"Million Dollar Genius" reveals the incredible true stories of ordinary people who started with an idea and, through hard work and perseverance, transformed their ideas into wildly successful products. Some of the stories covered include the creator of the Java Jacket, a simple cardboard coffee cup holder we all use today, the inventor of Rollerblades and the person who made millions from his idea for a collapsible garden hose. Along the way, we uncover the secrets of their successes, from the initial light-bulb moment right through the development and eventual marketing of each idea. Every story has its own unique twists and turns, as well as insights into the mind of each inventor, revealing how each overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to become a success. Each hour contains multiple stories that are not only aspirational, inspirational, and identifiable; but they are also packed with plenty of drama and big money payoffs.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Million Dollar Genius - Eisenhower dollar - Netflix
The Eisenhower dollar is a one-dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1971 to 1978; it was the first coin of that denomination issued by the Mint since the Peace dollar series ended in 1935. The coin depicts President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse, with both sides designed by Frank Gasparro. In 1965, because of rises in bullion prices, the Mint began to strike copper-nickel clad coins instead of silver. No dollar coins had been issued in thirty years, but beginning in 1969, legislators sought to reintroduce a dollar coin into commerce. After Eisenhower died that March, there were a number of proposals to honor him with the new coin. While these bills generally commanded wide support, enactment was delayed by a dispute over whether the new coin should be in base metal or 40% silver. In 1970, a compromise was reached to strike the Eisenhower dollar in base metal for circulation, and in 40% silver as a collectible. President Richard Nixon, who had served as vice president under Eisenhower, signed legislation authorizing mintage of the new coin on December 31, 1970. Although the collector's pieces sold well, the new dollars failed to circulate to any degree, except in and around Nevada casinos, where they took the place of privately issued tokens. There are no dollars dated 1975; coins from that year and from 1976 bear a double date 1776–1976, and a special reverse by Dennis R. Williams in honor of the bicentennial of American independence. Beginning in 1977, the Mint sought to replace the Eisenhower dollar with a smaller-sized piece. Congress authorized the Susan B. Anthony dollar, struck beginning in 1979, but that coin also failed to circulate. Given their modest cost and the short length of the series, complete sets of Eisenhower dollars are becoming more popular among coin collectors.
Million Dollar Genius - Collecting - Netflix
Collected by date and mint mark, no Eisenhower dollar is rare, and a complete set may be acquired without difficulty. However, many were badly struck, without full detail, especially in 1971 and 1972, and most pieces acquired nicks, scratches or “bag marks” from contact with each other soon after striking. Although lower-grade silver coins can be melted, this is not practical for Eisenhower dollars due to the lack of precious metal content, and dealers often try to get any premium they can on face value. Completing a set of highest-grade specimens may be difficult and expensive, especially for the 1971 and 1972 from Philadelphia or Denver, which were not sold in mint sets, and thus only came to collectors through banks. A 1973-D piece, tied with ten other specimens for the finest known of that date and mint mark in near-pristine MS-67 condition sold in June 2013 for $12,925. According to numismatic writer Steve Reach, “as more people submit modern-era coins like Eisenhower dollars for third-party certification, the true rarity of many issues in top-grades is becoming clear.” Some of the 1971-D pieces exhibit a variety in which (among several differences) the eagle lacks brow lines, these have been dubbed by Eisenhower dollar specialists the “Friendly Eagle Pattern”. The 1972 dollar struck at Philadelphia is broken down into three varieties, which were made as Gasparro adjusted the design to take advantage of better steel being used in the Mint's dies. A midyear change in the design was announced by Brooks at the American Numismatic Association's 1972 convention in New Orleans, although she did not state exactly what was being changed. The three varieties may be differentiated by examining the depiction of the Earth on the reverse. Type I dollars show the Earth somewhat flattened, Florida pointing to the southeast, with the islands mostly to the southeast of the tip of the peninsula. The Earth is round and Florida points to the south on the Type II, with a single, large island to the southeast. The Type III is similar to the Type II, except that there are two islands directly to the south of the peninsula. The Type II is from a single reverse die, used in March 1972, and erroneously placed in service at Philadelphia—it is identical to and should have been used for the silver proof strikes at San Francisco. The Type III was placed in service, replacing the Type I, in September 1972. The Type I is most common; the Type III design was used in 1973 and after. The 1972 Type II is expensive in top grades, as is the 1776–1976 Type I from Philadelphia, which was only available in mint sets. Some 1971-S proof pieces (and a few uncirculated 1971-S) have the serifs at the foot of the “R” in “LIBERTY” missing; this is dubbed the “peg leg” variety. The serifs are missing on all 1972-S, both uncirculated and proof. After the Mint obtained better steel for dies, the serifs returned for all of the remaining non-Bicentennial coinage, from all mints, though the leg of the R was shortened, and also for the Type II Bicentennial (the Type I lacks serifs on the R). Gasparro was often trying to improve the detail of Eisenhower's head during the coin's tenure, and as the R is the letter closest to it, these changes were most likely made in an effort to improve the flow of metal as the coins were struck. In 1974 and again in 1977, the Denver Mint struck a small number of pieces on silver-clad planchets, or blanks. Both times, these came from planchets which had been shipped from the San Francisco Assay Office to Denver. The first ones in 1974 were found independently by two Las Vegas blackjack dealers. The 1974 planchets were initially intended to be used for “brown Ike” proof strikings; Mint policy then was that rejected silver proof planchets were to be used for uncirculated “blue Ikes”, but these were placed in the bin for rejected copper-nickel proof planchets, intended to be shipped to be coined for circulation at Denver. The 1977 pieces resulted from pieces rejected for Bicentennial silver proof use, which were again placed in the wrong bin (they should have been melted, as the Mint was no longer striking silver uncirculated Eisenhower dollars). Between 10 and 20 of each date are known. Wexler, Crawford, and Flynn report an even rarer 1776–1976-D dollar in silver, but state that none have been offered at auction or submitted to the major coin grading services. Bowers notes that the Morgan dollar (struck between 1878 and 1921) was not widely collected at the time, only to become very popular later, and suggests that one day, the turn of the Eisenhower dollar will come. Numismatist Charles Morgan said of the Eisenhower dollar in 2012,
It stands today as the greatest achievement in clad coinage in U.S. history. It was the most technically challenging coin ever attempted ... Researching the Eisenhower Dollar is vital for numismatic historians who want to understand what the post-silver era was like. The Eisenhower Dollar was a noble failure. In this respect, it truly is a perfect collectible coin.
Million Dollar Genius - References - Netflix