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Dispensing Some Facts about the Invention of the ATM


Today, you might have already paid a visit to an automatic teller machine. If you aren’t entirely sure what we are talking about, an automatic teller machine is otherwise known as an ATM.

The invention of the ATM has allowed people across the world to access their money wherever and whenever they need it.
So, we are going to dispense some knowledge about the invention of the ATM. There are differing stories and timelines of when the idea for the invention of the ATM came to be.

Today, we are going to take a look at three of the most common invention stories. First, we are going to start with a not-so-successful attempt, Luther Simjian’s 1939 patenting of an early prototype of the invention. Then, we are going to explore the person who countless experts believe held the earliest patent for a modern ATM, James Goodfellow. Finally, we will take a look at John Shepherd-Barron, who also had an invention idea for a 24/7 cash dispenser.

Now, it’s time to withdraw some more details about each of the three most notable inventors of the ATM.

Let’s start with Luther Simjian. His invention idea was creating a “hole-in-the-wall machine” that would allow customers to make financial transactions. In 1939, he applied for 20 patents that were related to his invention. He also field tested his ATM machine in what is now known as Citicorp. However, six months later, the bank noted that there was little demand for the new invention idea and refrained from using it.

Next, James Goodfellow was given a project while he was a development engineer with Smiths Industries Ltd. in 1965. The project that he was given was to invent and develop an automatic cash dispenser. In conjunction with another company that would provide the secure physical housing, the team also was to develop a mechanical dispenser apparatus. The newly-designed system that he developed consisted of an encrypted card that the machine would read. To support this mechanism, he added a numerical keypad. This invention was given a UK Patent. Additionally, this invention also was covered by a US Patent and a few other patents that were granted by many other countries.

To this day, 40 years later, Goodfellow’s US patent still describes the basic ATM function.

According to BBC News, John Shepherd-Barron is widely credited with the actual invention of the ATM. In this case, the world’s first ATM was installed right outside of North London in a branch of Barclays Bank in 1967.

At first, his invention was known as De La Rue Automatic Cash System (DACS) which was named after the company who produced the first ATMs.

Despite the fact that many names have been credited with the invention of the ATM, whether it was Simjian, Goodfellow or Shepherd-Barron, there is one commonality and that is that all of their ideas were molded into the ATMs that we use in this day and age!

Copyright Davison 2014



Sprinkling Innovation in to this ‘Sweet’ Invention

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

There is nothing really sweet about withdrawing money from your bank account at the ATM. That is, until now! Rather than withdrawing money, you can withdraw a deliciously sweet cupcake from a cupcake ATM.

Although this sounds like an invention straight out of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, an invention idea like this actually exists.

The phenomenon of the cupcake ATM invention has been sprinkled into cities like Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills and now the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Basically, the idea for this invention works just like you would walk up to your local bank that is usually a boring, run-of-the-mill-looking building; you will now be approaching a pink building instead that is filled with cupcakes, instead of money.

Next, the customer will simply have to touch the screen, choose from nine flavors that include black and white, chocolate coconut, Cuban coffee, dark chocolate, lemon meringue, red velvet, strawberry vanilla or vanilla milk chocolate! Then, the customer will swipe their card as they would at any other ATM, wait about 10 seconds and rather than getting money, a freshly-baked cupcake in a single-serve box will appear in a small door to the right of the screen.

The cupcakes are refreshed throughout the day, so that each consumer can enjoy a fresh cupcake. Now, let’s get a better look at this ‘sweet’ invention!

Copyright Davison 2014



Jade No-Burn Cookware Leaves HOT Impression on QVC!

Davison News, Product News

Were you “In the Kitchen with David” on Sunday, March 30? QVC’s popular kitchen show featured the Jade No-Burn Pan that was designed at Inventionland for the Love Cooking Company and the revolutionary new cooking product did not disappoint!

QVC host David Venable, along with Culinary Professional and Jade No-Burn Pan spokesman Chef Tony Notaro showcased the many capabilities of the seven-in-one pan.

At one point in the piece, Chef Tony referred to the pan’s kitchen capabilities saying, “It’s absolutely mind-blowing!”

To prove just how much the Jade No-Burn Pan can do, the dynamic kitchen duo demonstrated several dishes, including everything from grilled chicken and sausage to sauteed rice and macaroni and cheese.

