By Topic

A Swindling Concern: The National Institute of Inventors, 1914-1925

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$33 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

1 Author(s)
Eric S. Hintz ; Dept. of History & Sociology of Sci., Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

In 1914, the National Institute of Inventors (NII) emerged as an organization dedicated to the "mutual aid, betterment, and protection" of America's independent inventors. Unfortunately, the Nil was a scam its officers simply pocketed the membership dues, embezzling thousands of dollars from America's unsuspecting inventors. The NII emerged at a time when independent inventors desperately wanted and needed professional organizations to provide the legal, financial, and marketing assistance necessary to develop their ideas. Unfortunately inventors' eagerness to join such organizations also made them vulnerable to exploitation. The case of the NII underscores how independent inventors unlike scientists and engineers failed to maintain durable organizations that might have been effective advocates for an increasingly troubled profession.

Published in:

History of Technical Societies, 2009 IEEE Conference on the

Date of Conference:

5-7 Aug. 2009