Spirit of America Bookstore

Inventors  of  America
•  Page One  •

interior of Edison's Lab in New Jersey, where he employed over 200 workers to test & implement his ideas (circa 1900)              short history

general links

general books

inventors, A-Z
Thomas Edison
'Bucky' Fuller
Nikola Tesla
Wright Brothers

Afro-American inventors

on Page 2:
top of page
teams & other inventions
Kindle Editions
movies, plays, other media

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. [1922-2007]

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931]

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”
— Mary Shelley [1797-1851]

“Necessity is the mother of hard work; vision is the mother of invention.” — G.E. Nordell

“I don't think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention . . . arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness.
To save oneself trouble.” — Agatha Christie [1890-1976], in "An Autobiography" (1977)

“The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.”
Elbert Hubbard [1856-1915]

“Scientists may have sophisticated laboratories. But never forget 'eureka' was inspired in a bathtub.”
— Toba Beta

“The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.”
— Douglas Engelbart [1925-2013]

“I always invented to obtain money to go on inventing.”
Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931]

“The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain.”
Nikola Tesla [1856-1943], in "My Inventions" (1919)

“We're all innately creative; I'm not bringing anything magical to it. Ninety percent of inventing is putting in the hours
and just trying. You don't need to make a big leap – you need to take a thousand small steps.”
— James Jorash

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          Patents were created circa 1450 by merchants in Venice, Italy, mostly for protection of their glass industry; as Venetian traders later traveled the world, they spread their patent system. Early English patent law (XVIth Century) allowed abuse by the Crown and creation of monopolies. Public outcry forced James I to revoke all monopolies, the 1624 Statute of Monopolies restricted issuance of patents to original inventors or producers for a set number of years. The Industrial Revolution (which began circa 1760) both expanded and tightened rules for application and enforcement of patents.

          The United States Patent Office opened in 1790 and has granted more than 6 million patents since then. United States patent laws have recently been revised to make the process more difficult for the individual or 'garage mechanic' inventor. Fascist policies and state and federal law-making by large corporations is moving toward less protection for 'intellectual property' except for corporations; the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership travesty will make the situation much worse if the still-secret treaty gets passed.

          Scientists and technology analysts are warning that the United States could soon lose its edge in scientific research and development. Federal spending on R&D over the past decade has grown in real terms, although it is shrinking as a percentage of G.D.P. The federal government now funds 60 percent of all basic research in the United States; recent cuts by Congress threaten significant reductions in R&D funding. The National Institutes of Health is scheduled to lose 7.6 percent of its budget in the next five years; research programs in energy, agriculture, and defense will decline by similar amounts; NASA's research budget is shrinking to its lowest level since 1988. Over the past decade or so, corporate R&D has gone up in most countries; in the U.S., corporate R&D remained stagnant. Many U.S. firms are now shifting much of their R&D work overseas, and the United States has recently developed a trade deficit in high-technology goods (after surpluses during the 1990s).

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General  Links

National Inventor's Day in U.S.A. is February 11th (Edison's birthday), designated by Act of Congress in January 1982.
National Inventors Day promo from Quirky [1:23] at YouTube

United States Patent & Trademark Office [est. 1790]
U.S.P.T.O. Patent Full-Text Databases
Lemelson-M.I.T 'Invention Dimension' site
Inventors Dept. at About [dot] com
'The Tech' museum of innovation: Inspiring the Innovator in Everyone
Famous American Inventors info site
Enchanted Learning: U.S. & Canadian Inventors {for grades 2-3}
Famous Women Inventors website
Smithsonian Institution / Lemelson Center / Women Inventors Dept.
Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation [est. 1995]
Steve Carper's Madmen & Tinkerers website

Spirit of America's 'A History of Aviation' Pages

National Inventors Hall of Fame [est. 1973]
National Inventors Hall of Fame [est. 1973] in Ohio & Virginia
National Inventors Hall of Fame entry at Wikipedia

innovation alliance
'Protect The Innovations of Tomorrow' conference video [4:26] at YouTube
Save The Inventor (Legislation Threatens U.S. Innovation) action website
"Inventing To Nowhere" documentary video [39:36] at YouTube

