John Freeman III still remembers the one that got away …
An inflatable plastic bag mounted under the dashboard of a car that cushions the driver and passenger by inflating automatically in the event of a collision.
Yes, the Air Bag.
Freeman claims he thought of the idea first, as a young boy, after a family friend had gotten into a car wreck. Fortunately, the man survived but suffered broken ribs and visible bruises from where the steering wheel struck his body. Ten year-old Freeman stayed up all night, thinking of ways that friend might have been protected in the crash.
His answer came to him the next day while he was working in the yard, raking leaves, with his Uncle Greg.
His uncle showed him a way to gather the leaves more efficiently by taking the trash can and turning it in a circle in order to trap the air. A lightbulb clicked on in his head. He grabbed up a new trash bag, filled it with air and jumped into his grandfather’s car, placing the bag between him and the steering wheel. He explained to his uncle that if there was a way for the bag to balloon up, it could possibly save lives during an accident. His uncle laughed him off, saying it was the dumbest thing he ever heard. Later on, when the Air Bag came out for real, Uncle Greg apologized, vouching to anyone and everyone who would listen that it was indeed his nephew’s idea first.
I guess you can say that I always had a wild and crazy imagination. I’ve found the answer to so many problems that we have are right it front of us, but we choose to ignore them, or blow them off as dumb ideas. Better yet, we are so afraid of our peers laughing at us because they can’t see the vision like the inventor does.
Freeman, who is currently an Independent Contractor/ Truck Driver, lives in Fort Worth, Texas but is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi. He has over twenty-two years of military service and several combat tours under his belt and is still active in the Army Reserves. He describes himself as an inventor at heart who is motivated by trying to help other people.
Five years ago, another light bulb went off in his head, this time for something sports related.
After several tests and one trip to the junkyard, the “M.I.S.S.” was born, a helmet that’s sole purpose is to minimize the effect of impact and reduce injuries, using a method you haven’t seen before.
M.I.S.S. is only the tip of the iceberg.
I have so many ideas that can easily change the world and make it a safer place to live. I just need to get my foot in the door.