Born Jan 12 1934 - Died Dec 9 2008
Display Devices Utilizing Liquid Crystal Light Modulation
Liquid Crystal Display
Patent Number(s) 3,731,986
James Fergason holds a series of patents that form the foundation of the multi-billion dollar LCD industry which has been rapidly growing since 1971.
In 1970, Fergason made the first operating LCDs. Prior to this invention, LCDs used a large amount of power, provided a limited life, and had poor visual contrast. In 1971, the first LCDs were demonstrated publicly and enthusiastically accepted.
LCD technology, starting with quartz watches and calculators, has completely redefined many industries, such as computer displays, medical devices, industrial devices, and the vast array of consumer electronics.
Fergason was born in Wakenda, Missouri and attended the University of Missouri. After graduating, he formed and led the first industrial research group in liquid crystal research while at Westinghouse Research Laboratories in Pennsylvania. There, he invented the first practical uses of liquid crystals. He joined the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University in Ohio in the 1960s. While Associate Director, Fergason discovered the twisted nematic field effect of liquid crystals which forms the scientific basis of modern LCDs. Fergason, who holds over 100 U.S. patents, currently works as an independent inventor.