Innovations - 1960's

This book was published when I was four years old. I read it when I was about twelve and it awoke my inborn talent for innovation. I never had another vocation.

Talent alone is not enough. One must also have aptitude and develop skills. My aptitudes lay with design and engineering. I was never quite fell within the defined boundaries. My thinking was always a bit out of sync with what might be expected. During my junior year at Carnegie-Mellon University (Carnegie Institute of Technology) I developed an unusual vehicle. My most memorable accomplishment. It was a costume for the 1967 Beaux Arts ball. Years later, on my first visit as a speaker at the design and engineering school I was amazed that my costume had been a part of campus lore and mythology for more than 35 years.

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Electronics in the mid sixties were primitive by today's standards. There was no such thing as a strobe light for fun and entertainment. My friends and I created what was probably the first one for use in a dance club from technology gleaned from airport landing light technology. I did not follow this path that may have led to a career associated with rock and roll but it is interesting that both ends of my career had something to do with innovative lighting.

After graduation from CMU, I decided to flee the East for new horizons in Denver, Colorado. Since jobs for those looking to create products with manufacturers were nonexistent, I was hired as the in-house product designer and engineer for a major commercial architectural firm. Funded by a Ford Foundation grant, I created a new concept in educational equipment and furniture specifically designed to satisfy the special needs of the new idea of "Open Plan Schools". This was the subject of my first 3 patent applications in 1968.

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Product design was my ambition. During the last years of the 60's I was the 'Industrial Designer' for Denver's sole product development consultant. My engineering and manufacturing skills made me a one man department for projects which included the first garden hose pressure washer, Lang ski boots, electronic controls for a rocket (toy) manufacturer and Samsonite toys.

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It occurred to me that my future as an innovator depended upon a combination of specific skills to make my creativity come to life. I would build on my abilities and knowledge of design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing. This would be the key to open the door of opportunity for me. An opportunity not just to design products but to create and develop and market them as well.