After only seven minutes on the air, Venable let viewers know that 1,000 pans had already been purchased and that the phone lines continued to ring off the hook!

Speaking of phones ringing, Chef Tony gave an awesome everyday example of just why the Jade No-Burn Pan can benefit anyone who cooks with it.

“If you get a phone call or the kids call you and you get distracted, you don’t have to worry about the food burning,” said Chef Tony.

Sound unbelievable? Chef Tony thought so, too… until he cooked with the pan.

“When they first told me about this pan… I didn’t believe it, till I cooked with it. Now, I’m sold,” said Chef Tony.

While the secret is not in the sauce, it  IS inside of the pan! Part of Sunday’s demonstration included showing off the revolutionary jade technology that allows the pan to heat up to medium heat and maintain that temperature, making it impossible to burn your food.

“It is an amazing little piece of technology…,” said Venable. “It regulates the perfect medium heat.”

The Jade No-Burn Pan is now available in black, platinum, copper and red varieties. Venable suggested that there may be even more options for the pan in the future.

“This is just the first of more to come, if you guys tell us you like it,” said Venable.

That sounds “D-lightful!” Stay tuned for more news and reviews of Love Cooking Company’s Jade No-Burn Pan that we designed at Inventionland!

For now, check out the Jade No-Burn Pan on QVC!

Copyright Davison 2014

This product was developed at Inventionland for a corporate client.

Jet Lag Could be a Thing of the Past with Possible Pill

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

Whether you are a college student on their way or coming home from spring break or a seasoned business man or woman who travels non-stop,  if you have travelled far enough, jet lag might be a mutual problem.

The invention world never sleeps, no pun intended, and a new pill to treat jet lag that could be on store shelves within five years is a prime example of why. Thanks to a discovery that allowed scientists to seemingly reset the human body clock, a new invention might be helping people fight their dreaded travel woes.

Researchers at Manchester University have found a mechanism that manages how people react to long-distance travel or irregular work hours.

To get a better understanding of the work that is being put into this invention, it might make sense to first understand what causes the tiredness, insomnia and other symptoms that go hand-in-hand with jet lag. The answer is the circadian rhythm otherwise known as the body clock. When your circadian rhythm is out of sync with nature’s light and dark hours, it causes the confusion. This temporary sleep disorder commonly occurs in those who are flying across multiple time zones and their body clock is often ahead of or behind their end location.

According to scientists at the Kyoto University that are led by Yoshiaki Yamaguchi, it takes about one day for the body to readjust to every one-hour change in environmental time.

The tests that have been conducted thus far on this invention have been done on specially-bred mice. Their research revealed an enzyme that controls how the body’s clock can be reset.

Within the research, they deleted the gene in the mice, in order for them to stop producing the enzyme, which is called casein kinase 1, epsilon.

The mice were then studied for changes by timing the light switches in their cages to imitate a weekend flight to New York.

What was found was that the mice without the important enzyme adapted a lot easier to the new day-night pattern and showed much smaller metabolic disruption.

Although deleting the gene isn’t possible in humans, the findings have allowed pharmaceutical firms to investigate a pill that would block the enzyme instead.

It looks as though the enzyme is the key to the winding backwards or forwards of the body clock. Although there is a “lag” on the invention of the enzyme-blocking pills hitting the market, we definitely think this is a step in the right direction for spring breakers and business men and women alike!

Copyright Davison 2014



Classroom Creativity Leads to New Invention for Tying Shoes

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

It has been said that “necessity is the mother of invention” and nothing could be truer for first grade teacher turned inventor, Eileen Sloan. Sloan’s invention story began in the classroom where she spent what seemed like endless hours helping her students tie their shoes.

Thanks to the success of her invention, EZLeaps, that classroom is also where her teaching career ended and her entrepreneurial dreams began. In a recent article on, Sloan shared the story of the thin, plastic invention that not only changed her life, but continues to change the lives of countless children around the world as they learn to tie their shoes.

According to the article, Sloan began the invention journey that led to EZLeaps using her morning coffee leftovers.

“Sloan began with a prototype she created from a plastic coffee can lid, with holes punched in it to thread laces through. This little bit of hardware allowed the kids to pause mid-tie, keeping the laces from wriggling away as they attempted to tie the loops together.

