This Inventor is the Original ‘Piano Man’

Innovation, Inventions, Inventor Stories


May is National Inventors Month! This month-long celebration promotes the inventors whose ideas have served as real contributions in the world.

When you think about inventors, names like George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Alexander Graham Bell might come to mind.

But in today’s blog, in honor of this inventors 361st birthday, we’re paying tribute to Bartolomeo Cristofori, just like Google did last year with Cristofori’s very own Google doodle.

Does his name strike a chord with you? If it doesn’t, you’ll want to listen to his story!


Though Cristofori likely isn’t a household name or a name that immediately pops into your head when you think of famous inventors, you’d be surprised to know that his invention is much more popular than you think.

As an Italian musical instrument maker, Cristofori has been credited with the invention of the pianoforte, or as we now know it, the piano.

Yes, Cristofori invented the piano – you know, the instrument that plays some of the most beautiful music, has helped create some of the most famous music pieces and has aided some of the world’s best musicians? Yes, we’re talking about that piano!

Cristofori’s invention idea started when he created a hammer mechanism that struck the strings on a keyboard to make a sound. Depending on how hard or lightly the hammer struck the key, the sound would either be louder or softer.

The ability to change the volume of the tones was a major breakthrough for the music world.


Before Cristofori invented the piano, he worked as a harpsichord maker. If you’re unfamiliar with the harpsichord, the idea of changing the loudness of the tones is very foreign for this instrument. So, Cristofori set out find a better way to make music.

How did he do so? As we mentioned before, his invention was comprised of a hammer that struck the strings to make either soft or loud sounds, depending on the amount of pressure placed on the key by the musician. He removed the plucking mechanism that’s commonly found on a harpsichord and replaced it with a hammer – thus laying the foundation for the piano!

The origin of the piano dates back to around 1709 and about four of his pianos existed by 1711.

But, like most inventions, the first iteration isn’t the last. In fact, it took Cristofori 25 years to improve his piano to the piano that we’re most familiar with. The frames for his piano were made of wood in the style of a harpsichord. Though his invention wasn’t accepted by his home country of Italy, it was the Germans who marketed and made the instrument popular.

If it wasn’t for Cristofori’s idea and his ability to think outside of the harpsichord, we can’t help but wonder where would the likes of Frederic Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach, to name a few, be?

You see, there’s no idea too small or large. Who knows, maybe one day your invention idea will change the world like Cristofori’s idea did!

Copyright Davison, 2016




Thomas Edison Encourages us to Snooze our Way to Creativity

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventor Monday

Thomas Edison - Sleep and Creativity

We’ve all been there before – you’re burning the candle at both ends and are getting closer and closer to creative burnout. You’re clinging to the mantra, “No rest for the weary” as you rapidly begin to lose steam.

Though we’ve heard time and time again that you should get no less than seven hours of sleep each night, in this day and age with the busy schedules that we all juggle, getting adequate amounts of sleep each night is nothing short of impossible.

Thomas Edison agreed. Yes, the Thomas Edison, the famous inventor and idea person believed that his invention of the incandescent light bulb would liberate people from the constraints of sleep.

That’s why Edison was an advocate for naps.

But, not just any nap – power naps. Now, Edison wasn’t a supporter of sleep for lazy purposes. Rather, he encouraged people to get their rest for the creative, productive and overall work-ethic benefits that resulted.

Idea people, listen closely. If you’ve been struggling with a creative block, we might have found what you need to jump over this hurdle and never look back. The answer is sleep!

Though Edison seemed to be very proud of his lack of sleep, it was said that he only got as little as three to four hours of sleep each night. But, Edison did take power naps.

All throughout his property were napping cots. You could find these cots in his library and even in his laboratories. Though he had cots for his power naps, he wasn’t afraid to rest in some peculiar places, like under a tree in the middle of the day!

So, why did he like naps more than a full night’s rest? Edison believed that his napping helped counterbalance the intensity of his labor. Most days, he would take a nap or two. When he woke up from his quick rest, he was reinvigorated and ready to tackle the next problem.

The lesson to be learned here is that sleep is a necessary piece to the innovation puzzle. Sleep allows for you to reignite your creativity, to see things in a new light and to build on ideas that you previously struggled with. Rest is essential in helping us reach and exceed an even higher standard than we set out to attain on our pursuits for creative excellence.

Burned out? A good rest can help.

Copyright Davison, 2016




Can you Hear Me Now? Good.

Innovative Inventions, Inventions, Inventor Monday

Alexander Graham Bell - Davison

Do you remember that old Verizon commercial where the spokesman would ask the question, “Can you hear me now? Good.” Well, that tagline wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Alexander Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone.