Amazon Launchpad {new 8/2015} - Where Inventions Take Flight

Davison Co. [est. 1989]         Inventionland [est. 2006]
Inventionland [est.2006] is a 75,000-square-foot immersive work environment, design facility, and idea incubator with 250 employees, located in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Davison Company [est. 1989] is next door and offers the traditional inventor services rip-off.
official Inventionland websitecompany entry at Wikipedia
official Davison [est. 1989] websiteGeorge M. Davison website & blog

WARNING: the folks at Inventionland are pirates!  There is a long tradition of companies who scam inventors by offering patent and marketing services at high cost, with no actual results ever produced. Davison and Inventionland are each such a company. There was a class action lawsuit in 2006 that was settled in 2008; the settlement was a bad deal for the plaintiffs and the company is still in business. There is currently a movement for another class action lawsuit, but given the fascist (pro-corporations) and anti-class action bias in many courts today, success is unlikely. Until the company is shut down and the executives sent to prison, there will be more victims to this scam.

World's First Inventionland book by George Davison  "The World's First Inventionland: Welcome To The Idea Age" [2009]
coffee table picture book by George Davison

indep 14x10 hardcover [2009] out of prodn/used

"Inventionland" TV special [History Channel Dec 2011]
Three inventors experience the trials and tribulations of prototyping and licensing their inventions.
Co-produced & directed by Jonathan Wyche
DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDbmovie entry at Wikipedia

"Davison / InventionLand Success Rates and Figures" video specifying their zero-point-88 percent (0.88%) success rate of 2010 to 2014
watch 4/2016 slideshow with British voiceover [7:10] at YouTube

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General  Books

Men of Achievement: Inventors  "Men of Achievement: Inventors" [1893] by Philip G. Hubert
Lengthy essays on Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, John Ericsson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Fulton, Charles Goodyear, Elias Howe, Cyrus Hall McCormick, Samuel F.B. Morse, George Westinghouse Jr., Eli Whitney — and more!
Digital Scanning 9x6 facsimile pb [4/2001] for $16.82
Kessinger Publng 9x6 facsimile hardcover [9/2010] for $33.08
title page of Leading American Inventors 1912 book by George Iles  "Leading American Inventors: With Fifteen Portraits and Many Illustrations"
[1912] by George Iles [1852-1942]

featuring Thomas Blanchard, John Ericsson, Robert Fulton (steamboats), Charles Goodyear (vulcanized rubber), Elias Howe (sewing machine), Cyrus McCormick (reaper), Ottmar Mergenthaler (linotype), Samuel F.B. Morse (telegraph), Christopher Sholes (typewriter), Col. John Stevens III & son Col. Robert Livingston Stevens, Benjamin Chew Tilghman (sandblasting), Alfred Vail (telegraph), and Eli Whitney (cotton engine)
Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [2/2014] for 99¢ {sic}
Ulan Press 10x7½ pb [10/2012] for $31.99
Henry Holt & Co. hardcover [1912] out of print/used
available as free online etext at Internet Archive

Great Inventors & Their Inventions 1918 book by Frank P. Bachman  "Great Inventors and Their Inventions" [ages 10-14; orig 1918]
by Frank P. Bachman

featured individuals include: Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Bessemer, Thomas Edison, Robert Fulton, Johannes Gutenberg, John P. Holland, Elias Howe, Guglielmo Marconi, Cyrus H. McCormick, Samuel F.B. Morse, George Stephenson, James Watt, Eli Whitney, and the Wright Brothers
Kindle Edition from Yesterday's Classics [4/2010] for $2.99 {sic}
Yesterday's Classics 9x6 pb [5/2006] for $11.95
Kessinger Publng 9x6 hardcover [9/2010] for $33.07
Famous Days in the Century of Invention book by M. Grace Fickett & Gertrude L. Stone  "Famous Days In The Century of Invention" [1920]
by M. Grace Fickett & Gertrude L. Stone

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [6/2014] for 99¢ {sic}
Rare Books Club 9¾x7½ pb [9/2013] for $13.30
D.C. Heath & Co. hardcover [1920] long out of print/used

available as free online etexts at Gutenberg Project and at Internet Archive

Age of Invention 1921 book by Holland Thompson  "The Age of Invention: A Chronicle of Mechanical Conquest" [1921 classic]
by Holland Thompson

