The Late Movies: Inventors

Chris Higgins

Last week I pointed to a profile of Steven Sasson, Inventor of the Digital Camera. But his short interview is just the latest in a string of inventor profiles by David Friedman. I've collected some more of Friedman's videos below -- for the most part these are impressively humble people who have created very useful things. And the videos are bite-sized, so you can take a peek without committing to more than a few minutes. Enjoy!

Jerry Ford: Safe-T-Chair

"I invented an automatic brake system that prevents falls and injuries from roll-away wheelchairs. I crop-farm: I raise corn, soybeans, and hay, uh, I raise hay for my horses. ... I have twenty-seven horses right now."

The invention is remarkably smart, purely mechanical, and has likely saved many lives.

Inventor Portrait: Jerry Ford from David Friedman on Vimeo.

Clint Fruitman: Painaway Pro

"Probably twenty years ago, I injured my back pretty badly. My partner was, at that time, my chiropractic doctor. And he sent me back to my job, which involved a lot of travel, with a TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical [Nerve] Stimulator, attached to electrodes glued to my back."

Also: plastics!

Inventor Portrait: Clint Fruitman from David Friedman on Vimeo.

Tom Roering: Wilcraft

"Wilcraft is a drivable, amphibious, ice-fishing vehicle. ... The project started ... out of the desire to ice-fish safer, more conveniently, and be more mobile on the ice."

Inventor Portrait: Tom Roering from David Friedman on Vimeo.

Tami Galt: Fold-it & Go

"My idea came from going to the farmer's market and having too much to carry -- my back always hurt afterwards, and I'd be full of bundles. So I looked around and everybody was using these old-lady wire carts. And I figured I'd never be old enough to look like a little old lady in a wire cart. But I saw a few people with little red wagons..."

Inventor Portrait: Tami Galt from David Friedman on Vimeo.

Brent Farley: (Too Many Products to Mention

"Well, it's a chair for havin' sex on." Warning: slightly racy and definitely weird, Farley is the most colorful and prolific of the bunch. "... Marketing has always been my downfall."

Inventor Portrait: Brent Farley from David Friedman on Vimeo.