Inventions Ahead of Their Time: Automatic Doors

Daily, we encounter automatic doors almost everywhere we go – from supermarkets to office buildings, airports, and even our favorite coffee shops. They have become integral to modern architecture, making our lives more convenient and efficient. But have you ever wondered about the origins of this remarkable invention? (Hint: The idea predates modern electricity!)

The concept of automatic doors may seem like a recent development, but their origins trace back further than you might imagine. The first known automatic door dates back to ancient times when the Greeks and Romans utilized hydraulics to operate doors with the help of pulleys and weights. However, it wasn’t until around the 20th century that true automatic doors began to take shape as we know them today.

Opening New Doors

The visionary behind the modern automatic door (and the first vending machine!) was Heron of Alexandria, a Greek engineer and mathematician who lived in the first century AD. Heron is credited with inventing the “pneumatica,” a series of mechanical devices powered by air pressure generated by fire, which included an early version of automatic doors. These doors, also known as “Heron’s doors,” operated using pneumatics and relied on compressed air to open and close.

Although Heron’s automatic doors were ingenious, they were undoubtedly ahead of their time. The technology required to create a practical and reliable automatic door system wasn’t available until much later. It was in the 20th century that significant advancements in electronics, sensors, and control systems paved the way for the widespread adoption of automatic doors.

When One Door Closes, Another One Opens

Centuries later, in 1931, American engineers Horace H. Raymond and Sheldon S. Roby developed an optical sensor for an automatic door that was installed at Wilcox’s Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut. This revolutionary piece of equipment allowed waitresses to seamlessly carry trays through doorways without kicking them open.

Then, in 1954, the American engineers Dee Horton and Lew Hewitt created the first commercial sliding automatic door, known as the “Horton Automatics.” These doors relied on an electric motor and a complex mechanism of gears and rollers to facilitate smooth opening and closing.

Not long after that, the advent of microprocessors in the 1970s brought a new level of sophistication to automatic door systems. With the ability to integrate sensors, timers, and logic circuits, these doors became more intelligent and responsive. This evolution improved safety features such as presence detectors, which use infrared or motion sensors to detect a person’s approach and trigger the door’s opening.

Leaving the Door Open

With time, automatic doors also evolved beyond just sliding motion, encompassing various types that suit different architectural designs and functional requirements. Swing doors, similar to those found in supermarkets, were introduced to accommodate high-traffic areas. These doors utilize sensors to detect a person’s approach and open in response, facilitating a seamless entry or exit experience. Revolving doors, popularized in the early 20th century, have also undergone automation. This variety combines the benefits of energy efficiency, security, and smooth traffic flow, making them ideal for busy entrances such as airports and hotels.

As technology continues to advance, the future of automatic doors looks promising. Integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms may enable doors to adapt and learn from human behavior, anticipating movement patterns and adjusting door operation accordingly. Furthermore, the emergence of touchless technologies, such as gesture recognition and voice control, may redefine the user experience, allowing individuals to simply wave their hands or give a voice command to effortlessly gain access to a building, eliminating the need for physical contact.

From Heron’s ancient pneumatic doors to the cutting-edge automated systems we have today, the evolution of automatic doors is a testament to human ingenuity and the relentless pursuit of convenience and efficiency. These remarkable inventions have forever transformed our daily lives, making entryways more accessible, enhancing security, and optimizing traffic flow.

To learn about more inventions ahead of their time, check out these stories about motorcycles, electric cars, and corrective lenses.

To learn more about Custom Powder Systems and the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.

Screen Shot 2023-02-21 at 8.51.08 AM

Accidental Invention: Potato Chips

WARNING: Reading this article may incite a ravenous craving for potato chips. Viewer discretion is advised.

The crunchy, salty, irresistible snack that you know and love was first created nearly two centuries ago. Potato chips are said to have originated from an interaction between a picky restaurant patron and an irritated cook… But is that really where they came from?

The Legend of the Salty Chef

As the story goes, Native and African American chef George (Speck) Crum worked at Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York. One day in 1853, he encountered a particularly fussy eater. Cornelius Vanderbilt had ordered fried potatoes, which he then sent back because they were cut too thick. George, in the act of spiteful pettiness, proceeded to slice a potato as thinly as possible and fry it to a crisp… And Cornelius loved it.