Echo Library 14¼x8¾ pb [10/2006] for $9.90
BiblioBazaar 8¾x5¾ pb [2/2009] for $17.15
IndyPublish hardcover [12/2001] for $23.99
available as free online etext at Internet Archive
title page for 'Conquests of Invention' 1921 book by Mary R. Parkman  "Conquests of Invention: McCormick, Whitney, Howe, Murdock, Morse, Fulton, Goodyear, Bell, Watt, Edison, Marconi, Stephenson, Westinghouse, Wright"
[D. Appleton/Century Co. 1921] by Mary R. Parkman

Kindle Edition from Amazon Digital Services [1/2016] for 99¢ {sic}
Univ Michigan Library 7¾x5¾ pb [4/2009] for $29.99
Andesite Press 9¼x6 hardcover [8/2015] for $29.95
Popular History of American Invention books edited by Waldemar Kaempffert  "A Popular History of American Invention: With Over 500 Illustrations" in 2 volumes [1924] Edited by Waldemar B. Kaempffert
Nabu Press 9¾x7½ pb [9/2011] for $37.75
A.M.S. Press 9x6 hardcover [2/75] out of print/used
Volume 1: Charles Scribner's Sons hardcover [1924] out of print/used
Volume 2: Charles Scribner's Sons 9¾x7¼ hardcover [1924] out of print/used
available as free online etexts at Internet Archive: Volume 1 + Volume 2

Past Visions of The American Future book by Joseph J. Corn & Brian Horrigan  "Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of The American Future" [1984]
by Joseph J. Corn & Brian Horrigan

Johns Hopkins Univ Press 10x7¾ pb [5/96] for $28.71
Simon & Schuster 10x7¾ pb [9/84] out of print/40+ used
Summit Books 10x8 hardcover [9/84] out of print/used
Mistakes That Worked book by Charlotte Foltz Jones  "Mistakes That Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came To Be"
[ages 9-12; 1991] by Charlotte Foltz Jones, Illustrated by John O'Brien

Kindle Edition from Delacorte BFYR/Random House [5/2015] for $9.99
Delacorte BFYR 8x8 pb [5/94] for $4.36 {sic}
Turtleback Books 8x8¼ library hardcover [5/94] for $23.30
Doubleday BFYR 8½x8¼ hardcover [9/91] out of print/used

Made in U.S.A. Secret Histories book by Phil Patton  "Made In U.S.A.: The Secret Histories of The Things That Made America" [1992]
by Phil Patton

Intelligent and witty exploration of the diverse world of gadgets - both functional and frivolous - that America has produced over the years, from Brownie cameras, the sewing machine, the Ames shovel, the Colt revolver, the truss bridge, the Gillette razor blade, the telephone, and Mason jars to electric guitars, the Polaroid camera, and laptop computers
Penguin Books 7¾x5 pb [7/93] out of print/many used
Grove Press 9½x6½ hardcover [2/92] out of print/40+ used
Complete Guide to the Uncommon Art of Inventing book by Francis D. Reynolds  
"Crackpot or Genius?: A Complete Guide To The Uncommon Art of Inventing" [1993]
by Francis D. Reynolds

Chicago Review Press 9x6 pb [10/93] out of print/used
Barnes & Noble 9¼x6 hardcover [1999] out of print/40+ used
Barnes & Noble 9¼x6 hardcover [1999] out of print/used
Twenty American Kid Inventors book by Tom Tucker & Richard Loehle  "Brainstorm!: The Stories of Twenty American Kid Inventors" [for ages 9 & up; 1995]
by Tom Tucker, Drawings by Richard Loehle