Soon, her students were adding stickers to personalize their plastic lids, and getting far more excited about learning to tie their shoes than ever before,” reported Shaunacy Ferro of

Sloan’s classroom success led to her early retirement when she founded a company to produce EZLeaps in 2012. Because, as we know, there is always a better way to do something, Sloan’s plastic invention underwent several design changes before reaching its current sleek, credit-card-like appearance.

“In an important departure for the first on-the-fly prototype, the holes are arranged so the product can pop off the shoe once the laces are tied,” reported Ferro. “The colorful piece of plastic is cheap and low-tech, so parents need not worry that their kid will drop it on the playground, and the cartoony set of designs seem perfectly tailored to get kids to beg and barter to collect them all.”

Now, the first grade teacher turned inventor, who combined her book smarts and street smarts to invent an impactful children’s learning tool, estimates that EZLeaps have helped thousands of children learn to tie their shoes in merely a couple of days.

EZLeaps are available in various child-friendly designs and they retail for $5.49 each. Read more about Sloan and the inspirational story behind her inventive classroom creation at

Copyright Davison 2014


Serving up a ‘Slice’ of Freedom

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

Forget everlasting gobstoppers from Willy Wonka, what about everlasting pizza? The military might have just delivered a tasty new invention.

The latest military prototype is a pizza that can stay on the shelf for up to three years and still remain safe and edible.

For a while now, soldiers have been requesting pizza for their field rations. These field rations, otherwise known as meals ready to eat (MREs), replaced canned food in 1981 for soldiers in zones where a field kitchen could not be set up.

Researchers worked to combat this problem and find a better way to feed their soldiers. And now, the final ingredients for a pizza recipe that doesn’t require any freezing or refrigeration may soon be completed at a U.S. military lab in Massachusetts.

How on earth can it be possible that a pizza that doesn’t need to be frozen or refrigerated can last up to three years on the shelf and still be edible?

Considering that pizza has become one of the most requested items that soldiers would like to see in their rations, researchers spent nearly two years developing the recipe in a large commercial kitchen.

Who knew that moisture in tomato sauce, cheese and toppings could be the bane of the scientists’ efforts? Well, considering that these pizza components migrated into the dough and, over time, resulted in soggy pizza and the perfect breeding ground for mold and disease-causing bacteria to grow, scientists had to rework the recipe.

Next, the researchers were tasked with finding a solution to this problem. This included using ingredients called humectants-sugar, salt and syrups. These ingredients would all bind to water and keep it from getting to the dough. But, that alone wouldn’t help keep the pizza fresh for three years at 80 degrees.

Just like any invention, the pizza needed to be tweaked to be better, so scientists played around with the acidity of the sauce, cheese and dough to make it harder for oxygen and bacteria to thrive. Additionally, they also added iron filling to the package, in order to absorb any air that remained in the pouch.

So, what’s the verdict on the taste of the latest military invention? Well, most soldiers haven’t tried the pizza, because it is still in the development stages. However, Jill Bates, who runs the lab, says that she was happy after tasting the latest prototype batch of pepperoni pizza. In her description, she says that it’s reminiscent of a pan pizza. The crust is a little moist, but not super-crispy.

Take a look at the military-making pizza process!

By the way that things are going, it seems like pizza will be on the MRE menu soon enough!

Copyright Davison 2014



A Clearer Look at the History of the Contact Lens

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

It may seem like a fairly new idea. But, the invention of the contact lens spans back much farther than you would think. In fact, contact lenses have been helping people see more clearly since the inception of this invention in 1887.

As you all may know, the contact lens is an artificial lens that is worn on the surface of the eye in order to correct refractive defects of vision.

The invention of contact lenses came to be in 1887 when Adolf Fick developed the first pair, which were made of glass, to correct irregular astigmatism.

The early invention of the lenses was, as you could have guessed, uncomfortable and could not be worn for extended periods of time.

The earliest form of the contact lens invention was made by taking an impression of the eye and fashioning a lens on a mold. This practice was done before the development of optical instruments that could measure the curvature of the cornea, which is the transparent surface of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil.

Then, in 1889, a German glassblower by the name of F.A. Muller had an idea for the invention and found a better way to make a glass lens thinner and lighter.