As fun as this story is, historians have mostly debunked it. George Crum still, however, often receives credit for popularizing the snack, as he continued to serve them to enthusiastic patrons.

George’s “Saratoga Chips” quickly became a hit around town and then beyond Upstate New York. In 1860, the chef opened his restaurant, Crum’s House, where each table was served a delicious basket of his famous potato chips. The delicious crisps eventually became quite sought-after throughout the U.S., with the first “Saratoga Chips” being sold in grocery stores in 1895 by William Tappendonby in Cleveland, OH.

Other Cooks in the Kitchen

Over the years, other possible origin stories of the invention of the potato chip have surfaced.

George Crum’s coworker and sister, Catherine Adkins Wicks, also claimed that she was the true inventor of the potato chip. In some versions of the original story, she is said to have been the one who served the thin crips to Cornelius Vanderbilt. In another, Catherine was allegedly peeling potatoes when she accidentally dropped a slice in a pot of boiling fat.

Another Moon’s Lake House employee, “Eliza, the cook,” was claimed to have been making chips as early as 1849. A New York Herald article from the time said her “​​potato frying reputation is one of the prominent matters of remark at Saratoga.” Other restaurant individuals credited with the invention include the owners, restaurant manager Hiram Thomas, and several other cooks.

A different story from Smithsonian Magazine reports that “the earliest known recipe for chips dated to 1817 when an English doctor named William Kitchiner published The Cook’s Oracle, a cookbook that included a recipe for “potatoes fried in slices or shavings.” So, historians have largely agreed that we may, unfortunately, never know the true origin of the chip.

You Can’t Eat Just One

As you can probably guess, the popularity of potato chips grew exponentially, and recipes and production continued to evolve.

In the early 1920s, Herman Lay (name sound familiar?) began making his potato chips and selling them out of the trunk of his car. As he began commercializing the product, rumors spread that the chips had an aphrodisiac quality, which simply bolstered his sales even more.

Smithsonian Magazine also reports that “In 1926, Laura Scudder, a California businesswoman, began packaging chips in wax-paper bags that included not only a ‘freshness’ date but also a tempting boast – ’the Noisiest Chips in the World.’” The new packaging design helped the snack stay fresher and crispier for longer, making them even more popular and allowing them to be mass-marketed.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that potato chips started seeing flavoring, thanks to Irishman Joe “Spud” Murphy. With his founding of Tayto, he developed a manufacturing process that created some of the most popular flavors we still know and love: Sour Cream and Onion, Barbecue, and Salt and Vinegar.

Today, Americans consume about 1.85 billion pounds of potato chips each year, supporting an estimated $10.5 billion industry. Because, in the words of Lay’s 1961 spokesperson Bert Lahr, “You can’t eat just one!”

If you enjoyed this accidental invention story, you might also like the ones about silly putty and Corn Flakes.

Screen Shot 2023-02-21 at 8.31.29 AM

Accidental Invention: Silly Putty

Simple. Squishable. Moldable. Silly Putty has been a popular children’s toy for over 80 years. But did you know it wasn’t created for kids? Silly Putty’s origin story begins with an accidental discovery during the rubber shortage during World War II.

During WWII, many of the countries that produced rubber were being invaded at the time. Because of this, Allies faced an extreme rubber shortage. In an effort to combat the lack of this essential manufacturing item, the U.S. government contracted companies to create a synthetic rubber substitute that could be made from readily-available materials.

It was during this experimental process that one of the world’s most popular toys was inadvertently created.

A Goo With Interesting Properties

It all started in General Electric’s New Haven, Connecticut Lab in 1943, where inventor James Wright was testing potential methods to create synthetic rubber. During one attempt, he mixed boric acid and silicone oil, creating a gooey, stretchy substance. While it proved to be a poor substitute for rubber, its unique properties turned some heads.

This “nutty putty” was stretchier and bouncier than rubber, and it adhered to ink to make a perfect copy of whatever newspaper or comic book it touched. James soon began sending samples to labs around the world to find a potential use for his discovery. Unfortunately, there was not much interest from other scientists or the U.S. government, so the mysterious goo fell to the wayside.

Passing Around the Party Putty

In spite of there being no obvious practical use for the putty, James continued making it. The goopy goo eventually started making appearances as a novelty passed around at parties. At one such party, the rubbery substance was discovered by Ruth Fallgatter, owner of the “Block Shop” toy store. She began selling it in her catalog at “bouncy putty.” It quickly became a bestseller.