featured inventions include: flippers & swimming paddles (1718), a tack-making machine (1806), earmuffs (1873), the popsicle (1905), electronic television (1927), the resealable cereal box (1946), the atomic simulator (1977), colored car wax (1991) — and twelve more
Square Fish Books 9x6 pb [9/98] for $7.83
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR) 9¼x6¼ hardcover [7/95] out of print/used
Inventors book by Martin W. Sandler  "Inventors (A Library of Congress Book)" [ages 8 & up; 1996] by Martin W. Sandler
with over 100 vintage photographs
HarperCollins 9x9¾ pb [7/2014] for $10.00
HarperCollins 9¼x10½ hardcover [3/96] for $15.95
Developing and Protecting Intellectual Property In An Information Age book by editors at Silver Lake Publishing  "The Value of A Good Idea: Developing and Protecting Intellectual Property In An Information Age" [2002] by Jeffrey A. Barker
Kindle Edition from Silver Lake Publng [5/2009] for $9.95
Silver Lake Publng 10x8 pb [4/2002] for $24.95
Eureka Great Inventions & How They Happened book by Richard Platt  "Eureka!: Great Inventions and How They Happened" [grades 4-9; 2003]
by Richard Platt, Foreword by Paul Nurse

Kingfisher Books, Ltd. 9x6½ hardcover [10/2003] out of print/60+ used
Kingfisher Books, Ltd. 11x8½ hardcover [10/2003] out of print/used
American Inventions book by Stephen van Dulken  "American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents"
[2003] by Stephen van Dulken

N.Y.U. Press 9½x6¼ hardcover [3/2004] for $27.52
"Inventing The American Dream: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents" [U.K. 2003] by Stephen van Dulken
British Library 9¼x6¼ hardcover [3/2004] out of print/40+ used
Juice / World-Class Inventors book by Evan I. Schwartz  "Juice: The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors" [2004]
by Evan I. Schwartz

Kindle Edition from Harvard Business Review Press [2004 edition] for $14.49
Harvard Business School 9½x6½ hardcover [9/2004] for $12.46
They Made America / Innovators  "They Made America: From The Steam Engine To The Search Engine - Two Centuries of Innovators" [2004] by Sir Harold Evans, with Gail Buckland & David Lefer
Innovators covered include Samuel P. Colt, John Fitch, Robert Fulton, Amadeo Giannini (Bank of America), Ruth Handler {Barbie®), Samuel Insull, Ida Rosenthal (Maidenform®), Russell Simmons, Lewis Tappan, Juan Trippe, and Ted Turner
Kindle Edition from Back Bay/Hachette [3/2009] for $12.99
Back Bay Books 9x6 pb [5/2006] for $12.79
Little, Brown 11¼x9¼ hardcover [10/2004] for $50.00

DVD cover for 'They Made America 2004 P.B.S. TV mini-series  "They Made America" documentary TV mini-series [P.B.S. 2004]
Based on the book {just above} by Sir Harold Evans; narrated by David Ogden Stiers; four hour-long episodes entitled 'Revolutionaries', 'Newcomers', 'Gamblers', and 'Rebels'

PBS/WGBH color DVD [11/2004] 2 disks - orig $26.96, out of prodn/used
credits at IMDbP.B.S. official movie siteP.B.S. Innovators Index
100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time book by Kendall Haven  "100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time" [2005] by Kendall Haven
. . . from the waterwheel to the world wide web
Kindle Edition from Libraries Unlimited [2005 edition] for $31.08 {sic}
Libraries Unlimited pb [12/2005] for $26.36
Greatest Science Stories Never Told book by Rick Beyer  "The Greatest Science Stories Never Told: 100 Tales of Invention and Discovery To Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy" [2008] by Rick Beyer
Tales of inventors both famous and forgotten, the 'eureka!' moments in science and history that changed our world forever
Harper 7x7 hardcover [11/2009] for $16.60
Harper hardcover [11/2009] out of print/used
Harper hardcover [11/2008] out of print/used
Fudan Univ Press Chinese-language edition 7¼x6½ pb [5/2011] for $10.99
History's Worst Inventions book by Eric Chaline  
"History's Worst Inventions: And the People Who Made Them" [2009]
by Eric Chaline

New Holland Publrs, Ltd. 9x7 pb [7/2009] out of print/used
Quid Publng illustrated edition 8¾x6¾ pb [7/2009] out of print/40+ used
Icons of Invention book from Greenwood Press  "Icons of Invention: The Makers of The Modern World From Gutenberg To Gates" [2009]
by John W. Klooster

both the Kindle and the hardcover versions are 653 pages, but they still are/were overpriced
Kindle Edition from Greenwood Press [7/2009] for $140.00 {sic}
Greenwood Press 10¼x7¼ 2-volume hardcover set [7/2009] out of print/orig list $191.00 {sic}
Volume 1 (329 pages): Greenwood Press 10¼x7¼ hardcover [7/2009] out of print/used
Volume 2 (321 pages): Greenwood Press 10¼x7¼ hardcover [7/2009] out of print/used

