George Klein (inventor)

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George Johann Klein

Born(1904-08-15)August 15, 1904
DiedNovember 4, 1992(1992-11-04) (aged 88)
EducationUniversity of Toronto
Known forInvention of the Canadarm, power wheelchair, microsurgical staple gun, ZEEP nuclear reactor
AwardsCanadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame inductee, Order of Canada, Order of the British Empire
George Klein (back) and his electric wheelchair 1953

George Johann Klein, OC MBE (August 15, 1904 – November 4, 1992) was a Hamilton, Ontario-born Canadian inventor who is often called the most productive inventor in Canada in the 20th century. Although he struggled as a high school student, he eventually graduated from the University of Toronto. His inventions include key contributions to the first electric wheelchairs for quadriplegics, the first microsurgical staple gun, the ZEEP nuclear reactor which was the precursor to the CANDU reactor, the international system for classifying ground-cover snow, aircraft skis, the Weasel all-terrain vehicle, the STEM antenna for the space program, and the Canadarm.

Klein worked for forty years as a mechanical engineer at the National Research Council of Canada laboratories in Ottawa (1929–1969).[1]

In 1968, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1995, he was inducted to the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame.[2]


  1. ^ Bourgeois-Doyle 2004, p. 232.
  2. ^ The Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame: George J. Klein, Canada Science and Technology Museum.
  • Bourgeois-Doyle, Richard I. George J. Klein: The Great Inventor. Ottawa: NRC Research Press, 2004. ISBN 0-660-19322-1.

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