American inventors have created some of the most important technological breakthroughs in the history of humankind. The telegraph, light bulb, artificial heart and sewing machine all were products of American minds. Americans also created box telephones, computers, the Internet, airplanes and the polio vaccine.
In 1987, the American Marketing Association started the Edison Awards to encourage and recognize inventors. Each year, the Edison Awards honor select individuals and organizations for their contributions to product innovation and economic development.
There are three types of Edison Awards. They include awards for achievement, best products and ecologically-sustainable business ideas.
The Edison Achievement Award goes to a business executive who stresses progress in product innovations, and the Green Award is presented to organizations that stress ecologically sound products. These companies recognize the importance of sustainable products and manufacturing processes.
The Edison Best New Product Award is self-explanatory, and is awarded in several categories, including science and medical, electronics and medical, energy and sustainability, technology, transportation and industrial design. Other categories include lifestyle and social impact, living and working environments, media and communications, and consumer packaged goods.
Some of the most recognizable winners of the 2009 Edison Awards include the Apple iPhone, Wii Fit and MacBook Air. In the transportation category, Trek scored with its Madone 5.2 bicycle. In science and medical, the OmniPod insulin delivery system took the gold.
Not many products win Edison Awards, so these prizes go only to individuals and companies with significant accomplishments. Keep reading to see 10 products, listed in no particular order, that were nominated for the 2010 Edison Awards.