New Jersey Inventors
Hall Of Fame

1990 Award Winners

Hall of Fame

Rev. Hannibal Goodwin -House of Prayer Episcopal Church, Newark

Working in Plume House, the rectory of the House of Prayer Episcopal Church in Newark, Rev. Hannibal Goodwin sensitized a piece of celluloid to hold photographic images. His 1887 discovery of flexible nitro-cellulose film ignited the photographic revolution. Flexible film, which could be produced and stored in rolls, made photography accessible to amateurs and led to the mass production of cameras, film, and related equipment.

Hubert Lechevalier -Rutgers University, Piscataway

With the late Selman Waksman, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, Hubert Lechevalier developed the antibiotic neomycin as well as the process for its preparation. He also holds patents for the drug candicidin, for microbiological recovery of metals and for proteins in the recovery of metals. The author of more than 100 scientific papers and 10 books, he has been a visiting researcher at the Academy of Science of the USSR, the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, and France's Pasteur Institute.

Jerome Lemelson, Princeton

Winner of a record setting patent infringement suit against Mattel, Inc. for the flexible track used in "Hot Wheels," Jerome Lemelson holds more than 450 patents, more than any other living American. His patents include inexpensive portable telephones, the drive mechanism for cassette tape players, the multiple video terminal system used in computers, television security systems, computer controlled plastic extrusion and injection molding systems, direct numerical control of machine tools, and educational toys and games. The critical dimensions of the tiles on the Space Shuttle are measured by a computer-controlled system that relies on one of his patents, and the Sony Corporation uses his audio cassette patents to manufacture its Walkman.

Arthur Patchett -Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, Rahway

The antihypersensitive drug Enalapril and the cholesterol-lowering agent Mevacor, two key weapons in the battle against heart disease, were developed by a research team that included Arthur Patchett. Although part of the design elements for an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor were known, his solution resulted in the first once-a-day ACE inhibitor for the treatment of hypertension and congestive heart failure. This drug has the greatest sales in its class in the United States ($1 billion annually). Mevacor a recent breakthrough that inhibits an enzyme necessary for cholesterol synthesis has been hailed as a major advance in the wag against heart disease.

William Pfefferle - Engelhard Corporation, Edison

Catalytically supported thermal combustion and the magnaforming process for refining gasoline define the work of William Pfefferle: the development of catalytic processes that improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Magnaforming, which reforms naphtha feedstocks into high octane gasoline blending stock, is used in the production of much of the world's gasoline, with resulting savings of millions of barrels of crude oil annually. Catalytically supported thermal combustion improves combustion stability and efficiency and significantly reduces nitrous oxide and other emissions. Of the 53 patents William Pfefferle has earned to date, 22 relate to applications of catalytically stabilized combustion. His work has formed the basis of the development of the catalytic combustor gas turbine, download catalytic steam generator for heavy oil recovery, catalytic relight coatings, and catalytically stabilized methane dimerization projects. After 20 years with Engelhard, he became co-founder of Precision Combustion in New Haven, Conn.

Harold Seidel - AT&T Bell Laboratories

Harold Seidel developed the feed forward circuit technique which produces a stable, high frequency amplifier with controlled transfer characteristics. This invention significantly advanced the state of the art of amplifier control and led to commercially successful microwave amplifier designs. The holder of more than 130 patents in the fields of power conversion, RF circuit techniques, digital and analog data transmissions, optics, magnetic devices, semiconductor devices, acoustics, laser technology and analog, control and microwave circuits, he was one of the three scientists who developed the first operating three-level maser, a precursor of today's laser.

Oberlin Smith - Ferracute Machine Company, Bridgeton

An inventor, industrialist, and mechanical engineer, Oberlin Smith founded the Ferracute Machine Company, manufacturers of press machines for cutting. punching, forming and stamping metal. The holder of 70 patents, he was the consummate tinkerer, who invented or improved as die presses, can-making devices, looms, locks, a malted milk mixer, a garage door opener, and a device to automatically extract eggs from boiling water at a pre-set cooking time. His greatest contribution, however, was only recently attributed to him. After a visit to Thomas Edison' laboratory in 1877, Oberlin Smith spent ten months developing a reel-to-reel system that passed magnetized wire on magnetic recording. Lacking time to pursue further development of the invention, he placed his device in the public domain. In 1900 his concept was developed into Valdemar Poulsen's Telegraphone. Magnetic recording is the technology that permitted the development of devices such as the tape recorder, telephone answering machine, and computer.

