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Inventor Feels Like Wright Brothers When No One Believed They Could Fly!

When the Wright brothers invented the airplane in 1903, they flew into a wall of public skepticism. People just didn’t believe them.

Arizona inventor Doug Cornell knows how they must have felt.

Cornell invented a new device that can stop a cold before it starts. It is based on solid science, including research results from labs and universities all over the world.

When he tells people about it, however, they mostly give him a look that says, “Yeah, sure!” The Wright brothers got the same kind of reaction, according to David McCullough’s book, “The Wright Brothers” (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

The brothers demonstrated their invention many times on the outskirts of their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, but most of their neighbors would not even bother to take a 15-minute trolley ride to check it out. Their hometown newspaper, thinking it was a hoax, refused to send a reporter for two years.

Skepticism was high because many other inventors had claimed to invent a flying machine, but their unscientific machines crashed and some of the inventors died. The failures bolstered the belief of many that humans would never be able to fly.

Orville and Wilbur Wright, on the other hand, used science and research, which is why their flying machine worked. Cornell’s invention also uses science and research and also works. “Preventing colds may not be quite as momentous as flying,” he laughs, “but it does make a lot of people’s lives better.”

Cornell came up with his idea after scientists discovered a quick way to kill germs like viruses and bacteria – touch them with copper. Researcher around the world now agree that copper is “antimicrobial,” meaning it kills microbes, including viruses and bacteria, just by touch.

That explains why copper worked so well for ancient Greeks and Egyptians, who used it to purify water and heal wounds. The Aztecs, the British Navy, and American Civil War doctors all found similar results, even though they did not know about microbes.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) got into the act in 2002. They were looking for ways to reduce the spread of infectious illness in hospitals. They discovered that dangerous germs like MRSA, which could survive for weeks on stainless steel, died fast on copper.

Scientists say the high electrical conductance of copper instantly short-circuits the tiny electric charge of any microbe it touches. This pops holes in the cell membrane around the microbe. The microbe dies quickly.

Based on the research, Cornell thought copper might also kill cold viruses in the nose before a cold really got started. He fashioned a smooth copper probe and the next time he felt a cold coming on he rubbed the probe gently in his nostrils for 60 seconds. “It worked!” he exclaimed.

He made a number of prototypes and asked friends and relatives to try it. It worked for all of them, so he applied for a patent, named the product CopperZap, and put it on the market.

That’s when he ran into a wall of skepticism, just like the Wright Brother had over 100 year earlier. “Most people don’t believe it,” he says. “They never heard of the research, and they think it’s a hoax until they try it.” 

Fortunately, an article last year in the Economic Development Journal of Mohave County brought CopperZap to the attention of readers who Cornell describes as “more intelligent, more practical, and more open to new ideas than the average person.”

Cornell found that print media like the Journal can be a better way to reach such people than the internet. “People like that will take the time to read and understand, but they dislike all the popups and interruptions online,” he says. “That’s why print media works best for many things.”

As a result, he says, a growing number of people have tried CopperZap and have completely stopped getting colds. The skepticism is slowly fading, like it did for the Wright brothers.

For more information call 888-411-6114, 7am to 4pm AZ time, or go to