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Massie/McLurkin Innovative Lives Program, MV 603.3

Catalog Data

Collection Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Collection Inventor:
Massie, Thomas  Search this
McLurkin, James  Search this
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
Interview with Thomas Massie TRT: 60:00 Massie grew up in Eastern Kentucky. His mother is a nurse and his father a beer distributor. They allowed him to explore everything and his favorite subjects were math and science. Massie attended MIT where he majored in engineering. He attended MIT because he felt he could get involved in lab work from the beginning as a freshman. He later formed a company, SensAble Devices, based on his invention the Phantom. Massie built the Phantom in the lab in 3 months and it required programming, circuits, and pulleys. The Phantom works by placing your finger in the thimble and moving it forward to touch the wall where a force field is created. The computer tracks where the finger is and a red line indicates the progress. Massie uses the example of inserting a needle into a brain tumor. The Phantom's applications include training surgeons, enable the blind to use computers, and permit engineers to create virtual prototypes and feel the models. Massie's favorite invention is the car and his hobbies include radio controlled cars, boats and planes. Interview with James McLurkin McLurkin was born in Baldwin, New York. His mother is a speech therapist and his father works for AT & T. McLurkin comes from a strong technical background and enjoyed playing with erector sets, tinker toys, and Lincoln logs. While in high school, McLurkin built a robot and liked science. He would like to remain in "academia" to conduct research and would like to sell his ants. Concludes interview with a demonstration of ants playing "tag."
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the original videos are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. Signed releases on file, but releases not available for Western School students.
Collection Citation:
Massie/McLurkin Innovative Lives Presentation and Interviews, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Massie/McLurkin Innovative Lives Presentation and Interviews
Massie/McLurkin Innovative Lives Presentation and Interviews / Series 2: Master Videos
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History