inventions

Everyone hates stale potato chips, but that little annoyance was the inspiration  that got Mark Shaw thinking about how to reseal the bag. Since then, Shaw's been a prolific inventor and innovator whose nanotechnology work has revolutionized several industries. He says the key to unlocking the inventor's mindset is constantly looking for ways to create doors where there once were only walls.

Liliana and Max Younger
Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The basic technology of the crutch, Max and Liliana Younger knew, hadn’t changed since the Civil War.

But when Max’s father became a permanent crutch user after a partial leg amputation in 2008, the married couple — both industrial designers by training — committed themselves to rethinking an age-old technology.

“We knew it was something we needed to change,” Max says.

People have ideas for inventions all the time, but getting those ideas made into consumer products can be a difficult journey.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with a representative of Quirky.com, a website that connects the entrepreneurs with the means to produce their ideas.

Guest:

  • Nathaniel Padgett, Quirky.com
Giles Moss / Flickr-CC

When you tell people you're an inventor, it conjures up images of a mad scientist slaving away in a lab. But what's it really like to be an inventor in Kansas City?

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with local inventor Rich Melton about where he finds his inspiration, the roadblocks he's encountered and how he got started.

Guest:

  • Rich Melton, inventor
Wikimedia--CC

Kansas  City is the birthplace of many inventions that have changed the way we perform everyday tasks. For example, your neck might be a lot hairier if it weren't for Samuel Coffman, who invented the electric clippers. 

Today on the KCUR program Central Standard, we discussed just a few of the most prominent products, icons and improvements invented here. Check out this list of seven life-changing inventions, born right here in KC:

Bruce Bandle / Kansas City Museum

The Country Club Plaza is a staple in Kansas City, but did you know it was the first shopping mall in the country?

Barbers would still be cutting your whole head with scissors if Samuel Coffman hadn't invented electric hair clippers, and washing your dishes would be a much bigger hassle if Marion Trozzolo didn't think to combine Teflon with pans.

The history of innovation and invention conceived in Kansas City is crucial to the city's identity, and starting June 1 the Kansas City Museum will celebrate this history.