Bill Adams, founder and chairman of Adams Manufacturing, has been honored with the 2014 Inventor of the Year Award from the Pittsburgh Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA).
Adams took home the top honor this year due to his innovations in the design of suction cups, outdoor resin furniture, holiday accessories and other consumer products. It's also a nod to the significant economic impact he has made on the western Pennsylvania region and American manufacturing as a whole.
Exemplifying these traits is the RealComfort Adirondack chair -- which features advanced ergonomic lumbar support -- and suction cups with diffusion ring technology, which avoids the magnifying-glass effect of standard suction cups by using high-clarity materials that can't focus light.
After returning from Vietnam and leaving his next job as an elementary school librarian, Bill Adams began his initial journey with the development of "window blankets," which helped trap heat by attaching bubble wrap to windows using suction cups. He moved on to marketing suction cups to retailers, who could use them to hang sings in their windows. Eventually, he had secured contracts with every hardware store in the Pittsburgh region.
Adams Manufacturing has issued 208 design or utility patents since its founding in 1976. It employs approximately 300 people in its Portersville, Pa. location and is looking to expand even further.