Marvin Weinstein - Schering-Plough, Madison

Marvin Weinstein is the discoverer of Gentimicin, one of the most widely used and most important antibiotics on the market today. The holder of 28 patents, he is also the co-developer of the process for extracting interferon from bacteria, and the co-discoverer of amphotericin, thiostrepton, and carbomycin. Starting as a microbiologist at Schering-Plough in 1956, he retired as Vice President, Recombinant DNA Research in 1981.

Edward Weston - Weston Instruments, Newark

A prolific inventor who held 334 patents, Edward Weston helped revolutionize the measurement of electricity. In 1886 he developed a practical precision, direct reading, portable instrument to accurately measure electrical current, a device which became the basis for the voltmeter, ammeter and watt meter. The Weston Standard Cell, developed in 1893, was recognized as an international standard and was used by the National Bureau of Standards for almost a century to calibrate other meters. His company, Weston Instruments, produced world famous precision electrical measuring instruments including volt, amp, watt, ohm, and HF meters, current /potential transformers and transducers. Other Weston contributions include incandescent and arc lighting systems, the magnetic speedometer, and the dashboard ammeter for Harley - Davidson motorcycles. Edward Weston also revolutionized electroplating by using a dynamo instead of current. In addition, he designed the DC generators originally used to light the Brooklyn Bridge. Weston also helped found Newark Technical School, predecessor to New Jersey Institute of Technology, and served on its Board of Trustees.

Inventors of the Year

Michael Catapano and Renato Noe - Powerfect, Inc., Livingston

The portable test unit for the high pressure testing of tubes used in heat exchangers was developed by Renato Noe and Michael Catapano. This unit subjects the tubes to intense pressure to check for leaks and is used with mechanical seal plugs for emergency repairs. The seal plugs are removable and reusable. Renato Noe holds 10 patents in the area of feedwater heater design and heat exchanger testing. Catapano, who co-founded Powerfect with Noe in 1977, graduated from NJIT in 1973.

Daniel Kramer - Kramer Trenton Company, Trenton

Daniel Kramer holds more than 40 patents for heat transfer and refrigeration devices. He retired in 1988 as chief engineer of the Kramer Trenton Company, a Trenton-based manufacturer of industrial refrigeration machinery.

Juris Mednis - Universal Symetric Corporation, Howell

Juris Mednis is the inventor of modular container systems, which conserve space and enable more efficient packaging. A former banker who had a successful career with the Shore National Bank, Howell State Bank and Bank of New York, he is now chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Symetric, which manufactures and markets his systems.

Franklin Reick

Franklin Reick is impregnating the properties of superconductivity into materials such as epoxy resin, polyester resin, silicone rubber, and paint, with an eye toward applications that include magnetically shielded instruments and frictionless bearings. The holder of more than 24 patents in fields such as command and control systems, high vacuum technology and x-band radar detectors, Reick is best known for his discovery of Tufoil, which is manufactured and marketed by his company, Fluoramics.

Bart Zoltan - American Cyanamid Company, Bound Brook

The Compliance Aid for Pharmaceuticals invented by Bart Zoltan is a modified digital timepiece that displays time and date. Built into the top of a standard pharmaceutical container, the device registers the time and date of the last time the container was open, enabling patients to keep track of their prescribed medication regimen. Bart Zoltan also is credited with developing an inexpensive optical pick-off system for tactical gyroscopes, a laser-based system for the recognition of antibiotic zones of inhibition , a non-contact method for measuring the volume of decubitus ulcer wounds, an inhalation apparatus for aerosol medication, and an automated blood platelet aggregometer.

Corporate Inductee

Merck and Company - Corporate Member, Rahway

Merck and Company markets more than 150 prescription pharmaceuticals and vaccines, including cardiovasculars, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, antibacterials, ophthalmologicals, anti-ulcers, analgesics, muscle relaxants, psychotherapeutics and biologicals. During the past five years alone, the company has developed three new cardiovascular drugs including the breakthrough cholesterol therapy Mevacor, the antibiotic Primaxin, ulcer treatments Pepcid and Losec, urinary tract treatment Noroxin, and the first genetically engineered vaccine for human use, Recombivax HB. Merck spends a higher percentage of its revenues on research than any other drug company, and has also been innovative in making medication available to the people who need it. The Better World Society honored the company with its International Humanitarian Service Medal.