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Magnetically balanced bow-and-arrow? All-terrain wheelchair? These and more will compete to be the 2006 Modern Marvel of the Year.

As Americans we like out inventors to be iconoclastic eccentrics working out of their garages. There's more appeal to this iconic individual than an large-scale operation. In a move to reenforce this most American of traditions, the History Channel together with the National Inventors Hall of Fame put out a call for inventions. And Americans answered. Nearly 4,300 entries poured in from around the countr. Pared down to 25 semi-finalists from 17 states with an age range between 19 and 80 years old, toward the end of next month, one of these inventions will be named Modern Marvel of the Year.

Each semi-finalist will be aired on the History Channel on the Great Inventions Week program from 24-27 May 2006. The inventions will be showcased in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York City (22-26 May 2006) before moving on to Akron, Ohio at to displayed at the inventors' hall of fame through September.

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