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Linda Ronstadt: Heiress to a Flexible Ice-Cube Tray Fortune

Singer Linda Maria Ronstadt was born the daughter of Gilbert and Ruth Mary (Copeman) Ronstadt, 15 July 1946 in Tucson, Arizona. Her descent from Frederick Augustus Ronstadt—native of the Kingdom of Hanover and resident of Sonora, Mexico—is well documented in her grandfather's memoirs. Her maternal line has some interesting characters as well.

Linda's mother was the daughter of Lloyd Groff and Hazel D. (Berger) Copeman, born 7 June 1914 in Michigan. Here's Lloyd's birth record from FamilySearch Record Search (his name corrected from "Floyd" in 1942), and here's Hazel's.

Lloyd warrants his own Wikipedia page, being The Patent Man.

Lloyd had nearly seven hundred patents in his name. He once told his grandson that he could walk into any store and find one of his inventions.

His death on 5 July 1956 merited a mention in the Washington Post two days later:

Lloyd Groff Copeman, 74, who invented an electric stove and a host of other ingenious devices which included the rubber ice cube tray and a high pressure system for forcing grease into auto bearings; in Lapeer, Mich.

That idea for a flexible ice-cube tray (patent here) earned Lloyd over $1,000,000. But Lloyd wasn't the only inventor in the family.

Another ingenious and work-saving device that Copeman invented was the result of an idea born, quite naturally, with the help of his wife. The two were window shopping and she spotted a toaster. "Why don't you invent a toaster that turns the toast automatically?" she asked casually. So he did.

Lloyd might have done the heavy lifting, but his wife Hazel got her name on the patent.

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Tags: Copeman, Ronstadt, celebrities, inventors

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