinky. It has to do with this bit from SNL:
Mr. DiLaBounta: Uh, Enid.. I hope this isn't indelicate, but.. [ picks his nose ] ..how did Mr. Loopner pass away?
Mrs. Loopner: Oh.. he was born without a spine. It was always just a matter of time.
Mr. DiLaBounta: What did he do for a living?
Mrs. Loopner: Oh, didn't you know? He invented the Slinky.
Lisa Loopner: Yeah.. unfortunately, he didn't call it the Slinky, and he didn't patent it. But he sued the Slinky people for $5 million.. and lost.