Ruth’s marketing consultant, Peter Hodgson, was so interested in the goo that he purchased its production rights and changed the name to “Silly Putty.” The product’s next release coincided with the Easter holiday, inspiring its famous plastic egg-shaped package. Priced at $1 each, the company sold 250,000 units of Silly Putty in the first three days… and nearly six million units in the first year.

Second Only to Crayola Crayons

The new toy was an instant success, second only to Crayons. Crayola eventually purchased the exclusive manufacturing rights to Silly Putty in 1977. Today, the company reveals that “although the exact formulas Crayola uses to make Silly Putty are proprietary, we can share that it is made primarily from silicone and color pigments.”

While still commonly known as a toy, Silly Putty has also a few practical uses, such as picking up dirt and lint and stabilizing wobbly table legs. It was also used on the 1968 Apollo 8 mission where astronauts used Silly Putty to secure their tools to surfaces while orbiting the moon.

We love practical inventions, but we also love the impractical fun ones, too! If you need help figuring out an idea, we’re here for you… no matter how “silly” it seems.

To learn more about Custom Powder Systems and the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.

CPS- blog graphics (1)

Inventions Ahead of Their Time: Corrective Lens/Contact Lens

Today, a large portion of the population wears eyeglasses or contacts regularly. But how long ago would you suppose corrective lenses were first utilized? 100 years ago? 500? 1,000? How about over 2,000? Yep, that’s right. Check out this article to learn the early origins of these incredibly useful tools.

Glasses have become pretty standard fare for a lot of individuals. It is estimated that 75% of the US population requires some sort of vision correction. Can you imagine what life would be like if that many people couldn’t see properly? Thankfully, the invention of modern-day corrective lenses began many centuries ago.

Magnifying Spheres

The earliest iteration of corrective lenses is commonly traced back to Ancient Rome, where philosopher Seneca the Younger brought spheres of glass and jewels for Emperor Nero to use for magnification. It was discovered that concave lenses could be used to enhance and enlarge small objects such as letters or organisms. Surprisingly, however, it took nearly a millennium for this early discovery to evolve into a more sophisticated design.

During the Renaissance, European inventors stumbled upon the writings of Muslim mathematician and scientist Alhazen which described the properties of convex lenses. Research and development began to take hold, and, in 1286, Italian friar Dominican Giordano da Pisa created what is believed to be the world’s first pair of eyeglasses. These were designed to be held in front of the face or perched on the nose.

Eyeglasses Continue to Evolve

Because the materials initially used to make eyeglasses were so expensive (e.g. crystal, leather, animal horns), they were largely only available to the wealthy. However, as literacy rates began to boom in the 15th century, demand for more affordable glasses quickly grew. The lenses shifted to being made out of glass, which was able to be manipulated to serve a greater spectrum of near/farsightedness needs.

The next (and debatably most useful) development in eyeglasses was becoming hands-free in the 18th century as they gained support to be held over the ears. Soon after, Benjamin Franklin introduced the concept of bifocals, and George Airy created lenses that would correct astigmatism. Then, as the Industrial Revolution greatly improved manufacturing processes, eyeglasses finally began to be available to nearly everyone.

Lighter, Cheaper, and More Convenient

Over time, eyeglasses continued to become lighter and cheaper with both frames and lenses able to be made from plastic. Protective coatings were also added to reduce glare and UV light for the wearer. Today, eyeglasses can be customized to help correct vision impairments all over the spectrum.

In recent years, we have also seen the contact industry take off, allowing an even more hands-free version of corrective lenses that are more convenient for many individuals. First made from glass in 1887, these “in-eyeglasses” went through about a century of development until they reached the soft gel versions that are most commonly worn today. Ironically, after thousands of years of experimentation, it seems that contacts are the most similar to the original magnifying spheres of glass.

It’s no question that the invention of corrective lenses made a huge impact on the world. We at Custom Powder Systems love to see how technology develops over time. If you have a game-changing idea that you’d like to bring to life, let us know how we can help!

To learn more about Custom Powder Systems and the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.


Mothers of Invention: Olga D. González-Sanabria

A minority in many facets of her life, Olga D. Gonzalez-Sanabria was one of the few women who earned an engineering degree from the University of Puerto Rico and eventually became the highest-ranking Hispanic employee at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. Her invention of the long cycle-life nickel-hydrogen battery has been a critical tool in the advancement of energy storage for space exploration.

