Introduction
The next time you access the Internet through your mobile phone, warm a frozen pizza in your microwave or ride an elevator in a high-rise office building, thank an independent inventor. In fact, nearly every modern convenience we have today owes its origins to a thinker, a dreamer, a creator—an independent inventor. These are society’s dreamers, doers, risk takers, and makers of things. And they are heroes who continue to shape and enrich our lives.
—Mike Drummond, editor-in-chief, Inventor’s Digest
Of the more than 7.5 million patents granted in the United States since 1790, a few have had enormous impact on our lives while at the same time bringing fame and fortune to their inventors. The electric lamp, the transistor radio, ...

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