A Fitzgerald couple hopes to reduce wire clutter and free up power outlets with their invention of multi-receptacle adapters.

Woodson and Carolyn Crossin invented the multi-receptacle adapter in May 2004. The device simplifies the use of 120-to-nine volt adapters for use with items such as cell phones and other electronics. The idea behind the device is to free up power outlets and reduce the number of cords and wires used with electronics.

Woodson developed the idea when they started running out of room to plug in their computer equipment, cell phones and electronic massage chairs.

“We both saw the need, and we have the computer and the speakers for it and a chair that requires the same kind of adapter,” he said. “All of a sudden we ran out of receptacles and that germinated the idea.”

He said that most 120-to-nine volt adapters are so large that they take up too much space on an outlet, covering both receptacles. His invention allows several adapters to be plugged in while only covering one receptacle.

“You can use this thing that we’ve created and plug more of the 120-to-nine volt adapters into the wall,” he said.

He said that the device can be used with cordless phones, cell phones, battery-operated massage chairs and any other device that requires an AC adapter.

“There’s a multitude of different applications for them,” he said. “It’s a convenience. It’s a service that I think people would appreciate.

“The main thing is, it was a very easy way to solve a very awkward and space-consuming appliance and I think people would appreciate that.”

The Crossins worked on their idea, and Carolyn helped her husband draw up designs and write an explanation of the product. They then submitted the invention to Invention Technologies, Inc. or Invent-Tech after seeing an advertisement for the company on television. The Coral Gables, Fla., company is now marketing the product to manufacturers, particularly electronics companies.

Woodson is a 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force and worked for years as an engineer for CSX Railroads in Florida. He moved to Fitzgerald more than 20 years ago and worked as the administrator of church property for Bowen’s Mill Christian Center. Now retired, he hopes to get a windfall from his new invention late in life.

“I hope to make some money out of it,” he said.

To contact reporter Dusty Vassey, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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