FONTAINE BRAKE COMPANY was incorporated in 1989 to complete the technical research and development of several new innovative automotive safety products started by New Products Development Group, Inc. (est. 1971) under the guidance of our company's namesake, professional inventor John G. Fontaine.
In a professional career spanning 42 years, the late Mr. Fontaine was issued 162 utility patents, and was the inventor of:
1. The world's first mass-produced telephone answering machine, trademarked under the name "Code-A-Phone". Because of this invention's unique remote retrieval capability, every telephone answering machine manufactured today derives its roots from Mr. Fontaine's Canadian Patent # 533,662, US Patents # 2,754,358 and 2,783,303, and others.
In 1986, A. T. & T. and Bell Telephone, which owned or licensed the Code-A-Phone patents, asked start-up company Boston Technology to develop their answering machine into a cellular phone invention that was later developed by the Motorola Company. Every modern day cell phone has a voicemail feature, and draws part of its heritage from Mr. Fontaine's invention.
2. The world's first mass-produced seat sensor. Prior to the enactment of US legislation mandating the "Buckle-Up" law in 1968, there was very little need for a seat sensor. Mr. Fontaine's US Patents # 3,487,451 and 3,704,352 are the basis of every seat sensor manufactured by every car company even now, over 40 years later.
3. Several other important inventions, including "Easy Liner" automotive frame-straightening equipment, lighted revolving signs (used most notedly in Europe), marine battery chargers, and the first coded remote control system (as part of the telephone answering machine). He also co-invented, with his son John V. Fontaine, a portable burglar alarm for doors, trademarked "Safe House" and acquired by Tandy.