Contrary to popular opinion, Thomas Edison is not the world's most prolific inventor. So says technology writer Kevin Maney in the November issue of Condé Nast Portfolio. Although Edison received an impressive 1,093 U.S. patents during his lifetime, Maney has uncovered at least three living inventors, including one American, who beat Edison's record. They are:
Shunpei Yamazaki (Japan) - 1,811 U.S. patents
Kia Silverbrook (Australia) - 1,646
Donald Weder (U.S.) - 1,350
Maney also identifies the most prolific women inventors and a few up-and-coming inventors with more than 500 patents. Curiously, he doesn't mention Jerome Lemelson, the king of submarine patents, who has at least 570 U.S. patents and another 19 pending applications. Lemleson continues to score patents although he died in 1997.