Historic Inventors Gather on Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds Holiday Card

You know the holiday card is from Hamilton Brook Smith Reynold, the intellectual property law firm in Concord, MA, when you see Thomas Edison serving the turkey with Mmm. Marie Curie.

The card also includes jokes about eight famous inventors. It refers to Edison's "unfortunate failures including the remote control turkey baster and the electric gravy delumpifier."  How does Marketing Director Audra Callanan  come up with this stuff? How does she get the partners to go for it?

The card shows the inventors sitting at a table lit by bunsen burners and graced with a fresh "pi."  See if you can match the caricatures with the following inventors (answers set out at bottom of post):

1. Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

Having obtained over 1500 patents, Edison's successes include the first commercially available x-ray machine, the incandescent light bulb, and the phonograph. Unfortunate failures include the remote control turkey baster and the electric gravy delumpifier. *

2. Mme. Marie Curie (1867-1934)

A pioneer in the field of radioactivity, Mme. Curie was the first female professor at the University of Paris, first twice-honored Nobel laureate, and the discoverer of Polonium which she named for her native Poland. Equally skilled in the laboratory and the kitchen, Mme. Curie was a renowned chef and is credited with inventing the Asian-influenced turkey seasoning now known as Curie Powder.*

3. Hedy Lemarr (1914-2000)

Considered "Hollywood's most beautiful woman" in the 1940's, this Austrian-born starlet learned about the interference of wartime communication during dinner conversation as atrophy wife to a powerful Hitler ally. Lemarr put her knowledge to work as co-inventor of U.S. Patent No. 2,292,387, a radio frequency technology which served as the basis for foxes, cellular phones, and other wireless communications used today.

4. Jonas Salk (1914-1995)

Known for his discovery of the polio vaccine, Salk endeared himself to the American public by purposely not obtaining a patent in on effort to promote the speedy mass dissemination of his vaccine. Salk later filed for Patent rights to another dis­covery – PerkUpAdrin -- the L-tryptophan antidote commonly used to combat seasonal drowsiness caused by ingestion of turkey meat, ala king, fricassee, and subsequent concoctions.*

5. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

With a career beginning in the Swiss Patent Office, Einstein achieved acclaim as one of the world's most preeminent scientists as well as a scholar, author, Nobel laureate, and humanitarian. Scientific and humanitarian contributions over­shadowed his impassioned quest to decipher the visceral reactions and metaphysical forces produced by reluctant exposure to gatherings of individuals drawing from common gene pools. His research is evidenced in his published work, "The Theory of Relatives-ity.'"

6. Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

In addition to being a prolific inventor, the Boston-born Franklin was a printer, author, diplomat, philosopher, scientist, and one of America's greatest statesmen. After the Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol of our burgeoning notion, Franklin was dissatisfied with the choice. He believed the North American turkey was a more respectable and suitable choice in bird.**

7. Linus Pauling (1901-1994)

Pauling, the only person to win two unshared Nobel prizes, revolutionized the study of chemistry, helped found the field of molecular biology, and mode important advances in medical research. His work describing the nature of chemical bonds paved the way for the development of such culinary delights as ambrosia and green bean casserole.*

8. Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

Babbage is widely regarded as the "father of computing." By in­venting the "Difference Engines" and the "Analytical Engine," he laid the foundation for the concept of a programmable computer. Today, 136 years after Babbage's death, the public continues to wait for the programmable VCR. *

* Specific fact not substantiated by credible source. Could be considered shameless attempt at humor.

** The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Shama Hyder - December 18, 2007 2:45 PM

This is a great card, and a fascinating marketing idea. I wonder how else someone might be able to leverage famous figures in history?

Amy Campbell - December 19, 2007 7:41 PM

What's great about the holiday cards that Audra Callahan puts out is that they are truly engaging -- I find myself turning them over, reading every word and looking at them again and again. (I still have my Thanksgiving card sitting among the Christmas cards that are just now starting to pour in.) That's a memorable communication. It's obviously not a last minute idea, but a well orchestrated plan executed with top artistic talent. Well done!

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