Without the genius and innovation of the world’s inventors, life on Earth would probably still be stuck in the dark ages. Some inventions have saved lives, others changed the scope of technology and design and others still were just plain fun. No matter what the invention, the work that these great men and women put into their creations deserves praise and recognition. All ten of the inventors on this list are named Ken, and each one has changed the world to some degree with their incredible products and inventions.
- Ken Richardson – This inventor holds the honor of being a famous fighter of fungus, with the development of fluconazole. While it may not sound like much, Ken Richardson’s work on the prevention of fungal infections has saved lives. Fluconazole has been used in the treatment of transplants, AIDs and burn patients. The discovery of fluconazole is considered the most significant advancement in the fight against fungal infections to this day.
- Ken Olsen – Olsen is perhaps most famous for his work on coincident current systems, a component of computer memory which makes it smaller. His work was instrumental in the development of core memory models, which can retain memory without the need of power. Ken Olsen’s work revolutionized how computers and processors were designed, making him a significant figure in the industry.
- Kenneth E. Manchester– By developing ion implantation, Kenneth E. Manchester changed the way all electronic devices were created. His invention allowed for the first Effect Transistor with Controlled Threshold Voltage, which is used in all integrated circuits today. Kenneth received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1955, before going on to work on ion implantation in 1962.
- Ken Ahroni – This is the invention that just keeps on giving. Ken Ahroni had a wish, but he had run out of Turkey wishbones. Lucky Break Wishbones are just like the real thing; they look the same, break the same and have the same chance of actually making your wish come true. Besides which, they’re a fun novelty idea for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner parties.
- Ken Butler – Some of Ken Butler’s best inventions are yet to be realized. The crafter of hybrid instruments is world famous for turning every day, household items into playable instruments. Ken began his labor of love with hybrid instruments in 1978, when he created a hatchet violin by adding a adding a fingerboard, tailpiece, tuning pegs and bridge to an ordinary hatchet.
- Ken Thompson – The UNIX operating system is regarded as one of the best operating systems ever conceived, and it is all thanks to the work of Ken Thompson. The system was developed in 1969, the same year that man went to the moon. Thompson was also the creator of the game “Space Travel,” which is considered the first PC game and the precursor to the development of console game play.
- Ken Hakuta – If you have ever had the pleasure of owning a “Wacky Wall Walker,” then you can thank Ken Kakuta. The toy, which usually took the shape of an Octopus or other creature, used a combination of gravity and adhesive suckers to walk down walls, providing hours of fun for kids in the 1980s. Ken Hakuta is also featured in the game “Trivial Pursuit” under the question; “Who is the inventor of the Wacky Wall Walker?”
- Ken Tarlow – Ken Tarlow is a world renowned product developer, with over 400 products under his belt. Tarlow now lends his talents to the “Make Money Expo,” helping other would-be inventors get their products and patents off the ground. As well as creating his own inventions, Ken is the author of “Mind to Money,” a successful how-to guide for creating and launching a product from inception to sale.
- Kenneth Dunkley– Everyone loves Three Dimensional Viewing Glasses, which is one reason why Kenneth Dunkley is a world famous and much loved inventor. Kenneth also lends his talents to the Museum of Scientific Discovery in Harrisburg, PA, where he delivers workshops on visual effects. Dunkley’s work is considered the most innovative advancement in 3D technology, which will only lead to further developments in the future. Kenneth Dunkley has literally changed the way that humans see the world around them.
- Ken Howard – This inventor first made his name with the popular board-game, “The Parliament Game.” He has since gone on to develop over 700 products, ranging from games to television shows. Howard now acts as an expert consultant to other inventors and product developers who are looking to break into the industry.
Lastly, I promised that in the title that I (Ken Myers) would discuss my own inventions. I am listed as an inventor on a couple of patents with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. The first invention was for an application with a GUI wizard and technology for using XSLT to transform text files from one format to another (from delimited to fixed length or XML to CSV, etc.). My second invention was a business method patent for selling a plurality of home services based upon a person’s address (see WhiteFence.com). These are both very meaningful to me and it was interesting to go through the process of filing and eventually earning the patents. My guess is that several of the inventors in the list above feel the same way.