Missouri Native Wins Invention Award

1 decade 2 years 2 months ago Wednesday, May 03 2006 May 3, 2006 Wednesday, May 03, 2006 1:31:39 PM CDT May 03, 2006 in News
Source: (Copyright 2007 The Associated Press All Rights Reserved.)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) - A Missouri native is the winner of the largest single cash award in the United States for invention.  James Fergason helped pioneer liquid crystal display technology used in everything from computer monitors to mood rings. He is scheduled to receive the $500,000 annual Lemelson- MIT Prize during a private ceremony today in Chicago. The Mizzou graduate did not invent liquid crystals. They were a little-known curiosity, with no clear purpose, when he began experimenting with them in 1958. At the time, he was a 24-year-old researcher at Westinghouse Research Laboratories. Five years later, Fergason was issued a patent for a temperature-measuring technique used in products from mood rings to forehead thermometers. Broader applications for LCD technology emerged after Fergason began working at Kent State University's Liquid Crystal Institute in 1966.

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