Today, February 11, 2019 is National Inventors’ Day. On June 21, 1982, the 97th Congress passed Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97 – 198), to designate 11 February, the anniversary of Thomas Edison’s birthday, as National Inventors’ Day. Edison was born on February 11, 1847, in Milan, Ohio and held 1093 patents according to the EDN network.
Subsequent to the Congressional Joint Resolution, when Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, he proclaimed February 11, 1983 as National Inventors’ Day via Proclamation 5013. In the proclamation, President Reagan wrote “Almost two hundred years ago, President George Washington recognized that invention and innovation were fundamental to the welfare and strength of the United States. He successfully urged the First Congress to enact a patent statute as expressly authorized by the U.S. Constitution and wisely advised that “there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science . . .” In 1790, the first patent statute initiated the transformation of the United States from an importer of technology to a world leader in technological innovation.
Today, just as in George Washington’s day, inventors are the keystone of the technological progress that is so vital to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of this country. Individual ingenuity and perseverance, spurred by the incentives of the patent system, begin the process that results in improved standards of living, increased public and private productivity, creation of new industries, improved public services, and enhanced competitiveness of American products in world markets.
In recognition of the enormous contribution inventors make to the nation and the world, the Congress, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97-198), has designated February 11, 1983, the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Alva Edison, one of America’s most famous and prolific inventors, as National Inventors’ Day. Such recognition is especially appropriate at a time when our country is striving to maintain its global position as a leader in innovation and technology. Key to our future success will be the dedication and creativity of inventors.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim February 11, 1983, as National Inventors’ Day and call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this 12th day of Jan., in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.”
To observe National Inventors’ Day, National Day Calendar recommends you “[k]eep tinkering. Keep seeking a cure, a fix, and improvements to our everyday life. Take time to recognize an inventor and encourage them to keep creating the next great invention.” Another way is to use #NationalInventorsDay on social media. For teachers, there is a lesson available about National Inventor’s Day at the National Day Calendar Classroom.
Across the world and the United States, inventors are making a difference every day. For inventors and companies looking to explore how their inventions can help the United States Department of Defense, there are many technology and innovation efforts ongoing. One example is with the United States Air Force and their AFWERX initiative. AFWERX was designed to solve Air Force challenges by working with industry on innovative technology and solutions. One part of AFWERX is focused on new technologies and small businesses, who can apply for opportunities through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. For more information on AFWERX, visit their site.
The author, United States Air Force retired Brigadier General Carl Buhler is the CEO and lead consultant of Buhler Consulting, LLC, a consulting company that specializes in providing consulting services for aircraft maintenance, supply, technology, SBIR, logistics and production. Brigadier General Buhler (ret) is a computer and technology fan, plus is a member of the Air Force Association and National Defense Industrial Association.