In the mid-1900s, plastic-based contact lenses were introduced into the mix and were designed so that the lenses were more wearable. However, the lens continued to sit flat on the cornea that made it uncomfortable and did not provide the best vision correction.

Inventions go through countless changes in order to iron out the kinks and, in 1948, California optician Kevin Tuohy began making contact lenses entirely out of plastic. These new, fully-plastic lenses were bigger than the cornea, yet smaller than the previous pair of lenses, which was a step in the right direction.

By the 1950s and 1960s, the invention got another boost when the lens was shaped more like the cornea and they became smaller and thinner. And, for the first time ever, the lenses could be worn all day, albeit, still they were an uncomfortable fit.

The new, soft lens became commercially available by 1971 in the United States and during the 1980s, the color-tinted contact lens was introduced as along with the disposable lens and the extended-wear lens.

What once started out as a glass lens that covered the entire eyeball turned into an invention that went through a myriad of changes. Since the invention idea hit the ground running, contact lenses have continued to help people correct refractive defects of vision. In fact, more than 100 million people around the world are getting a clearer look at life because of this invention.

Copyright Davison 2014



Siri Takes the Wheel with Apple’s Latest Invention

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

With the latest announcement from Apple, Siri may soon be riding shotgun in your car .

Apple recently announced its latest product, CarPlay. This slick, Siri-enabled device will interact with your iPhone in the car. The latest invention isn’t a standalone in-car operating system; rather, it’s a “second screen” iOS interface that is optimized for the car.

CarPlay will allow for a deeper integration with iOS devices than any in-car system to date.

The system will make its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show and cars like Ferrari, Mercedes, and Volvo will be shown with CarPlay built in.

Now, in order for CarPlay to work, the system operates with a Lightning-connector that connects to the iPhone. Users are limited to using the system with the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c, which all need to be connected to the car in order for the features to work.

But, nonetheless, you can think of this system as a car-infotainment system by substitution, because everything still runs through the iPhone.

CarPlay uses a system based on streaming H.264 video in order for the screen mirroring and car-touchscreen interaction with the phone to work.

The physical connection of the iPhone to the device will be tethered via a Lightning cable, which is a proprietary computer and power connector that was invented by Apple in order to find a better way to connect Apple mobile devices like iPads, iPhones and iPods to host computers, cameras, external monitors, USB battery chargers and other devices.

The new system was designed with the idea of providing ease for users to gain access and use their iPhone’s services and software via Siri. CarPlay offers access to hands-free calling functions, in addition to Siri search, messages and maps. The latter of the features means that Apple will have the opportunity to push its own maps app over those of its competitors (cough, cough, Google).

Finally, CarPlay will work in conjunction with other apps like Podcasts and some music services from third-parties like Beats Radio, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Stitcher. Based off of what we have seen so far, many believe that the evolution of this new Apple invention will be a gradual, hand-selected roll-out, which is similar to how Apple handled adding Apple TV software partners.

Check out a demo of the Apple CarPlay in action!

Copyright Davison 2014



The ‘Light’ at the End of the Tunnel: Daylight Saving Time

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

On Sunday, March 9, we will be pushing our clocks forward! Despite the fact that we will lose a coveted hour of sleep, we are one step closer to a warm, spring breeze filling the air.

Daylight Saving Time, or DST for short, is a change in the standard time with the purpose of getting better use out of the daylight hours. This is done by having the sun rise one hour later in the morning and set one hour later in the evening. This idea has only been used in the past hundred years, but the idea of DST was conceived many years prior.

Let’s start with the origin of DST. Ancient civilizations were known to practice a very similar process to the idea of DST when they would adjust their daily schedules according to the sun.

The question of when DST was first conceived still floats around and so, too, are the ideas of who started this concept. Some say it was by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 during his stay in Paris. This is when he published an essay titled, An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light (that’s a mouthful). This essay proposed to economize the use of candles by rising earlier, in order to make use of the morning sunlight.

Others believe that modern DST was first proposed by an entomologist from New Zealand by the name of George Vernon Hudson in 1895. Hudson presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society that suggested a two-hour shift forward in October and a two-hour shift back in March. Although there was an interest in the idea, it was never carried out.

Although these two theories continue to swirl around today, the invention of DST can essentially be credited to William Willet. In 1905, he came up with the idea to move the clocks forward in the summer to take advantage of daylight in the mornings and the light in the  evenings.