It was on this day in 1876 that Bell received a United States patent for his revolutionary new invention.

Every invention has a story and today we’re sharing Bell’s! Growing up, Bell worked with his father in London, where Bell’s father developed Visible Speech, a written system used to teach speaking to the deaf.

This was just the first glimpse of innovation that gleamed through in Bell’s life. During the 1870s, the Bells uprooted their family and moved to Boston, Massachusetts. It was here that Alexander became very interested in exploring the possibility of transmitting speech via wires. It was a curious innovation that left him hungry to find a viable solution – after all, in 1843, Samuel F.B Morse’s invention of the telegraph made communication almost instantaneous between two locations both far and wide.

The only hiccup of the telegraph was that it still required that hand-delivered messages be sent between telegraph stations and recipients; not to mention, only one message could be transmitted at a time.

Alexander Graham Bell Phone - Davison

It was this problem that Bell set out to fix and fix it is exactly what he did when he created the “harmonic telegraph.” This device combined features of a telegraph and record player to give people the ability to speak to one another from a distance.

Bell didn’t work alone as he employed the help of Thomas A. Watson, a Boston machine shop employee that helped him develop a working prototype.

The first iteration of their invention of the telephone worked a little something like this. Sound waves created an electric current that varied in both intensity and frequency, which caused a thin, soft iron plate (a diaphragm) to vibrate. These vibrations were then magnetically transferred to another wire that was connected to a diaphragm in another, distant instrument.

When the diaphragm vibrated, the original sound was replicated in the ear of the receiving instrument.

Believe it or not, Bell filed his patent a mere two hours prior to Elisha Gray, who had a similar claim. That was a close one! Just three days after filing, Bell’s invention carried its first clear message, “Mr. Watson, come here, I need you,” a message that was sent from Bell to his assistant.

The story doesn’t end there. In fact, that’s where it begins. Gray was then employed by the Western Union Telegraph Company and worked alongside fellow inventor, Thomas A. Edison to invent their own telephone technology.

Bell wasn’t too happy with this idea, so he sued and the case made its way to the United States Supreme Court, where Bell’s patent rights were upheld.

Copyright Davison, 2016




Three Things You Might Not Have Known About the Wright Brothers

Innovative Inventions, Inventor Stories

Wright Brothers - Davison

Today is Wright Brothers Day, which celebrates the brothers’ first successful airplane flight in 1903 near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina!

Both Orville and Wilbur Wright have been given credit for inventing the world’s first airplane that was equipped with aircraft controls for steering.

The famous aircraft, otherwise known as the “Flyer” made history when its flight lasted 12 seconds and traveled 120 feet on December 17, 1903.

Though this is a feat in and of itself, the Wright brothers’ first flight is even more meaningful for inventors who are actively pursuing their dreams.

In previous blogs, we’ve provided you with tips like how to tune out skeptics and the five qualities of a successful person to name a couple.

Wright Brothers Facts - Davison

Today, to celebrate the inventive spirit of this creative duo who took a chance, defied the odds and revolutionized modern transportation as we know it, we want to share with you three things you might not have known about the Wright brothers.

1. A toy sparked the curiosity to fly.

Intriguing as it is, a toy is what sent the Wright brothers airborne! Both brothers received a toy helicopter that was made from bamboo, cork, paper and a rubber band. A gift from their father’s travels in France, this toy left them amazed as they watched it flutter in the air before it fell to the ground. You could say that it was at this moment that their invention dreams took flight.

2. Genetic geniuses.

Though their father’s toy sparked their interest, it is said the Wright brothers actually inherited their inventive nature and handy-work from their mother, Susan Koerner Wright, who could make almost anything by hand.

3. One and done.

Once the Flyer made its successful flight in addition to a few other flights that day, it was never flown again. This was due in part to the fact that the aircraft was struck with a strong gust of wind and flipped several times. The damage was far too immense and the Flyer was sent back to Ohio and was never flown again.

Because Orville and Wilbur Wright dared to invent, we can admire these two everyday people who on this day 112 years ago decided to follow their invention dreams and become two remarkable inventors.

Will you dare to invent like the Wright brothers?

Copyright Davison, 2015




Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Pre-Judge Inventions

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

Slinky Story

You know the popular saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” That same sentiment can apply to inventions as well!

In today’s blog, we’re going to share a story with you about a very popular invention that’s the perfect example of why it’s important to not pre-judge invention ideas.

Without further ado, here’s the story of a famous toy – the Slinky!

