Gretchen McCormick, a full-time advertising executive and part-time inventor, took home the top award in her category at the recent InventHelp’s INPEX trade show with her “Measure By Color” (MBC) ruler that she invented.

She is a former elementary school teacher and created the ruler almost by accident. “I was teaching a lesson on measurements to a fifth grade class, and students were unable to visualize the various measurements on a ruler,” she said. “I used different color markers to draw each increment, and re-introduced the lesson to them. They picked it up easily, and idea behind this product was born.”

The ruler was judged at INPEX, a worldwide trade exhibit that provides opportunities for inventors to receive recognition for their inventions. It also promotes their idea for companies and investors looking for new products. McCormick says she has already gotten several calls from interested parties. 

“Winning this award has opened a lot of doors for MBC. We are in the beginning phases of getting to know one another and deciding ‘who’ the right fit is for us. My goal is to have Measure By Color incorporated into every school curriculum in the country,” she said.

“The journey began as an idea I had in college, it took years to go from idea to patent to licensing to being used in schools throughout the country. Winning this award was proof to myself that all the work was worth it."

When asked what is next on the horizon for the inventor, McCormick replied with a grin, “I am always thinking.”

McCormick was also featured in an Indiana University alumni publication.

Measure By Color is available on line at or at In His Time book store in downtown Crawfordsville. McCormick is currently an Account Executive with The Paper of Montgomery County.