By Crystal Thompson
Gildford inventor Larry Green showcased some of his latest creations at the 15 West conference room Friday evening to a small group of prominent citizens.
Larry and his wife, Helen, head up Prairie Proto Products out of Gildford. Green's inventions include everything from roadside safety devices to sanders and golf swing correctors.
Green's reason for arranging the gathering was to develop a group of people to back his inventions, not financially, but politically, he said. Green told the group that he has been unsuccessful in lobbying Montana's head of maintenance regarding several of his roadside safety ideas. These include break-away sign posts, bounce-back bridge markers and set-back swing-away highway reflectors.
Green also expressed an interest in providing jobs and creating money locally with several of his inventions by selling his ideas to prospective retailers. Helen Green said that her husband was simply eager to clean out some of his merchandise so he could "keep on thinking."
One of Green's many roadside safety device inventions is a swing-away mailbox, which he created after a Montana law was passed which required residential mail boxes to be a certain distance from the road. Green said that right now he is considering taking this idea to the governor's office. "But unless we have some political power, these won't go up," he said.
Gree also passed around a building block made of straw and coated in a special flour and water mixture. According to Green, these straw-blocks would be as effective for building as cement blocks, but at a third of the cost.
Many of Green's inventions are currently being used worldwide. His bounce-back bridge markers have been on Gildford's bridge for 10 years now. "They haven't been replaced once in that time," Green said. Whether or not Green will get the support he is looking for remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: his plethora of inventions and ideas does not seem to be dwindling any time soon.
For more information about any of the Greens' inventions, contact Larry or Helen Green at 376-3195, or write to Prairie Proto Products, P.O. Box 156, Gildford, MT 59525.