The invention of the Slinky is simple; in fact, it’s almost too simple.

We’ve all played with this curious toy at least once in our life. Remember how it goes – you place the slinky at the top of the stairs and watch as it fluidly cascades down the staircase, step-by-step.

The story of the Slinky began when Richard James dropped a tension spring and noticed how it kept moving.  He told his wife Betty, “I think I can make a toy out of this,” and so began his two-year search for the best steel gauge and coil to use for the toy.

While James was working on the invention, his wife was working on furthering the idea by coming up with a name. Betty stumbled upon a Swedish word that means “traespiral” – sleek or sinuous. That word was “Slinky”.

The invention was complete and a name had been picked; the next step for this inventing duo was to present their toy at an event at the Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the 1945 Christmas season.

They were nervous and unsure as to how the public would take to their invention. Would they like it? Would they think it was fun? Would it be a success?

With all of these questions swirling in their brains, they finally convinced a friend who was in attendance to buy their first Slinky.

However, it turned out that they didn’t have to convince their friend to purchase their product, because 400 were sold during the 90-minute Gimbels event.

In fact, in the first two years of production, James and his wife’s company sold 100 million Slinkys.

The Slinky’s story shows inventors far and wide that pre-conceived notions and pre-judgements of your invention are nothing but a layer of fog that’s clouding your journey’s progress down the road of innovation.

So, if you have an idea, believe in it and follow that dream, because you could one day be like the inventor of the Slinky.

Set aside all pre-judgements of your invention idea and, just like a Slinky, start at the top of a staircase and work your way from step-to-step to reach your goals.

Copyright Davison, 2015



A typical project does not get a royalty agreement, sell in stores or generate a profit.


Davison Does Dearborn

Davison News, Innovation, Inventions


Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford and the Model T (Image:

Early Saturday morning, we’ll be boarding buses that are heading to Dearborn, Michigan! Why are we going there? Because its home to none other than the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

The Henry Ford Museum is home to all things inventing and, as their website says, its single-floor space, “with its soaring 40-foot ceilings, covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.”

With that being said and with lots of great exhibits, it’s sure to be a very innovative day!

This fun-filled day of inventing history will begin bright and early. Once we arrive, we’ll spend the day touring the museum and soaking up all of its innovation!

Tune in to our Facebook and Twitter pages for live coverage of our tour at this iconic museum.

Copyright Davison, 2015




Ford’s “Bright” Idea

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions


Ford invention


Driving at night can be dangerous, especially when unforeseen hazards blend in with the darkness.

Ford identified this problem and, in turn, is working on a better way to warn drivers of potential dangers.

The American car manufacturer is working on developing lighting technology that can automatically detect pedestrians on dark roads, thanks to widened headlight beams at low-visibility junctions.

The headlight system uses an infrared camera on the front of the vehicle to sense the heat that’s emitted from nearby animals, cyclists and pedestrians in areas of poor visibility.

When the system detects the heat, the car then shines a spotlight on the potential hazard, which is flagged up on the dashboard screen display.

Ford’s latest technology is working to help ensure that drivers are quickly alerted to animals or people that could present a possible danger.


Ford headlight technology


The system can detect up to eight hazards at once from a distance of a little over 130 yards. From there, the two hazards that the system recognizes as the most likely to cause an accident are presented to the driver on the dashboard screen.

The hazards are color coded, yellow and red, to indicate the level of risk.

That’s not all that Ford’s camera system can do; in fact, it also can interpret traffic, which activates the vehicle’s onboard computer to recognize when roundabouts and junctions are ahead. In instances when the car is nearing low-visibility areas, the car’s headlight beam widens to provide the driver with a wider view of the road.

Furthermore, information from a global positioning system (GPS) is used to recognize winding roads with unseen dips and other factors to adjust the headlights in advance.

But, when GPS isn’t available, the technology uses a forward-facing camera that’s installed to the base of the rear-view mirror to recognize lane markings and to also predict curves in the road.

Though Ford’s latest technology is shedding light on road safety, according to US highway regulations, bright flashing lamps, both front or rear, are not allowed – yet.

Copyright Davison, 2015




The T-rex Takes on 3D Printing

Innovation, Innovative Inventions


3D printed T-rex

3D-printed T-rex skull from

With all of the excitement surrounding the release of Jurrasic World, it only makes sense to tie dinosaurs in with the latest and greatest technology.

What we mean by this is the innovation of 3D printing is now being mixed with a new study of the intelligence of the 66.4 million-year old Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex).

To this day, many people still wonder why dinosaurs became extinct and obviously the answer to that question isn’t an easy one.

