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Denny's Daily Zinger: Grandma’s Mailing to the Right Person

January 3, 2014 By Denny Hatch
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The economy is fragile. The employment statistics—with offshoring and robots stealing American jobs—are disheartening.

Yet room always exists for good 'ole American ingenuity and grit.

In a Dec. 8 home game, Philadelphia's beloved Eagles played the Detroit Lions in a raging blizzard. The 8.5 inches of snow was a complete surprise.

Players were slipping and sliding all over the place. When tackled, running backs came up with faces full of snow. It was wild.

A Low-Tech Invention: Signalfan (Patent : D591,622)
From the Eagles sideline, plays were being signaled by a strange new semaphore system no one had ever seen before—a fan of six baseball-bat shaped colored panels. They were barely visible through the snow to the TV audience, but the players could see them easily. 

The Eagles whupped the Lions 34-20.

An unlikely inventor
Jill Cakert, 56, is a dental hygienist, grandmother and volunteer softball coach. She invented the Signalfan to help her players read signals. And she patented it.

On a whim, she sent one to the Eagles new coach, Chip Kelly, who sent her a payment ($25) and the following thank-you note:

It's been a big help!! Great idea!! Chip Kelly.

Is this reminiscent of LIFE magazine listing "From Russia, With Love" as one of President John Kennedy's all-time favorite books? That presidential nod turned Ian Fleming's James Bond adventures into a billion-dollar franchise.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for Jill Cakert.


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