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Huckel Bickley (1888-1972)
Born: Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
Bickley invented a number of items while attending the Carnegie
Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He won the
Senior Design Competition in 1910, the year he graduated, for
a variable speed governor (an automatic device used to regulate
and control such variables as speed or pressure in the functioning
of an engine or other machine).
formed the Bickley Manufacturing Company shortly after his graduation
to help develop and promote his many inventions.
1911, Bickley developed and marketed his first commercial invention,
the "motograph," an electric sign which spelled out
moving messages with light bulbs. The first motograph was erected
over the Columbian Theatre in Detroit, Michigan, but others were
eventually seen in cities throughout the world.
watching employees sorting navy pea beans in his job as chief
engineer for the H.J. Heinz Company, Bickley came up with an idea
that revolutionized the agricultural processing industry: an electric
bean-sorting machine that could automate the process, by use of
photoelectric cell, and sort good bean from bad. Bickley continued
to improve the sorter, eventually adapting it to sort rice, peanuts,
and ball bearings.
was a member of the National Inventors Council, which reviewed
war-related invention ideas during World War II. He even contributed
over 50 ideas of his own to the Council.
from the following sources:
Tom. Everett H. Bickley Collection, 1999, Archives Center, National
Museum of American History. http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives/d8683.htm