A brilliant woman who eventually became the highest-ranking Hispanic employee at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Olga D. Gonzalez-Sanabria made great strides in the field of chemical engineering – especially recognized for her achievements related to energy storage technologies for space.

A Natural-born Engineer

Born, raised, and educated in Puerto Rico, Olga was destined to become an engineer, as she took an interest in math and science early on in her life. During a high school career fair in the 1970s, she was taken by the idea of helping to solve the energy crisis, and soon joined the ranks of the few women studying engineering at the University of Puerto Rico. She earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemical engineering, the latter from the University of Toledo.

In 1979, Olga began her career at NASA’s Glenn Research Center researching energy storage technologies for space in the Electrochemistry Branch of the Solar and Electrochemistry Division. Over the years, she made great strides in various research departments until officially being promoted to management in 1995. She ultimately became the ​​director of the Engineering Directorate, a position she held until the end of her service in 2011.

A Battery for Outer Space

During her tenure at NASA, Olga was constantly working to create and improve various tools to be used for space exploration. Most notable was her team’s advancements with nickel-hydrogen fuel cells, a critical power source that was known to deplete too quickly. After much research and experimentation, the scientists significantly improved the separators that isolate oxidation and reduce voltage losses within the battery.

Olga and her team’s creation of the long cycle-life nickel-hydrogen battery was a monumental achievement and was put to use in the International Space Station power system. This type of battery, on average, could run for 40,000 cycles, and last for 10-15 years. In 1988, Olga’s team received an R&D 100 award for their invention.

An Engineering Role Model

Olga eventually honorably retired from NASA after 32 years of service, but not before earning numerous awards for her achievements, including the Women of Color in Technology Career Achievement Award (2000), Outstanding Leadership Medal (2002), Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee (2003), YWCA Women of Achievement Award (2004), and Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive (2007). Most recently, she was inducted into the NASA Glenn Research Center Hall of Fame (2021).

Today, Olga is president and co-owner of her own company, GX Matrix Consulting LLC. She is also passionate about mentoring young women, encouraging them towards the STEM field, and exemplifying a positive and accomplished role model. She says that the most valuable advice she would give to her younger self would be: “Be more assertive, document your progress and achievements. It will help you as you move up the ladder and remind you that you are contributing to the mission.”

To hear more stories about professional women whose perseverance has made them inspirational figures in their fields, check out our podcast, The Art of Engineering.

To hear more about the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.


Who is “The Real McCoy” Anyway?

Rumor has it that the phrase “the real McCoy” could have come from a variety of sources. But the origin story we like the most is about Canadian inventor Elijah McCoy and his coveted products which customers understandably only wanted authentic versions of.

If you want something that’s “the real McCoy”, you’re probably looking for “the real deal” or a “genuine article.” But where did this idiom come from? Who is McCoy, and why are they the gold standard for authenticity?

Truth be told, there are many theories about the origins of this phrase ranging from a Scottish poem to a Canadian book, to a Roman radio show. But, we’re going to focus on the one involving the prolific nineteenth-century inventor Elijah McCoy.

A Son of Slaves

Born in Canada in 1843, Elijah McCoy was the son of former slaves George and Emilia McCoy who had fled to the country for their freedom. Following the Civil War, the family then moved to Ypsilanti, MI to restart their lives in the United States. As an adult, Elijah traveled to Scotland to be educated as a mechanical engineer.

Upon completion of his studies, he returned to the US and went to work on the Michigan Central Railroad. As a black man, however, he all-too-commonly faced discrimination in his field and was hired as a train fireman despite his engineering training.

A Reputation on the Railroads

Elijah did not let his setbacks stop his genius creativity, however, and quickly began inventing products that would make train maintenance easier and more effective. He received his first patent for an automatic oiling device that allowed locomotive engines to be lubricated while still running instead of stopping as previously required.

This revolutionary device significantly improved efficiency, therefore saving train operators precious time and money. Elijah’s reputation for creating quality products quickly grew, and to avoid receiving cheap substitutes, users of heavy machinery were said to have asked for “the real McCoy.”

A Plethora of Patents

Elijah continued inventing through the remainder of his life, ultimately earning over 50 patents for his designs. He was eventually inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2001.

