Post-it notes inventor and Jacques Cousteau enter Inventors Hall of Fame

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The inventors of Post-it notes and the technologies that led to video games, modern scuba diving equipment and Global Positioning System technology are among 16 new members of the U S National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his fellow Frenchman and colleague, Emile Gagnan, are entering the Hall posthumously for their invention of the aqualung breathing equipment.

Previous members include Edward Calahan, inventor of the stock ticker, and Samuel Blum for his contribution to the invention of LASIK eye surgery.

Roger Easton, who is one of the 2010 inventors to enter the hall, said his group was trying to solve a different problem when they created the technology that formed the foundation for GPS.

"It started really with a problem very different from GPS," he said of his research on time signals. "Some weeks later the idea came that why don't we use it for navigation?" he said.

Ralph Baer developed early video game technology while working for a defence firm. Before inventing the system that became known as the Magnavox Odyssey home video game system, he often was asked by co-workers how the group would make any money from the project.

"People thought I was wasting my time and the company's money for that matter," said Mr Baer, who is still working in the gaming industry. "There's no way anybody could have predicted how fast this industry would take off."

The Akron, Ohio-based hall was founded by the U S Patent and Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law Associations. It has inducted members since 1973 and will have honoured 421 inventors with the new class, which includes six living and 10 deceased inventors.

"I think it's a good idea to encourage invention in every way possible," Mr Easton said.

The 2010 new members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame are:
Yvonne Brill – invented the Electrothermal Hydrazine Thruster, a small rocket propulsion system used to align communications satellites in space.

Art Fry and Spencer Silver – for Post-it notes. In 1968 Mr Silver invented an adhesive with unique sticking properties, while experimenting with the substance in the early 1970s, Mr Fry created the Post-it.

S. Donald Stookey – for glass ceramics which are used as aerospace components and in strong kitchen dishes.
M. Judah Folkman – invented Angiogenesis Inhibition, a way of limiting blood flow to stop the growth of tumours in cancer patients.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Emile Gagnan – for the breathing regulator which is the key component of aqualung diving equipment.

W. Lincoln Hawkins, Vincent Lanza and Field Winslow – invented the Polymer Cable Sheath, the plastic tubing which protects communications cables.
H. Tracy Hall, Herbert Strong, Francis Bundy and Robert Wentorf Jr. – for synthetic diamonds made from carbon, which are used in surgery scalpels, road resurfacing machines and tooth polish.

Roger Easton – TIMATION Satellite Navigation System, which included key components used in today's Global Positioning System. His team was the first to fly atomic clocks on satellites which enabled space and earth to synchronise time.

Ralph Baer – inventor of the Home Video Game System, introducing the memory game Simon in 1978.

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