November 14, 2014

Chester Carlton was a man with big dreams: He wanted to make a better toothbrush, a better raincoat, and even a billboard that could rotate ads, but none of his ideas panned out.

The dreamer ended up at a place that seemed like a good fit at the time: Bell Telephone. But working in the patent office was tedious. Each time a copy of a patent was needed, it meant a long process of retyping, and then proof reading, the entire document. The less-than-stellar pay didn't exactly help.

Frustration pushed Carlton to hit the books and learn everything he could about photoconductivity.

His interest eventually turned to actual experimentation — often in the kitchen, using sulfur, to the displeasure of his wife.

Finally, in 1938, he had success with an experiment involving a piece of zinc covered in sulfur. But it would be a while before others saw his vision, and General Electric, IBM, and a dozen other companies turned him down.

The company that did eventually see the potential of Carlton's invention, however, gained so much from him that they eventually renamed the company name after his work.
What timesaving device did Chester Carlton create? Listen to the full story to find out.

Business, Chester Carlton, history

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