Barbie

In 1945, Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler created a garage-based manufacturing business. They named it by combining their first names, Mattel. First, they manufactured picture frames. Using the leftover pieces of wood, Elliot built dollhouses that sold well. Soon, Matson dropped out of the business leaving it solely owned by Handler and his wife, […]

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing identifies genetic patterns, including irregularities. In 2019, genetic testing is typically used to search for abnormalities and susceptibilities. However, new treatments under development target the specific traits of patients or disease. These treatments attack and cure at the genetic level. In addition, genetic testing is entertaining. People find unknown relatives or trace family […]

Heart-Lung Machine / Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Heart-Lung machines temporarily do the work of the heart and lungs allowing surgeons to operate on the heart or lungs. Despite the sci-fi nature, it was a husband-wife garage invention. Background In 1931, surgeon John Gibbon lost a patient he felt sure would have lived if he could temporarily keep blood circulating and oxygenated. He […]

Windshield Wiper

Windshield wipers are a vital component of a car. Inclusion Criteria However, countless other components in cars are also important. Excluding the vast majority of auto components from innowiki is a purposeful decision. Undoubtedly, these components are oftentimes enormous markets. However, they do not teach us about anything especially important. They are components in a […]

Milking Machine

Milking machine safely and effectively milk cows. They vastly reduce the cost of milking a cow. Background Nobody likes milking cows by hand. It’s time consuming, laborious, and they poop. Early attempts at something better involved inserting catheters that would let the milk slide out. However, if not used perfectly these hurt the animal. Catheters […]

Clusters of Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)

CRISPR is like a word processor for DNA. It allows easy and inexpensive gene editing. Edited genes are passed to future generations, making mutations permanent. Doudna and Charpentier Doudna and Charpentier worked on and invented the technology as a team. First, they worked on plants and, later, on animals. History becomes murkier with the involvement […]

Virtualization

Virtualization enables the separation of an operating system and the physical device, the chips that it runs on. An imperfect but close enough metaphor is auto rental. Rather than purchasing a car, that may be too big for many tasks and too small for others, a user can rent just the right size car or […]

Modern Computer Programming Languages

Early computers were programmed by literally connecting wires then turning the machine on. Eventually, that evolved to assembly language; a one and zero type exercise telling the computer exactly what to do. Modern computer programming languages are more like English. Programmers write in an English-like language and a computer program turns that into the ones […]

Niche Marketing

Walker, daughter of freed slaves, is the first self-made millionaire woman and the first self-made millionaire African American (maybe – tax returns suggest it was $600K but she did very well for herself). She invented beauty products for Black people. Walker was born in a sharecropper’s cabin. She is orphaned at seven. A freelance launderer, […]