Inventor Portrait: Jerry Ford

April 13, 2009

Part of a continuing series of inventor portraits.

Inventor: Jerry Ford
Invention: Automatic wheelchair brake device
Patent: No. 7,066,482
Brand Name: Safe-T-Chair

Elderly people with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia sometimes forget to use the manual brakes on their wheelchairs, which then fall out from under them when they try to stand or sit. When this was brought to the attention of crop farmer Jerry Ford, he decided to do something about it. His invention is a rather clever automatic brake system for manual wheelchairs. It’s even designed in a way that still allows the wheelchair to fold up for transport.

I met with Jerry on his farm and learned more about his wheelchair brake system and its inspiration:

Here’s a better look at the photos in the video. Each of them can be enlarged by clicking:

Jerry Ford

Jerry Ford

Jerry Ford

The Jerry Ford Company website:


Thanks for the latest portrait David. My sons and I enjoyed hearing about Jerry's clever invention. It does appear that it would be beneficial to require it as a safety standard on all wheelchairs.

That was so cool. I love inventions. Your continuing series remains awesome. Great shots. What did you use to shoot the video?

your wheel chair is really good. but i want to know the mechanism u used.