Li Baogui shows some of his National patent certificates.
Despite merely having a high-school education, 62-year-old paraplegic Li Baogui has thus far gained 60 patented inventions. Confined to his bed 30 years, he has invented more than 300 items, but did not apply for patent due to a lack of money. He is called "a village inventor".
With tragedy came inventing
"This is a wireless electrical transmission system," Li introduced while demonstrating, "The advantage is it's 'wireless,' which saves circuit costs and reduces energy consumption."
Looking back on his 30 years of inventing, Li explained, "It all began with tragedy" he said.
On a professional level, Li has been in charge of equipment in a middle school in Wudi County, Binzhou, eastern China's Shandong Province. "I like studying and contemplating things and I have improved a lot of equipment here." he said. Li, a registered resident of the urban area, believes getting a steady job and having two lovely children, make his life better than that of his fellow villagers.
In the summer of 1983, Li and his wife were planning to build a new house by simply filling up a big pit in the yard. During the wall-demolishing and earth-moving, the wall collapsed and hit Li, causing Li to become paralyzed from the waist down.
60 patented inventions
The accident confined the 32-year-old to his own backyard. He could not move his legs and suffered from gatism. Nevertheless, as the backbone of his family he regained confidence and began to maintain appliances around the neighborhood.
To better deal with the questions and problems he would face during work, he subscribed to all types of periodicals such as Science and Wireless.
His increasingly profound professional knowledge laid a sound foundation for his inventions. The little inventions, such as "supervision equipment over solar energy illuminating light" and "double-functioning fans for discharging flue and exhaust gases," not only proved convenient to his own family's living circumstances, but also facilitated the lives of his fellow villagers. Thus far, Li has gained 60 letter patents.
300 non-patented inventions
Li's wife has been suffering from chronic disease and both his sons were laid off years ago. The family's only income is his 2,000 yuan sick-pay (US $ 323), which barely covers supporting the family and paying the medical fees. Each time he buys electrical material online, he gets nervous as prices are on the rise.
"I did not apply for patent on some 300 of my inventions due to a lack of money -- since each application needs about 1000 yuan. But all my inventions are purely practical, and I could never turn them into commodity products," he sighed.
It is reported that a logistic company and an animation firm now show interest in two of his inventions after he participated in a job-hunting program, with which both were cooperating.