HISTORY

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Friday, 23 December 2011 09:55

Inventionland Special Premieres on HISTORY®

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Ever wonder where all those fantastic, odd and oddly useful consumer gadgets come from? Browsing the aisles of Target, K-Mart, Walmart and other major retailers, one marvels at the scope of imagination when it comes to products for the home, office, workshop and garage. For inventors and those who have big ideas of their own, home shopping shows and big-box stores are playgrounds of potential.

Now comes "Inventionland," a new reality-based TV special scheduled to debut on HISTORY on Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Shot on location, the Pittsburgh-based Inventionland is the headquarters for Davison Design & Development, founded by George Davison, the show's star.

"Inventionland" delves into the sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes exhilarating real-life drama of the high-risk world of inventing. The show follows three inventors as their respective inventions take shape. From the thrill of coming up with a big idea to the challenges involved in turning it into a functioning prototype and then into a money-making proposition or a trip back to the drawing board, it all begins and ends at Inventionland, America's largest invention factory.

* Stuck holding onto the umbrella during a breezy day at the beach while watching his young daughters have fun in the ocean without him, inventor Milton Branch envisions a beach cooler that firmly anchors an umbrella even on the windiest days. Find out if the project flies.

* Kurt Whiteside and 5,000 of his car mechanic customers around the country anxiously await the next generation of the Hover Creeper. But first this miracle of physics must pass the muster of NASCAR mechanic "Big A," who ultimately says, "Every fat guy should have one of these." Then Inventionland designers face a last-minute, nail-biting prototyping problem that requires Mr. D.'s expertise as an important celebration looms.

* Taking a cue from the original boom boxes of the 1980s, twenty-year-old Jason Ramsey has the idea for a new surround-sound, six-speaker wearable belt that will enable him to share music the old-fashioned way with his skateboarding friends at the park. There's only one problem, and it's a doozy.

Intertwined with these compelling invention stories are those of Inventionland's own creative captain, "Mr. D."—the one and only George Davison—and an eccentric cast of designers and builders. Jason Rogge configures each design team, balancing personalities and talent for what an invention needs; he's also the master deadline enforcer. Jarrod Campbell, the lone wolf known for his quick temper, never hesitates to speak his mind. The quintessential super-geek Clay Carlino is nonetheless a snob at heart. Lucky Schwartz, ever the skeptic, plays devil's advocate at every turn. Outdoorsman Curtis Wierman is part Grizzly Adams and part Turtle from Entourage. Tensions may flare, creative minds do clash and emotions run high, but in the end, the cast of characters' idiosyncrasies work in their favor, and the new inventions come to life.

George Davison says from Inventionland, "Whether we invent new products to ward off outside competition, or to fix a pressing problem, or to bring pleasure into new realms, there is a ravenous appetite among consumers for the new and innovative. And we do it all at Inventionland."

"Inventionland" is produced for HISTORY by JWM Productions. The producer is Jonathan Wyche. Patrice Shannon is the editor and the online editor is Brian Newell.

For more information, visit: www.inventionland.com

For centuries, America has been an engine of invention and innovation, creating the technology that has shaped world history.  From Ben Franklin to the Wright Brothers; Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, this country has been a consistent generator of revolutionary ideas.  Today many Americans, in basements and backyards around the country, are trying to turn their dreams into the next big thing.

INVENTION USA, a new HISTORY series that premieres Friday, December 9, 10pm ET/9C follows Reichart Von Wolfshield and Dr. Garrett Lisi, innovators and scientists with ties to investors, as they go in search of the next breakthrough invention. Whether they're traveling the country to visit backyard inventors at home, or meeting inventors at their Los Angeles testing lab, Reichart and Garrett will put prototypes to the test and give a tough, no-nonsense evaluation of the invention’s potential.  If they like what they see, it can mean the Inventor will get the investment they'll need to help bring the product to market. In every case, the stakes are high: a dream is on the line, and the next idea they see could change someone's life...and even the world.

Their adventures are chronicled in INVENTION USA which celebrates not only America’s knack for invention but also its entrepreneurial spirit. As Garrett and Reichart see it, one is meaningless without the other – and these two know quite a lot about bringing pioneering new products to the marketplace. As Garrett and Reichart travel the country meeting with inventors, if they agree that there’s revenue potential in an invention, they will use their considerable collective experience – in consumer products, marketing, science and design – and make that invention come to life, and ultimately to the marketplace.

INVENTION USA doesn’t focus solely on the inventions. The 6-episode series also takes a fascinating look at the inventors themselves, some of whom have sacrificed it all, including money and marriages, to make their creations a reality. Some inventions are brilliant, some batty; and some simply both! There’s “The Fireball,” a non-lethal weapon that uses modified paintballs to deter wild animal attacks, a product the inventor claims was inspired by his run-in with Bigfoot. There’s the “Phone Glove,” a cell phone that’s not exactly hands free, given that it’s built into a winter glove.  Also Easy Down, a potential life-saving invention inspired by the events on 9/11; and “Roscoe: One Bad Bird” – a new “weapon” in the battle to keep pesky pigeons away.  Which of these and many other items will meet with Garrett and Reichart’s approval? The stakes couldn’t be higher for the inventors.

Garrett is an American theoretical physicist best known for "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything," a unified field theory combining particle physics with Einstein's theory of gravitation. Born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego, California, Lisi received bachelor’s degrees with highest honors in physics and mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a doctorate in physics from the University of California, San Diego. After moving to the island of Maui, Lisi balanced his efforts between physics research, scientific consulting, and surfing. His work has been featured in many academic, popular, and online publications.

Reichart has produced over 120 consumer products and pioneered dozens of technologies over the past 30 years including one of the first multiplayer video games, co-designed the first set-top computer, created Disney's Animation Studio software, designed slot machines for Vegas, Toys for Mattel, and weapons for the Defense Department. From their Laboratory nicknamed "The Barn" Garrett and Reichart evaluate and test an array of newly developed prototypes for the series.

INVENTION USA is produced for HISTORY by T Group Productions. Matthew Ginsburg and Charles Nordlander are Executive Producers for HISTORY. Executive Producers for T Group are Jenny Daly, Gunnar Wetterberg and Jason Sklaber.

For more information, visit: www.history.com/shows/invention-usa

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