That’s why a German research team wanted to take their pre-historic research to a new level and study the qualities, characteristics and habits of these beasts.

So, the research team started off with one question, “How smart was a Tyrannosaurus rex, anyway?”

In order to even try to answer that question, the team turned their efforts to an actual T-rex skull fossil, which they then scanned and 3D printed for a Better Way to learn about the T-rex’s intelligence.

The skull fossil was scanned using a machine called an XXL tomograph. This machine is the largest in the world and is located at Germany’s Fraunhofer-Institut. Thanks to its 1,500 separate exposures, the machine has created what is thought to be “the highest resolution scan ever conducted on a T-rex skull.”

Though the researchers have the skull, they do not have the T-rex brain. However, the inside of the skull’s shape reveals the highly-developed brain areas.

By studying these areas, researchers will be able to uncover information like whether the T-rex had poor eyesight, among other qualities.

Furthermore, the scan also helps in the efforts to restore the skull.

Thanks to the ability to conduct a complete scan of the skull, the research team has been able to uncover fractures and reconstruct the missing parts of the jaw.

The technology of 3D printing has enabled the team to customize replacement jaw parts in order to complete the skull.

As of right now, the jury is still out regarding the overall qualities and intelligence of the T-rex.

Copyright Davison, 2015



Sweet News from QVC! Our Fill N Flip to Air Today!

Davison News, Product News

And… we’re bbbaaaccckkk!

It’s been a few months since the Miracle Meatloaf Pan was featured on QVC’s “In the Kitchen with David” in June. Now that the main course is over, it’s time we and QVC viewers everywhere turn our attention to dessert!

The Mrs. Fields Fill N Flip Locking Layer Pan that we designed for the Love Cooking Company is set to be featured on QVC this afternoon!

The innovative cake pan that makes it a cinch to add your favorite fillings to each and every cake you bake is slated to appear on QVC’s “Gifts for the Cook” show, which begins at 3 p.m. (EST) today.

We’re sure that QVC’s top bakers will have some incredible recipes for our Fill N Flip Locking Layer Pan that really “take the cake” today. While you’ll have to wait to see those, we can tell you that the pan allows for incredible fillings like pudding, fruit, compote or any other delicious flavors you’re craving.

Call home or set your DVR through your phone to make sure you don’t miss today’s “D-licious” appearance on QVC. But, don’t worry, we’ll have the video and many more details after the Fill N Flip Locking Layer Pan appears on QVC’s “Gifts for the Cook” show today at 3 p.m.

Copyright Davison 2014

Mommy Blogger Dana Vento Introduces Brookie-Bribery at Home!

Product News

We could talk all day and night about how innovative and ingenious the Brookie Pan is that we designed for Love Cooking Company. What could be tastier than combining the two of the world’s best sweets – a brownie and a cookie – into one tantalizing treat?

But, we know… we know… it is one thing for us to tell everyone just how good the Brookie is, but it is another thing altogether whenever someone actually tries it for themselves.

And, who better to try out the Brookie Pan than famed Pittsburgh mommy blogger Dana Vento?

Vento tested a Brookie Pan and not only raved about the results on her blog, “Dana Vento: Lavishly Living Life Out Loud;” but, she also uploaded a video of her Brookie-making process to YouTube!

What did she think about our brownie-cookie creation?

“The final product [is] nothing short of amazing and 5-star divine!” said Vento.

In fact, she called the products that have resulted from the union between Mrs. Fields and Love Cookie Company… “ultimate!”

“Together Mrs. Fields and the Love Cooking Company have blended innovation and recipes to create the ultimate wares for your kitchen needs,” said Vento.

Of course, we know that many of those products are the result of the union between ideas and innovation at Inventionland! But, back to Vento’s Brookie-making adventure!

On her blog, Vento describes how she institutes a dinner-time Clean Plate Club (CPC) at her home. To get into the club, her family, which includes her husband and three children, must try everything that is offered during dinner – even if it is only a small spoonful. To be granted CPC status, they must clean their plates of everything they try.

Why try to join the CPC? Well, it’s the only way to get dessert and in this particular case… a Brookie!

“The CPC in our home has never been in such demand as the kids can’t wait to get to their Brookie,” said Vento. “While I don’t believe in bribing, I sure do believe in great tasting, homemade treats that taunt, tease and delight the senses and the Brookie offers just that, a way to satisfy that sweet tooth pang!”

Of course, we couldn’t agree more!

Read more about Vento’s CPC here or watch below to see her Brooking-baking in action:

Copyright Davison 2014

The client has not realized a net profit on this product.

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