Made in reno a brief list of notable inventions created by renoites n gas price


Jacob Davis, born near the Baltic Sea in 1831, came to the United States in 1854 and ran tailor shops in New York City and in Augusta, Maine, former Nevada state archivist Guy Rocha wrote in an article for the Nevada State Library and Archives. Davis moved to the West and ended up in Reno in 1868, opening a tailor shop on Virginia Street the next year.

In January 1871, a woman asked him to make a sturdy pair of pants for her husband who was too big to wear ready-made clothes. Davis said the woman paid $3 for pants made of white duck material he bought from Levi Strauss & Co. For reinforcement, Davis used small copper rivets to fasten the pants pockets, a device still used today in Levis 501 jeans and other jeans.

The pants Davis made — some made of denim — proved popular, and Davis asked Levi Strauss to help him with a patent application. The full patent was granted on May 20, 1873. By then, Davis had been named San Francisco production manager, and he sold his tailor shop property to Levi Strauss on May 27. The frame building was destroyed on Oct. 29, 1873, in Reno’s first great fire, Rocha wrote.

What’s interesting, Rocha said in an interview, is that the first copper-riveted pants were considered work pants until after World War II, when, thanks to stars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, who popularized blue jeans in their movies, the pants became a symbol of teenage rebellion.

Built in the mid-1940s from 20-year-old plans, the building’s art deco style was already becoming nostalgic. It opened as Nevada’s tallest building in 1947, and its Sky Room overlooked a town that remained little more than a speck on a railroad map.

In the early days the Mapes presided over a Virginia Street that was just getting started as a vacation destination.The venerable Riverside Hotel was a poker chip’s throw across the Truckee River. Harrah’s was no more than a bingo parlor. Harolds Club was the gambler’s choice and best known of Reno casinos, but it had no hotel.

In the early days the Mapes presided over a Virginia Street that was just getting started as a vacation destination.The venerable Riverside Hotel was a poker chip’s throw across the Truckee River. Harrah’s was no more than a bingo parlor. Harolds Club was the gambler’s choice and best known of Reno casinos, but it had no hotel.

"You could sit in the Coach Room and sing around the piano," the late Bill Raggio told the Reno Gazette Journal in 2000. "In the `50s all Reno’s professionals and people of note would meet there. All the high schools would hold their proms there.

Douglass started his professional career as a sound engineer with CBS Radio in Los Angeles before moving to CBS Television in the 1950s. With the advent of television sitcoms, producers found that audiences weren’t always laughing at just the right moment, or for just the right duration. Often, a particular scene would need multiple takes, and the audience just didn’t find the joke as funny the fourth or fifth time around.

Enter Charley Douglass and his "laff box." Douglass used prerecorded laughter to enhance audience reaction for jokes that didn’t quite land, mainly for shows with live studio audiences. In addition to laughs, Douglass’ machine included prerecorded "giggles, guffaws, cries, moans, jeers, ohs and ahs," his son told the New York Times in 2003.

Bill Lear, the inventor of the Learjet, held more than 150 patents, including those for one of the first practical car radios and an auto pilot system. He and his wife, Moya, moved to Reno in 1968, and in the mid-1970s, he began designing the Lear Fan jet, a innovative plane made of lightweight composite materials.

Before he died in 1978, Lear asked his wife to finish the Lear Fan project at his company’s Stead facility. Moya Lear took the reins, and three planes actually flew. But the company was plagued with financial problems, and Lear Fan Ltd. filed for bankruptcy in 1985, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported at the time. ZipNut, 1983

The ZipNut got its big break prior to a 1989 launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery, when NASA engineers were working to create a special tool to attach a satellite in the shuttle’s cargo bay. One engineer remembered receiving a sample of the Zipnut several months prior.

In 1998, Fullerton and his business partner were sentenced to 35 years probation and ordered to pay $130,500 restitution for unlawful stock sales. A Washoe District Court jury had convicted Fullerton and Corinne Bennett of Reno on 21 counts of the sale of unregistered securities earlier that year.

Fullerton and Bennett did not register the stock with the state of Nevada Securities Division as required by law, Deputy Attorney General Grenville Pridham argued to the jury. The investors believed they were investing in the ZipNut, but the patent had been assigned to another corporation and the investors lost their principal and any profits they were supposed to receive, the attorney general’s office reported.

The pistol offense debuted Sept. 9, 2005 in the season opener against Washington State. The Pistol didn’t fare so well in that first game, producing just three scoring drives and 10 punts, but it did eventually lead to a WAC title that season and shortly after that the Pistol formation became commonplace at the high school and college levels and even had a huge impact on the NFL.

It’s hard to overestimate what the Pistol offense has meant to Nevada. Pre-Pistol, the Wolf Pack was just another mid-major football program nobody cared about. After the Pistol, and buoyed in large part because of the talents of Jeff Rowe, Colin Kaepernick and Cody Fajardo, the Wolf Pack landed on the national map.

In Ault’s eight years running the Pistol offense, the team averaged 35.6 points per game, won 65 games and reached eight bowl games. In the eight years before Ault’s Pistol invention, the Wolf Pack averaged 26.8 points per game, won 35 games and reached zero bowl games. The Pistol offense didn’t just change the program, it made it relevant. Every program is looking for their niche in the college football world, whether it’s their uniforms (see Oregon), a program catch phrase (like Nevada’s "Keep Chopping," which was first used by Rutgers in the mid-2000s), a field (like Boise State’s blue turf) or something else. For Nevada, the Pistol offense became its niche, its edge.

The pistol underwent plenty of changes over the years, the biggest one coming before the 2008 season when the read-option was added to accentuate Kaepernick’s running ability. It exploded after that, with Kaepernick and Fajardo putting together a tremendous run from 2008-12, a five-year period when the Wolf Pack averaged nearly 40 points per game.