Facing racism and systemic hardships as a black man from the beginning, it is truly inspiring how Elijah McCoy was able to establish a long, successful career for himself. And it is even more incredible that his name has continued to be a recognizable part of the English lexicon over a century later.

We at Custom Powder Systems love to see engineers who come from all types of backgrounds create great things. If we can help you invent something, let us know!

To learn more about Custom Powder Systems and the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.


Accidental Invention: Corn Flakes

Corn Flakes – the best-selling breakfast cereal in the United States. You know them. You love them. But do you know how they were created? Check out this article to learn the surprising story behind the accidental invention of this iconic Kellogg’s product.

As with many notable inventions, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were created partially by accident. Though the product may not be what the Kellogg brothers were intending to make at the time, their stroke of culinary luck led to the advent of The Kellogg Company and America’s best-selling breakfast cereal.

The Kellogg Brothers’ Battle Creek Sanitarium 

Before the Kellogg name was associated with cereal and snacks, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother Will Kieth (WK) Kellogg were well-known as the operators of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. This so-called “health spa” catered to helping clients tend to a variety of ailments. Treatments included hot and cold water baths, hydro-therapy, electric-current therapy, light therapy, as well as exercise and massage regimens.

The basis of these treatments was inspired by the brothers’ commitment to their faith in the Seventh Day Adventist fundamentalist church. One of the main principles of the religion entailed maintaining the purity of one’s bodily temple. For the Kellogg’s, this meant adhering to a strict “healthy” diet including lots of water and vegetables and discluding substances like alcohol and caffeine.

Bland is Best and Easy to Digest

To support their ideal diets, the brothers started concocting different healthful foods that they and their patients could eat regularly. The goal was to avoid fat, grease, salt, and spices and focus on simple ingredients that were good for the digestive system. So, Dr. John began experimenting by mixing and baking flour, oats, and cornmeal.

As the legend goes, it was during one of these afternoons of cooking that the Kellogg brothers were called away from their kitchen in the midst of mixing a batch of wheat-based cereal and later returned to see that the dough had fermented. When they rolled the dough into thin sheets and baked it, they were positively surprised to find that it turned into perfect crispy and tasty flakes. Over the years, WK continued experimenting with the recipe and eventually found that corn created even more delicious and crunchy flakes than wheat.

A Spoonful of Sugar Makes the Sales go Up

The creation of this flaked cereal occurred alongside the booming of the Industrial Revolution – a time where individuals became busier and needed quicker and easier-to-eat breakfast options. The Kellogg brothers seized this timely opportunity and began to mass-market their product in 1906. Conflict arose, however, when WK started adding sugar to the cereal to make it more palatable, though Dr. John was avidly opposed.

To settle the dispute, WK purchased the rights to use the Kellogg name from his brother after a long legal battle and subsequently founded The Kellogg Cereal Company. The product soon came to boast several “firsts” in the cereal world, including offering the “Funny Jungleland Moving Pictures Booklet” as a prize to encourage sales, and introducing Cornelius (Corny) Rooster as a mascot. Though the Corn Flakes we know today aren’t exactly the health food they were initially designed to be, their success as one of the most iconic and best-selling cereals in the US proves that they were an invention the breakfast world is certainly thankful for.

As the Kellogg brothers discovered, you never know when or how your next great innovation will come to life. If you have an idea you’d like to explore, contact us to let us know how we can help (even if you end up creating something you didn’t expect).

To learn more about Custom Powder Systems and the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.


The Amazing Engineering That Gave Us Raisinets

What do you get when you combine American raisins, sweet chocolate, and the right equipment to polish? One of our favorite treats: Raisinets.

One specific grape, a method of polishing, and the right kind of chocolate are just a few of the key components in making Raisinets. Let’s grab a handful of this sweet treat and chew on some fascinating information.

It Takes a Special Raisin

Top 10 Reasons 1 2

While raisins can be made from dried grapes that are purple, blue, or yellow, it’s the pale green Thompson Grapes that are the choice for Raisinets. Thompsons are known in most of the world as sultana grapes and were brought west from the Ottoman Empire by William Thompson.

Today, nearly a third of the grapes and an astounding 97% of raisins in California are Thompson Grapes. 5.1 billion of those raisins end up in Raisinets. And that’s not a typo: 5.1 BILLION!