His idea proposal suggested moving the clocks 80 minutes forward each of the four Sundays in April and then switching them back by the same amount of time on four Sundays in October.

This idea caught the eye of Robert Pearce, who then introduced a bill to the House of Commons in February 1907. In 1909, the first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted and presented to Parliament several times and then examined by a select committee. Unfortunately, Willet passed away in 1915 before he could ever see his idea come to fruition.

Willet’s reason behind DST was so that people could enjoy the sunlight more. However, when his idea came to life in World War I, it was for a different reason, to conserve energy in Germany. Weeks later, the United Kingdom followed and introduced “summer time.”

As some believe in the United Sates, DST was intended to benefit farmers. However, the agricultural industry was strongly against the time switch when it was first implemented on March 31, 1918 as a wartime measure. The clock wasn’t what dictated the farmers’ schedules; it was the sun. So, DST was a very disruptive practice, because the farmers had to wait an extra hour to do their daily tasks.

Did you know that both Arizona, with the exception of the state’s Navajo Nation, and Hawaii do not observe DST? Also, the U.S. territories of the American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands also remain on standard time all year.

Just as an aside, many people make the term’s second word plural (Daylight Savings Time). However, the word “saving” acts as a part of an adjective rather than a verb, so, the singular form of the word is grammatically correct!

We hope that you enjoyed today’s little history and grammar lesson on the idea and invention of Daylight Saving Time! Don’t forget to push your clocks forward on Sunday, March 9!

Copyright Davison 2014



Lend us Your Ears: The History of Headphones

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

Right now, while you are reading this blog, there is a good chance that you have headphones in your ears, as you simultaneously listen to music.

Headphones are probably incorporated into some part of your day, whether it’s during your morning commute, at the gym or while at work; odds are that at least once a day, you listen to some sort of media via headphones.

We are going to give you a brief history about those little ear buds that allow us to individually listen to music and interact with media, even when in a noisy setting.

Now, we have Apple’s EarPods and Beats by Dre to name a few. But, before these headphones ever came to be, it all began in 1910 when Nathaniel Baldwin invented the first pair of headphones in the kitchen of his Utah home.

The legend goes like this: Lt. Comdr. A. J. Hepburn of the U.S. Navy received a prototype for a pair of telephones that were fashioned into a headset and accompanied by a letter from Baldwin that was written in purple ink on blue and pink paper. Initially, the message was disregarded by Hepburn. But, after he finally tested the device, he found that the invention worked surprisingly well in transmitting sound.

As time went on, the Navy began to request more and more headphones from Baldwin, who at the time could only accept orders for 10 at once, because he was producing them in his kitchen.

Until 1958, headphones were used almost exclusively for radio communication. That is until John Koss introduced a portable phonograph that he wanted to rent to patients in Milwaukee hospitals. This is when he revealed the original Koss SP3 Stereophones that were initially intended to be a sidebar. However, the headphones proved to be revolutionary, because their sound quality made them an optimal device for listening to music.

Let’s fast forward to 1979 when Sony released the Walkman Headphones. In the beginning, portable music players and headphones were on the larger side. The original set that Baldwin invented weighed upwards of a pound. While on the other hand, Koss’ stereophones’ earpads would literally consume your ears. Just like any other invention, updates were needed in order to find a better way to listen to music on the go. That’s when Sony created a more portable pair of headphones, the MDR-3L1, which were lightweight and included the portable cassette player.

The trend of smaller, lightweight and portable headphones didn’t lose steam, because in 2001, Apple first released the iPod, which came with earbuds. In 2012, along with the launch of the iPhone 5, there was a new era in the world of headphone inventions when Apple released the EarPod. This new product design was periscope-like and directed sound right into the ear.

Just as companies started shying away from the voluminous design of headphones and swapping it with a more subtle design, hip hop artist and producer Dr. Dre worked with Interscope Chariman Jimmy Lovine to create a statement set of headphones otherwise known as Beats by Dr. Dre. This new invention design solidified headphones as a fashion statement.

Over the past 100 years, headphones have come a long way and revolutionized the way that we consume media and the way that we communicate. Just as the invention of headphones has come a long way, so too has its design and with the rise of smartphones and tablets, the need for this invention is greater than ever!

Copyright Davison 2014



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