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A listing of inventors who believed in the value of their inventions and were willing to assume the risk involved in organizing, operating, and funding a business venture. These Inventor/Entrepreneurs from Alexander Graham bell to Ferdinand Zeppelin are the men and women who believed an individual can create a successful business.

Baekeland, Leo
1909 General Bakelite Company
1939 Comapny sold to Union Carbide
Bell, Alexander Graham
1877 Bell Telephone Company
1885 The American Telephone and Telegraph Company
Brush, Charles
1880 Brush Electric Company
1889 Merged into the Thomson-Houston Electric Company
Bushnell, Nolan
(b1943 )
1971 Atari Corporation
1977 Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theater
 Mr. Bushnell has founded 20 companies. His current company, 2005, is uWink.
Carnegie, Andrew
1872 J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works near Pittsburgh, which eventually evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company.
Carrier, Willis Haviland
1902 Carrier Air Conditioning
Disney, Walt
1924 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio
1934 Disney Studios
The Walt Disney Company
Dyson, James
(b1947 )
Dyson Limited
Eastman, George
1892 Eastman Kodak Company
Edison, Thomas Alva
1878 Edison Electric Company
1892 General Electric Company
During his lifetime Edison founded, merged or acquired more than 75 companies.
Ford, Henry
1903 Ford Motor Company
Fuller, R. Buckminster
The Buckminster Fuller Institute
Giannini, Amadeo
Bank of Italy
Transamerica Corporation
Bank of America
Gray, Elisha
Western Electric Company
Gilbert, A.C.
Mysto Manufacturing
A. C. Gilbert
Hershey, Milton
1890 Lancaster Caramel Company
1883 Hershey Chocolate Company
Hershey Foods Corporation
Hollerith, Herman
1896 Tabulating Machine Company
1911 Computer Tabulating Recording Company (CTR).
1924 International Business Machines (IBM)
Jobs, Steve 1976 Apple Computer inc.
1986 Pixar
1989 NeXT Step
Kellogg, Will Keith
1900 Sanitas Food Company
1906 Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flakes Co.
1908 Kellogg Company,
Kamen, Dean
(b1951- )
1976 AutoSyringe, Inc
1981 DEKA Research & Development Corporation
Linde, Carl
The Linde AG, founded by the German scientist-entrepreneur Carl von Linde in 1879 with the name of "Society for Lindes Ice machines" today it is the oldest German engineering company still in operation.
Lowe, Edward
1947 Kitty Litter Brand
1964 Tidy Cats®
McConneli, David H.
(1858 -1937)
1886 Avon Calling
1887 California Perfume Company
1939 Avon Products, Inc
Nestle, Henri 1867 Nestle
Nobel, Alfred 
1865 Nobel Company
Chemical Industries (ICI), Great Britain; Société Centrale de Dynamite, France; and Dyno Industries in Norway
Noyce, Robert
(1927 - 1990)
1957 Fairchild Semiconductor
1968 Intel.
Olds, Ransom Eli
1897 Olds Motor Vehicle Company and Olds Gasoline Engine Works
1899 Olds Motor Works
1910 Reo Motor Car Company
1915 Ideal Power Lawn Mower Company
Popeil, Ron
(b1935 )
1964 Ronco Teleproducts
1989 Ronco
Schwinn, Ignaz
1895 Arnold, Schwinn & Company
1967 Schwinn Bicycle Company
Strauss, Levi
1853 Levi Strauss & Company
Tupper, Earl
1938 Earl S. Tupper Company
1954 Tupperware
Westinghouse, George
1869 Westinghouse Air Brake Company
1886 Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Wozniak, Steve
(b1950 )
1976 Apple Computer Inc.
1985 Cloud 9
Wheels of Zeus (wOz)
Wright, Frank Lloyd
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Zeppelin, Ferdinand
1908 Zeppelin Foundation


A Century of Innovation   from The Great Idea Finder

Always Inventing
by Tom L. Matthews, Gilbert M. Grosvenor / Hardcover: 64 pages / National Geographic Soc. (1999)

The primary focus is Bell's inventions, however, the book also tells of his other main interests: his family and the education of the deaf.
by Peter Krass / Hardcover: 624 pages / John Wiley & Sons; (August 30, 2002)

One of the major figures in American history, Andrew Carnegie was a ruthless businessman who made his fortune in the steel industry and ultimately gave most of it away.
Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress, 1903-2003
by Douglas Brinkley / Hardcover: 858 pages / Viking Press; (April 28, 2003)
In conjunction with its 100th anniversary, the Ford Motor Company opened its monumental archives to the unfettered research of author/historian Douglas Brinkley. Few endeavors in history can match Ford Motor Company's impact on human civilization. Launched a century ago by a bumptious squad of clever eccentrics-led by the odd visionary mechanic Henry Ford-the first mass-production auto manufacturer would push the rest of the industrialized world into the modern age.