Give Thanks to the Blumenthal Boys

Calvin Coolidge was president, Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic, and Philadelphia’s Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Company created Raisinets all in the same year. As movie-going grew in the 1930’s and 40’s, so did the popularity of these magical chocolate covered raisins.

But the Blumenthal company wasn’t just a one-trick-pony. They also gave us Sno-Caps, Goobers, and Chunky bars. Legal troubles in the 60’s and 70’s led to eventual bankruptcy for BBCC, but Raisinets survived. The brand was sold to a few different companies, including Nestle who eventually sold their confections to Ferrero for $2.8 billion.

Your Raisinets Are Polished 

The early incarnations of Raisinets were made in small mixing and polishing pans. It would take about 90 minutes to coat and another 60 minutes to polish the candies just to get about 350 pounds of product. While 350 pounds seems like a substantial amount, it’s not nearly enough to quench our craving for these shiny, chocolate covered raisins.

Today, a typical batch of Raisinets is 2,500 pounds, equivalent to about one-million pieces. In the last 24 hours, 21 million new Raisinets were coated and polished.

Bob Luebbe, President of Custom Powder Systems, recalls when Nestle owned the product, and an unexpected problem came with increased production. “The Raisinets were in a 4-foot container and were getting stuck together under their own weight,” Luebbe explained. “The solution we found was to slow-tumble the product so they would separate without crumbling the chocolate.”

On to Hollywood and Holidays

3 1

Is there such a thing as a Raisinets holiday? You better believe it. Mark your calendars for next March 24, celebrate “National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day,” and give thanks to whoever comes up with those holidays.

And, if Raisinets are known for anything, it’s likely being a movie theater treat. Each year the candy continues to rank as a favorite at cinemas, and many praise the surprising taste-combo of popcorn and Raisinets.

Are Raisinets the first treat you go for at the movie theater?

At Custom Powder Systems, we love learning (and chocolate), and are standing by to build the equipment you need when you’re ready to create your dream product. Contact us here to let us know how we can help.

To learn more about Custom Powder Systems and the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.

Mechanical Hands A Brief History of the Mixer

Mechanical Hands: A Brief History of the Mixer

From the dawn of time, society has continuously looked for ways to improve the efficiency of how we complete tasks. While our own hands can be incredible tools, we can benefit from the use of additional machines. An example of this can be seen in the task of mixing—evenly blending large batches of ingredients is no simple task for manpower alone.

A Mixing Machine

In 1873, Paul Freyburger successfully filed a patent in Germany for a “mixing and kneading machine with two elliptic stirring discs.” This came from the realization that many industries experience a similar challenge while creating their products because their own arms and hands can only do so much when it comes to mixing ingredients together.

eKVq1C6Z8QGgQFvKcRan 8TQdq1YFRo02MitUUmhHuaB EPrhR45G1gChA45HocKioNp6M3mPVEZuX

Freyburger recognized a need and saw an opportunity that would benefit not only himself and his productions, but many other companies and individuals as well.

While the mixer was (and still is) heavily used in the food industry, Freyburger wrote the patent in a way that includes possibilities for use in a wide array of industries. He uses terms like, “various substances” and “materials.”

Adding new Innovators to the Mix

Freyburger’s invention attracted a fellow German who loved the idea and wanted to make a run with it. Freyburger ultimately sold the world rights to his patented invention to Paul Pfleiderer, who then headed off to London to pair up with Hermann Werner. The duo went into business together and started producing and distributing the universal mixer to the masses. Thus, Werner Pfleiderer Ltd. was formed.

Freyburger’s Influence Carries On

So what happened to Freyburger? Most historians believe that his influence faded. But our research says otherwise.

In 1876, another patent was filed for “Mixers with rotary stirring devices in fixed receptacles.” This time, though, it was not in Germany. Patent No. 180,568 was filed in the United States of America by none other than Paul Freyburger.

hdQsEhS6Ka nrl2DSp1

In the years following, Werner Pfleiderer Ltd. soon moved to selling their mixers in America. We can give credit to Paul Freyburger, Paul Pfleiderer, and Hermann Werner for the early development of designs that inspired our own blenders here at Custom Powder Systems.

We want to be your Freyburger. We long to help you solve problems you didn’t even know you had. We have a deep passion for innovation and are continuously looking for ways to make lives easier and complete tasks more efficiently.


To hear more about the art of engineering, sign up for our newsletter.