“Work hard, do good”: Remembering Bill Cameron

“Work hard, do good”: Remembering Bill Cameron

“Work hard, do good”, was Bill Cameron’s mantra. Bill was an industrial designer, an inventor, and an engineer, who had a successful career working in Canada, the US, and Japan. In 1952 Hughes Aircraft (new window) sent him to work on a security project at the Mojave Air Force base in California. He designed a sliding door handle used in the 1962 World’s Fair (new window) in Seattle. And he designed the first pair of honeycomb fiberglass skis which were used by Yuichiro Miura (new window) to ski down Mt. Everest in 1970.

Bill Cameron

Life took a turn, when in 1980, his second cousin, Neil Squire, became a high level tetraplegic. Neil was suddenly unable to speak and was reliant on a respirator. Bill immediately knew he needed to put his skills to good use. Bill designed a “sip-and-puff” machine, created from an old teleprinter to help Neil communicate. With Bill’s help, Neil learned to use Morse code, which was converted into words on a screen through Bill’s device. This original device was soon replaced by a computer. Upon Neil’s death in 1984, Bill founded the Neil Squire Foundation, known today as the Neil Squire Society. Over 40,000 Canadians with disabilities have been directly impacted by the work of the Neil Squire Society.

Bill Cameron died on this day in 1993, and today we remember him. It’s been 25 years since his death and we continue to carry on Bill’s legacy and “Work hard, do good”.

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