National Inventors Hall of Fame Inducts Class of 2010

Honoring those who invented scuba gear, Post-It Notes, home console video game systems, and more

Since 1973, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has annually inducted an batch of men and women whose work promotes the progress of science, technology and the economy. Inventors are nominated by their peers and the public, and in turn chosen by a committee that includes representatives from national scientific and technical organizations. Past inductees include Robert M. Metcalfe, developer of Ethernet, and Emile Berliner, who invented microphone technology.

This year’s class, which includes the inventors of scuba gear and GPS technology, is inducted in a ceremony today at the United States Department of Commerce Building.

Click through our gallery to see who who was honored and how their fantastic inventions came to be.

Ralph Baer

Ralph Baer, popularly known as “The Father of Video Games,” invented the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s first home video game console.

Roger Easton

Roger Easton invented, designed and patented GPS technology, which was first tested on the TIMATION satellite navigation system and Navigation Technology Satellites (NTS).

Spencer Silver & Arthur Fry

Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry invented Post-It ® Notes. Their signature yellow color was chosen by accident, as the team initially tested the product using yellow scrap paper.

S. Donald Stookey

S. Donald Stookey invented glass-ceramics, including Pyroceramic glass, which is used in CorningWare and for missile nose cones.

Yvonne C. Brill

Yvonne C. Brill developed electrothermal hydrazine thruster, a high-performance electric rocket used to keep satellites in place while in orbit.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau & Emile Gagnan (1900-1984)

Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan developed aqua-lung diving equipment, a forerunner of today’s open-circuit scuba gear. The two will be posthumously honored. Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau, will attend the ceremony.

Tracy Hall, Francis Bundy Herbert Strong and Robert Wentorf, Jr.

Tracy Hall, Francis Bundy Herbert Strong and Robert Wentorf, Jr. are being posthumously honored for creating the first commercially successful synthetic diamonds. Freda Hofland, daughter of Francis Bundy, will be present.

W. Lincoln Hawkins, Field Winslow & Vincent Lanza

W. Lincoln Hawkins, Fred Winslow, and Vincent Lanza are being posthumously honored for developing. the polymer cable sheath, which provided improved protection for telephone cables. Philip Hawkins, son of Lincoln Hawkins, will be present.

M. Judah Folkman

M. Judah Folkman researched angiogenesis inhibition, where the growth of blood vessels is suppressed, which in turn prevents the cancer from growing. He is being posthumously honored for founding anti-angiogenesis therapy.