Portage Twp. Native Inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame
The late Dr. Donalee L. Tabern, a native of Portage Township, was one of five inventors inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame Feb. 9 in Arlington, Va.
Dr. Tabern and his co-inventor, Dr. Ernest H. Volwiler, were honored for their discovery of Pentothal, a barbituate compound that rapidly and smoothly induces anesthesia for major and minor surgery.
More than 50 years after its development, Pentothal remains the most widely used induction anesthetic in the world.
The collaboration of the two at Abbott Laboratories produced several new sedative and anesthetic compounds which contributed to better medical and surgical treatment of patients throughout the world.
Tabern was born Jan 27, 1900 on the family farm t Mr. And Mrs Levi Tabern (Louise Ries). His father was a farmer and teacher who died in 1905 and his mother died in 1942.
Tabern was a 1917 graduate of Bowling Green High School and earned bachelorís, masterís and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan.
Tabern married Beatrice Whitacre in 1926. She was the daughter of Bowling Green physician Dr. Thomas O. Whitacre, also a former mayor of the city.
Both of the Tabern children were born in Bowling Green and were delivered by their grandfather. The Tabernís lived in Lake Bluff, Ill. The sons, Glenard, and Thomas, reside in Bay Village and Skokie, Ill., respectively.
Tabern also took part in Abbottís early work on radio-pharmaceuticals and held more than 50 patents when he retired in 1959. He died in 1974.
The other three inductees were Luther Burbank for development of many new plant varieties; Dr. Harold E. Edgerton, for his invention relating to electronic flash equipment for photography; and Wilson Greatbatch, for invention of the medical cardia pacemaker.
The 1986 inductees join 59 other inventors in the national hall. Among the earlier inductees are Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Eli Whitney, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Cyrus McCormick and Henry Ford.
The hall fame is located in the offices of the U.S. Patient and Trade-mark Office, Arlington, Va.