The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Stonefort inventor wants to make your home more efficient

  • Donald Pyle has a few rare attributes. Firstly, he is a genuine inventive genius. Secondly, Pyle holds two U.S. Patents for devices he created.
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  • Donald Pyle has a few rare attributes. Firstly, he is a genuine inventive genius. Secondly, Pyle holds two U.S. Patents for devices he created.
    “This is working 24-7.” Pyle said, tapping his head. “I go to sleep and wake up with the plans in my minds-eye.”
    Pyle and his wife June, live in the country near Stonefort and both are from local families. Now retired from working in the mines, Pyle, 79, occupies his time letting his inventive talents run free.
    “My father owned a machine shop,” Pyle said. “I grew up in it, all this just comes naturally to me.”
    A number of years ago, Pyle developed an attachment which, when placed on a tractor, allows the attachment to accept any type of hitch from ball and socket to goose-neck. Pyle's first patent was for this invention. After the tornado which struck our area, Pyle and two friends, Ron Wells and Darryl Allen built several free-standing tornado shelters out of quarter inch plate steel and 2-by-2-by-¼ inch angle iron for the frame. These shelters were designed to be placed in garages or on a concrete pad and anchored to the concrete with heavy-duty bolts.
    Recently, Pyle has developed a simple yet elegant solution to a problem faced by many senior citizens, safely activating and manipulating the controls on ceiling fans. Pyle has carefully targeted the market for this device, making two cogent points on the subject. Firstly, Pyle points out that properly using a ceiling fan according to season — pushing air down in the summer and pulling air up to force the warmer air down in the winter — a home owner can realize up to a 25 percent savings in heating and cooling costs. Secondly, Pyle points out that senior citizens are at much greater risk and face longer recovery time from simple falls such as falling from a step stool when manipulating the controls on a ceiling fan. Pyle's invention solves these problems for his target market.
    “I was sitting in a recliner, looking at a ceiling fan and it was like God spoke to me,” Pyle said of how he developed the idea for this device. “I went to bed and the next morning went to my shop in the backyard and built a prototype out of half-inch PVC pipe.”
    The device is really quite simple and in the production form rather pretty. It consists of a wooden rod in varying lengths of 2, 3, 4, and 6 feet with a shaped copper head which fits over the fan’s directional switch. After perfecting the final form of his invention, Pyle applied for a patent and patent No. US D 673,019S was granted to him on Dec. 25, 2012.
    After hand-crafting about 200 of the devices, Pyle began to attempt to interest area businesses in his product, and attempted to find a manufacturer interested in large scale production and sales of the devices. He has also attempted selling the device at local craft-fairs. So far, response has been limited, but Pyle is determined to persevere in his attempts to market his invention.
    Page 2 of 2 - “If we were 20 years younger we would make them ourselves!” June Pyle said.
    Pyle is interested in either selling the patent or selling manufacturing rights on a royalty basis. He is convinced that the need is there for this device, and not just among senior citizens.
    Anyone interested in lowering energy cost could benefit from this device which certainly makes the task of controlling a ceiling fan — particularly a fan on a high ceiling — much easier. Pyle still has about 150 of these devices in varying lengths for sale a his home and would be happy to sell them to anyone interested in purchasing one.
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