Every state is filled with its fair share of intelligent people. Bright, innovative, men and women who come up with a unique idea to create something and end up making a boat-load of dough as a result.

I decided to do a little snooping around recently to see what wonders were created here in South Dakota, besides of course Mount Rushmore, and the Cosmos "Natures' Mystery Area" near Rapid City. A true gift to mankind.

Anyway, did you know that South Dakota actually has four rather famous inventors?

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Their names are Ernest Orlando Lawrence, Waldo A. Ross, Russell A. Pohl, and Clyde L. Pritchard.

The law firm of Suiter/Swantz, Intellectual Property, says these four South Dakota men are widely known across the world for their inventions.

For instance, in 1932 Ernest Orlando Lawrence was granted a patent for his invention of "The Cyclotron." According to Suiter/Swantz, a cyclotron is a particle accelerator that accelerates charged particles outwards from the center along a spiral path. The particles are held in place in a spiral trajectory with a magnetic field.

After reading that, I feel like I need Sheldon from the television show "Big Bang Theory" to help me better understand that device.

Supposedly, Lawrence was part of the famous Manhattan Project and even received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939 for his work on the cyclotron. A smart cookie to say the least.

Then there was Waldo A. Ross, a Sioux Falls native who did South Dakota's largest city proud back in 1920 when he was given a patent for his work on improving armored motor cars. Ross' designs helped to make the armored motor car safer and more effective. His patent was also credited for helping to develop a "lighter, cheaper, more effective armored car," that as a result was widely used by the country's armed forces.

Two more big brains from South Dakota helped put the Rushmore State on the innovation map in 1969. Russell A. Pohl and Clyde L. Pritchard both of Sioux Falls were granted a patent on July 29 of that year for their work on "The Ejector Seat."

Pohl and Pritchard developed an ejector seat using a canopy, along with a heater so the user is able to sustain altitude and control their descent, making it easier to choose a suitable landing area. Their design made the canopy more like a hot air balloon, rather than a true ejector seat.

Needless to say, every airforce and navy pilot, along with James Bond gives them their gratitude.

As a state, Suiter/Swantz says South Dakota actually has a rather extensive history of innovation. Back in 2013 alone, we set a state record for patents with 129 utility patents. 

So, pat yourself on the back today, because it appears South Dakota is filled with a bunch of out-of-the-box thinkers.

All this innovation talk has inspired me to once again begin my extensive work on creating a new and improved smokeless ashtray. Once I refine this thing, I know I'll be mentioned in the same sentence with the great ones, I can just feel it!

Source: Suiter/Swantz Law Firm

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