In the contemporary world that we live in, it’s not often that you hear the great news of an inventor staying loyal to his craft. This is because of the long process that it takes in order to make sure that he/she is the only one in the entire world that has come up with such an invention. And the cost of making sure that this process is taken care of properly and efficiently is quite expensive according to research. It is important that a patent lawyer makes no mistakes in researching the rights to your patent and he/she must not over look what someone else may have already discovered in a parallel patent. Virgil Mathis, an African American inventor from the West side of Chicago is very positive and sincere about his invention and wants to encourage the youth to dream, and make their dreams come true. Although it took 18 months for Mathis to receive his patent after hiring a patent lawyer and 15 years to have almost completed the product, he said that he will never give up on his dream because he is very confident about his invention, just like he wants the youth to be confident in their dreams.
Mathis began his process for his invention in 1995. The invention is called “The Elevision-Television.” The elevision-television is a television that elevates and moves in any direction that one needs for it to move in–in order to be at the comfort level of ones liking. As a veteran of the US army signal corps, Mathis says “I invented this elevision for the sick, after seeing many sick veterans not being able to move and watch television in a comfortable position, I just wanted to help.” Also, Mathis mentioned that his mother was a nurse and he constantly observed the discomfort of sick people not being able watch television or do anything that will help them ease their pain. All of what Virgil Mathis was exposed to in reference to the sick and disabled, has given him the idea of just wanting to help. However, Mathis makes known that the elevision definitely has benefits for all television watchers. Mathis adds “The vision began to develop at a very young age, this is why it is important for the youth to began to dream while they are still young.”
At the age of 12 Mathis worked in a local TV shop called “Adams TV Shop,” on 35th and Wabash and from their it was history. He already knew that television and anything that had to do with electronics was definitely his niche. With a positive and confident heart, Mathis enrolled into Coyne American Electronic School and after graduating joined the armed forces. While in the arm forces he helped with the signal corpse and a missile launching program. Mathis says that it is important for the youth to start young and for their dreams to be molded in order to build confidence in them. Mathis reminds us that when he was a young boy there was more of a family structure for young people. He said “My mother and father were both around, my father worked and my mother took care of the children.” Mathis feels that it is important for children to have a support group in order to support their dreams and invites anyone who feels that they or their child is an inventor, to join him and other local inventors at the Chicago’s 1st Black Inventors Entrepreneurs Organization meetings every second Saturday of the month. He also makes mention about the Poly-technical Institute which is a high school right here in Chicago for young children who are technically inclined and who are the future inventors of tomorrow.
Recently Mathis was awarded with a Chicago Area Inventors Award in Wisconsin for the Stout Technology Discovery Center where two inventions by Mathis gained ground for innovating Wisconsin and creating about 900 jobs for amputee’s and other disabled veterans in the state of Wisconsin. This week Mathis will meeting with his first group of engineers from Northwestern University that will review the elevision’s concept and help build the actual product. The project will be completed in March of 2011and will be ready to market to the best manufacturer which will take the project to the next level. Mathis advises all who are looking to become inventors, just a few words of wisdom—below you will find his advice.
1. When you have an idea/invention keep your mouth shut until you can get a patent on it.
2. Get enrolled into some type of inventors program such as Chicago’s 1st Black Inventions Entrepreneurs Organization.
3. Network with other inventors.
4. Be consistent with meetings because it is a process and ask lots of questions.
5. The age limit is based on a persons interest, you could be a child, adult, or senior citizen.
6. Parents if your child is an inventor, support their dream.
7. Read books on inventors and inventions.
8. Enroll your child in a school that will help in his/her pursuit.
For more information on the Chicago’s 1st Black Inventors Entrepreneurs Organization log on to:
To contact Virgil Mathis for more information on his inventions email him at [email protected]