Buckminster Fuller's Universe: His Life and Work
by Lloyd Steven Sieden / Paperback - 511 pages (August 11, 2000) / Perseus Book Group
A sympathetic, even advocator, account of the life and work of the designer, engineer, and architect, interpreting his creations as visible models of his philosophy. Well illustrated, including diagrams showing the principles of his designs.
Code Name Ginger: The Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World
by Steve Kempe / Hardcover: 336 pages / Harvard Business School Press (June, 2003)
This is the unforgettable story of "Ginger," officially named the Segway Human Transporter: a self-balancing, electric-powered people mover that Kamen called "magic sneakers." With the pacing and excitement of a suspense novel, Code Name Ginger documents the birth of a marvelous new technology and the feats of its remarkable inventor, his team of engineers, and the financiers who pursued them.
Alfred Nobel: A Biography
Kenne Fant / Hardcover 342 pages / Arcade Publishers; (1993)

The inventor of dynamite and smokeless explosives wasn't consistently ambivalent about where technical progress was heading.
Frank Lloyd Wright
by Robert McCarter / Paperback - 368 pages  / (October 1999)
Phaidon Press Inc.
Of all the books that have appeared in the last 10 years on Frank Lloyd Wright and his architecture, this is the one that will last.

Alexander Graham Bell: Voice of Invention
VHS / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / Bipgraphy Channel / Less than $20.00
Alexander Graham Bell left his mark on the world with the invention of the telephone. But he might have been a footnote in history if not for his lawyer, who filed for the patent a mere two hours before his rival Elisha Gray, who had also unraveled the mysteries of communicating by wire.
Andrew Carnegie: Prince of Steel
VHS / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / Bipgraphy Channel / Less than $25.00
Andrew Carnegie is the classic American success story. He rose from a $1.20 a week job for a thread company to the head of a company that sold for the equivalent of $12.5 billion! Believing that "a rich man who dies rich dies in disgrace," he worked as hard at giving his wealth away as he did to earn it.

Henry Ford: Tin Lizzy Tycoon
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / Bipgraphy Channel / Less than $25.00 / Also VHS
Henry Ford was one of the great innovators of our time. When the car he invented became so popular he couldn't build them fast enough, he came up with the modern assembly plant to meet demand. The rest is history.
Frank Lloyd Wright - A film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (1998)
Video / Rated: NR / VHS NTSC / Color, Closed-captioned, Black & White, Box set ( 2 tapes) / Starring: Edward Herrmann / Director: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
Frank Lloyd Wright was the greatest of all American architects. He was an authentic American genius, a man who believed he was destined to redesign the world, creating everything anew. Over the course of his long career, Wright designed over eight hundred buildings. Wright's buildings and his ideas changed the way we live, work and see the world around us.


Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
Established in 1890 to empower persons who are hearing impaired to function independently
Andrew Carnegie Biography
There were only a few public libraries in the world when, in 1881, Carnegie began to promote his idea. He and the Corporation subsequently spent over $56 million to build 2,509 libraries throughout the English-speaking world.

Ford Biography
Henry enjoyed a childhood typical of the rural nineteenth century, spending days in a one-room school and doing farm chores. At an early age, he showed an interest in mechanical things and a dislike for farm work.Henry ford Museum presents a year by year history of the Ford Motor Company
Buckminster Fuller Institute
Official Web site for his inventions and his teachings.
DEKA Research and Development Corporation
Founded by Dean Kamen, DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as well as to provide R&D for major corporate clients.
Jerome H. Lemelson Biography
One of the century's five most prolific inventors, Lemelson received an average of one patent a month for more than 40 years—all on his own, without support from established research institutions or corporate research and development departments.
Edward Lowe Biography
Even among the burgeoning lists of highly successful entrepreneurs, Edward Lowe occupies a special place. From the official Edward Lowe Foundation Web site.
Alfred Nobel Biography
His family was descended from Olof Rudbeck, the best-known technical genius of Sweden's 17th century era as a great power in northern Europe.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Information about the Foundation's programs and resources on the legacy of Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

This document was compiled by the editors at The Great Idea Finder
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