Washington, D.C. (February 12, 2007)–Every year, the National Inventors Hall of Fame honors through induction the individuals whose work has changed society and improved the way we live. Several of this year’s inductees have had an impact on the professional audio industry, including the inventors of the long-playing record, Ethernet and magnetic disk storage.
Peter Goldmark (1906-1977) invented the long-playing (LP) record that dominated the recorded music industry for 40 years and made lengthier recordings of music feasible. In 1948, Goldmark invented the LP by slowing the record from 78 revolutions per minute (rpm) to 33 1/3 rpm, increasing the length of the groove and decreasing its width. He made the LP of vinyl rather than shellac, and improved the phonograph’s stylus and tone arm. As an engineer for CBS Laboratories, Goldmark also made numerous other innovations in electronics. He earned 77 patents and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1977.
With his invention, standardization and commercialization of Ethernet, Robert Metcalfe (1946- ) created a way to link computers to one another and to the Internet. Ethernet is the most widely used local area network, or LAN; over a quarter billion new Ethernet switch ports are shipped annually worldwide. Initially developed as a way to link the computers at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) to one another, Ethernet uses digital packets and distributed controls to transmit data over LAN.
The invention by William Goddard (1913-1997) and John Lynott (1921-1994) of magnetic disk storage while with IBM represented a leap forward in mass-storage technology and the end of sequential storage and batch processing with punched cards and paper tape. Unlike earlier read-write heads, which touched the storage surface, Goddard and Lynott designed floating heads that greatly increased the speed of access. By 2004, disk drive sales were approximately $22 billion worldwide.
The 2007 class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame will be inducted this year on May 4th and 5th at the annual induction ceremonies held in Akron, OH
National Inventors Hall of Fame