Connecticut Has Presence in National Inventors Hall of Fame, Including Some Less-Than-Household Names
This article from Connecticut By The Numbers was posted August 25,2020.
The National Inventors Hall of Fame has been honoring the spirit of innovation and promoting inventors as role models since 1973. During those 47 years, 17 inventors with Connecticut connections have been inducted. Some are household names, others less so.
The most recent inductee from Connecticut is Augustine Sackett who was born in the town of Warren in 1841 and credited with the invention of drywall. Sackett was inducted in 2017, which was 103 years after his death.
More familiar Connecticut names among the list of inductees are Samuel Colt, inventor of a revolver with interchangeable parts, inducted in 2006; John Fitch, credited for devising the method of propelling boats with steam, inducted that same year; and Charles Goodyear (1800—1860), responsible for the vulcanization of rubber, inducted in 1976.
Among the Connecticut 17 are names less familiar, but whose impact on our daily lives is nonetheless unmistakable. Vinton Cerf, born in New Haven in 1943, co-designed the architecture of the Internet and the procedures known as the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP (U.S. Patent No. 6,574,628), that allow supercomputers and desktop PCs to share the Internet.
He did so with Robert Kahn, and together they are often referred to as the “fathers of the Internet,” according to the Hall of Fame, where they were inducted in 2006. Their conceptual design, developed in 1974, evolved into the Internet, enabling applications ranging from e-mail, streaming audio and video to the World Wide Web. Cerf and Kahn (a Brooklyn, NY native) received the National Medal of Technology in 1997, and Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Another recent inductee (2015) from Connecticut is Paul B. MacCready, a New Haven native. As the National Inventors Hall of Fame explains, “MacCready was an aeronautical engineer known as the ‘Father of Human Powered Flight’ and is often seen as an “inventor’s inventor” because of his affinity for invention. MacCready started two companies to pursue weather modifications and alternative energy research before turning to innovative flight research.
The mission of the National Inventors Hall of Fame is recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity, and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Located on the campus of the United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, the museum space enables visitors to explore the nearly 600 inductees and their technological achievements. The nonprofit organization also provides STEM and innovation-focused education programs, competitions and events, and partners with schools and organizations across the country.