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Marie Van Brittan Brown

About Marie Van Brittan Brown

New York-born inventor who became famous for her home security system.

Early life

Her invention received a patent in 1969.


Her security system consisted of a camera, peep holes, and a remote control door opener.

Family of Marie Van Brittan Brown

She was born and raised in Queens, New York. She had a daughter named Norma and a son named Albert Jr with her husband Albert Brown.

Close associates of Marie Van Brittan Brown

She and Jerome Lemelson were both New York-born inventors.

Gail Borden

About Gail Borden

One of America s earliest food scientists who most notably invented a method to condense milk so that it would have a longer shelf life. He also created the “meat biscuit” for stylers crossing the plains who need portable concentrated food.

Early life

His only form of formal schooling was in Indiana and hew worked as a county surveyor in Mississippi for a number of years.


Though practical, his meat biscuit received widespread adoption by established commercial interest, and he lost so much money on the venture that he needed financiers to help him start his condensed milk venture.

Family of Gail Borden

He was born in Norwich, New York, to a pioneer family, and spent much of his early life on the road.

Close associates of Gail Borden

While he came up with a way to preserve milk, Frank Mars found a way to commercially combine it with chocolate to make a great tasting candy bar.

Jeri Ellsworth

About Jeri Ellsworth

Engineer and inventor known for her emphasis on do-it-yourself computer engineering. She first garnered attention for her C64 Direct-to-TV, in which she created a joystick capable of playing games from the Commodore 64.

Early life

She started learning how to program on the family s Commodore 64 computer, knowledge she used to open a small chain of computer stores called Computers Made Easy.


She grew up racing dirt-track cars and later started creating her own custom cars in her father s workshop. Her business was successful enough that she dropped out of high school in order to focus on it full-time in her teens.

Family of Jeri Ellsworth

Although born in Georgia, she grew up in Oregon.

Close associates of Jeri Ellsworth

In 2012, she spent time working for Gabe Newell at Valve.

Claude E. Shannon

About Claude E. Shannon

His revolutionary theory of information united what before were completely separate methods of communication – the telegraph, telephone, and broadcast media. He also helped develop the field of cryptanalysis, while working towards national defense during World War II.

Early life

At 22 years of age at M.I.T. he wrote his master s thesis showing how to apply 19th century algebra to modern-day electronic switches.


He was one of the first scientists to quantify information, using units of measurement called binary digits, which are also known as bits.

Family of Claude E. Shannon

He was born in Petoskey, Michigan, his father a judge and his mother a teacher.

Close associates of Claude E. Shannon

He grew up admiring Thomas Edison and later discovered he was distantly related to him: both were descendants of a colonial leader.

Eliza Lucas

About Eliza Lucas

Agricultural innovator and plantation manager who built colonial South Carolina s economy on the cash crop of indigo, which, in its processed form (as dye), was a major pre-Revolutionary War export.

Early life

At the age of sixteen, she became the primary manager of Wappoo Plantation, one of her family s South Carolina landholdings.


Her son, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, signed the United States Constitution and ran as the 1800 vice-presidential candidate for the Federalist Party.

Family of Eliza Lucas

She grew up on a sugar plantation in the British West Indies. She later married South Carolina Chief Justice Charles Pinckney.

Close associates of Eliza Lucas

She and James Hammond — a pre-Civil War South Carolina governor — were both South Carolina plantation owners and slaveholders.

Thomas Edison

About Thomas Edison

He invented early versions of the light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, and became a legend for contributions to telecommunications and industry. With 1,093 U.S. patents in his name, he is considered the fourth most prolific inventor in history.

Early life

He sold candy, newspapers, and vegetables to train passengers who were going from Port Huron to Detroit.


His favorite movie was The Birth of a Nation and he felt that the invention of sound in film had ruined the medium.

Family of Thomas Edison

He got married to Mary Stilwell on December 25, 1871, and later married Mina Miller on February 24, 1886. His children include Madeleine Edison, Theodore Miller Edison, and Charles Edison.

Close associates of Thomas Edison

He became close friends with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.