Joseph Friedman

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Joseph Friedman was born in Cleveland, Ohio back in 1900. At just fourteen years old he invented the lighted pencil. Over the course of his career he held at least nine US Patents also holding patents in Great Britain, Australia and Canada. His first patent was on improvement to the fountain pen, which he sold to the Shaffer Pen Company in mid 1930’s.

During the times when he wasn’t inventing anything he worked as a real estate agent. He died in 1982, he was 81.

What you may not know about Joseph B. Friedman is that what he is most noted for was for the Flexible Straw. On June 1969, he sold his patent to the Maryland Cup Corporation for an undisclosed amount of money. Just FYI, I have some in my kitchen, what a great invention.

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Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

Hi James, I have some of those straws as well. Can you just imagine this man's mind?  He probably had an incredible imagination and saw opportunity everywhere.

Jan 29, 2020 03:23 AM #1
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray I think everyone appreciates flexible straws.... they saved the day when my adult children were little ones....

Jan 29, 2020 03:57 AM #2
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. The wheels never stopped turning. The things that come from creative minds. Enjoy your day!

Jan 29, 2020 04:02 AM #3
Donald Urschalitz
Lubeck Realty Group - Jupiter, FL
P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County

Good morning James, well since I grew up in Ohio I was aware of the pens but not the straws.

Jan 29, 2020 04:18 AM #4
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

I am not sure that I am happy with the return to paper straws. They are dissolving before I finish my iced tea. Maybe we need this man to rise from the dead and get to inventing a new straw

Jan 29, 2020 04:38 AM #5
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

His doodling paid off.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 29, 2020 04:54 AM #6
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Such a simple thing, the flexible straw, James... and someone had to have come up with this idea... but can't say I ever thought about it till now.

Jan 29, 2020 05:19 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi James - a reminder about the importance of flexibility in life.  In many aspects.  It seems to have worked out well for Mr Friedman. 

Jan 29, 2020 05:20 AM #8
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Amazing that such a simple idea took so long to come into being James Dray .

Jan 29, 2020 05:32 AM #9
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have tried many pens in my lifetime and have yet to find the perfect one, but I have found some good ones!

Jan 29, 2020 05:52 AM #10
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. What an innovative guy and so impressive. TY

Jan 29, 2020 06:20 AM #11
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I had forgotten and the flexible straw which had a cool factor in my youth.

Jan 29, 2020 06:29 AM #12
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Ron's parents were friends of Joseph's daughter Elaine and her husband.  And so I knew that her father invented the flexible straw, and I also have a pen that lights up--not a pencil.  What a coincidence!  A

Jan 29, 2020 07:53 AM #13
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

James - those flexible strays really come in handy.  I use them.

Jan 29, 2020 09:05 AM #14
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Add his name to the list of great part time agents. Never stop learning, you'll be amazed at what you can think up next. Thank you, Joe!

Jan 29, 2020 09:28 AM #15
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Most of the flexible straws in our state our being outlawed and if thrown away properly are much safer than other straws to control disease...

Happy Wednesday James Dray 

Jan 29, 2020 12:38 PM #16
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray,

Remarkable.  Joseph really kept his mind moving and inventing!  Good for him. 

Jan 29, 2020 02:25 PM #17
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- Now that was quite an invention (the flexible straw)

Jan 29, 2020 06:06 PM #18
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing the story of Joseph Friedman.  Who doesn't love the flexible straws?

Jan 29, 2020 08:41 PM #19
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Thank you, Joseph Friedman. Were would we be without flexible straws? They make like better!

Feb 16, 2020 07:10 PM #20
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