Some have been featured in People magazine, and others were highlighted on "The Tonight Show," but other inventions introduced to the public may become features of your future building and remodeling projects.
In 1999, the Inpex invention show featured more than 2,000 products from 35 different countries. The show, held May 17 through May 21 in Pittsburgh, included more than 40 product categories, including Hardware and Tools, and Industrial and Commercial. The event marks the 16-year anniversary of Inpex. Entries are judged by an international jury who then awards gold and silver medals, in addition to cash prizes and recognition awards.
"The show creates opportunities for inventors to try to reach companies interested in new products," says L. Ellen Yarnell, show producer. "In addition, exhibitors can receive helpful feedback from other inventors around the world." Several award-winning products directly target the housing market:
- Tailwasher, a bronze-award winner in the Hardware and Tools category, allows contractors to hold washers steady in hard-to-reach applications. Similar to standard washer rings, tailwashers include a "tail" of material that can be held by the contractor while fastening. Once the washer has been secured in place, the tail of the washer can be broken off to prevent protrusions. Tailwashers can be produced in various sizes and alloys, including aluminum, galvanized steel, brass, copper and plastic.
- A gold medallist in the Maintenance category, Gutter Bolt simplifies the installation of roof gutters and extends the longevity of gutter projects. Created by a contractor, the gutter bolts are soft metal fasteners that screw into wood without splitting, even through knots. Created from aluminum or copper, bolts reduce the torque created by the drilling process. Even installable when bent, the single size bolt can hold 4-, 5- and 6-in. aluminum gutters firmly in place. No pre-drilled or pilot holes are necessary for the fastener, and Gutter Bolt carries a 15-year limited warranty.
- Hardware and Tools category silver medal winner, Penshar carpenter pencil sharpener meets the specific needs of carpenters. Similar to standard #2 hand-held pencil sharpeners, the Penshar achieves the sharp, fine point necessary on carpenter's pencils. Typically, carpenter's pencils are sharpened with utility knives. Penshar is small enough to be carried in a pocket or toolbox.
For more information on the Inpex invention show or any of the products described above, visit www.inventionshow.com or call (800) 424-2089, extension 157.