Inventors and Patents From the City of Seattle

Seattle is home to many inventors. You may have heard of the Kit-Cat Clock, the Slinky Train, or even a single-handle Moen faucet. Whatever it is, you can probably thank a Seattle-based inventor for coming up with it.

Slinky Train

The history of the Slinky toy begins with Helen Malsed, a young Seattle resident. She invented the toy at the age of six, redesigning it as a pull toy. After that, she added the Slinky Dog and the Slinky Train to the Slinky line. By the time she was forty, she had invented more than twenty-five toys and patented twenty-one of them.

In the 1880s, the first streetcar line was built in downtown Seattle. It was a horse-drawn system, but later, the city’s first electric streetcars came on the scene. In 1889, private streetcar lines in Seattle began operating, and by 1898, the city boasted 22 separate streetcar lines. In 1898, these private lines were consolidated under the Seattle Electric Railway Company, a company owned by the Stone & Webster utility cartel. The company was eventually unable to make enough money to continue operating, and it was sold to the city.

The last streetcar ran on April 13, 1941. In the mid-1950s, the city began to push for modern rapid transit, but was denied by the State Highway Commission. It was too expensive. The city’s transit commission argued for rail right-of-way in early plans for Interstate-5, but it was rejected as too expensive. In addition, the car was king by the mid-1950s, and powerful suburban and highway developers were ill-suited to fund a competing rail system. Moreover, rail competitors would inevitably favor dense urban areas over less-density suburban areas.

Kit-Cat Clock

The Kit-Cat Clock is an iconic timepiece. It has been around since 1932, keeping the hours in purrfect time. It is made of plastic and features an animated plastic tail and luminous eyes. It is an incredibly popular timepiece that has earned numerous patents and has been featured in many popular media. Here are a few of its inventors and patents.

In the 1940s, the Kit-Cat experienced explosive growth. The design of the clock changed several times, and it quickly became synonymous with the 1950s in America. In the 1960s, Allied Clock relocated its production to Southern California. The company changed its name to California Clock Company and continued to make the iconic timepiece in the United States. In 1982, Young acquired the company and continued to manufacture the clock.

The California Clock Company began producing the Kit-Cat after it received a patent for it. Its factory was located in Ontario, California. The company is dedicated to keeping the iconic Kit-Cat alive. The kit-cat clock was even featured in the 1985 film Back to the Future.

Single-handle Moen faucet

The company that produces Moen faucets was founded in 1937 by Al Moen. Today, the company employs more than 3,000 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in North Olmsted, Ohio. Moen was originally a subsidiary of Ravenna Metal Products, a Seattle company. In 1956, the company was acquired by Stanadyne, which was later acquired by Forstmann-Little & Company. Moen was born in Seattle and worked as a tool designer at the military shipyard plant until he retired in 1982. The company holds more than 75 patents and continues to develop faucets today.

When Moen was a college student, he worked in his garage in order to pay his tuition at the University of Washington. One evening, while working at his garage, he went to his sink to wash up. As he turned the faucet, scalding water spewed out. This experience inspired Mr. Moen to create a faucet with one handle instead of two.

A single-handle Moen faucet is a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms. The company produces a wide selection of styles and finishes and offers a number of accessories to complement them. Customers can choose a modern or classic style depending on their taste and budget.

The Moentrol bath and shower valve was introduced in the 1970s by Moen. Its pressure-balancing mechanism compensates for pressure changes in the water supply to maintain the shower temperature. It is also an effective safety and comfort feature. The company also offers the Posi-Temp cycling valve, which uses a larger 1222 cartridge.