Today's (March 4) Washington Postreports on the people who turned out for a casting call for the PBS show "Everyday Edisons". The first show in the series will air on April 28. Inventors mentioned include Frampton Ellis III (naturally contoured shoe), Daniel Davala (butter knife) and Matt Fleming (tabletop game). This month one hundred years ago, Thomas Edison received a patent on an electrical welding machine (847,746).
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.