The 100 Most Influential Inventors of All Time book edited by Robert Curley  "The 100 Most Influential Inventors of All Time (The Britannica Guide To The World's Most Influential People)"
[grades 9 & up; 2009] Edited by Robert Curley

featured inventors include: Archimedes, Charles Babbage, Alexander Graham Bell, Sir Henry Bessemer, Louis Braille, Samuel Colt, Louis Daguerre, Lee de Forest, John Deere, Henry Ford, Ben Franklin, Robert Fulton, Richard J. Gatling, Charles Goodyear, Johannes Gutenberg, Heron of Alexandria, Sir Rowland Hill, Christiaan Huygens, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Cyrus McCormick, Mont-golfier Brothers, Samuel F.B. Morse, Nicéphore Niépce, Elisha Graves Otis, George Stephenson, Allessandro Volta, James Watt & Eli Whitney
Rosen Education Service 9¼x6¼ library hardcover [12/2009] for $51.08
'Remarkable Engineers' book by Ioan James  "Remarkable Engineers: From Riquet To Shannon" [2010] by Ioan James
covers 50 important American & European engineers (of all types), from the popularly famous to the obscure, including Charles Babbage [1791-1871], Alexander Graham Bell [1847-1922], Rudolf Diesel [1858-1913], James Buchanan Eads [1820-87], Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931], Gustave Eiffel [1832-1923], John Ericsson [1803-89], Heinrich Hertz [1857-94], Guglielmo Marconi [1874-1937], Claude Shannon [1916-2001], William Shockley [1910-89], Elmer A. Sperry [1860-1930], George [1781-1848] and Robert [1803-59] Stephenson, Nikola Tesla [1856-1943], William Thomson, Lord Kelvin [1824-1907], Richard Trevithick [1771-1833], Wernher von Braun [1912-77], James Watt [1736-1819], George Westinghouse, Jr. [1846-1914], Wilbur [1867–1912] & Orville [1871–1948] Wright, and Vladimir Kosma Zworykin [1889–1982]
Kindle Edition from Cambridge Univ Press [3/2010] for $17.99
Cambridge Univ Press 8¾x6 pb [3/2010] for $36.96
Cambridge Univ Press 9x6 hardcover [3/2010] for $100.65 {sic}

Curious History of Everyday Things book from Readers Digest  
"The Curious History of Everyday Things: Fascinating Stories of Genius, Invention, and Accidental Discovery" [2012] from Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest 9x6¼ pb [7/2012] out of print/used
Reader's Digest pb [7/2012] out of print/used
Fifty Machines that Changed the Course of History book by Eric Chaline  "Fifty Machines That Changed The Course of History" [2012] by Eric Chaline
describing mechanical devices across more than 200 years of technological development that propelled 18th-century society into the 19th and 20th centuries, including: the first practical railway locomotive (1829), the power loom (1851), the alternating current system (1887-95), cinema projector (1896), radio (1897), suction sweeper (1908), Baird's mechanical television (1930), and the cellphone (1983)
Firefly Books 9x6¾ hardcover [10/2012] for $17.80
Firefly Books 9x6¾ hardcover [10/2012] out of print/used
100 Inventions That Made History book from Dorling-Kindersley  
"100 Inventions That Made History: Brilliant Breakthroughs That Shaped Our World"
[ages 7-10; 2014] from Dorling-Kindersley

D.K. Children 11¼x8¾ hardcover [1/2014] for $13.57
1000 Inventions and Discoveries book by Roger Bridgman  "1,000 Inventions and Discoveries" [ages 9-14; orig 2006, updated 2014]
by Roger Bridgman

DK/Smithsonian 11x8½ pb [rev 6/2014] for $12.62
DK Children 11x8½ pb [rev 6/2014] out of print/used
Dorling Kindersley 11x8½ pb [2006] out of print/used
How We Got To Now / Innovations book by Steven Johnson  "How We Got To Now: Six Innovations That Made The Modern World" [2014]
by Steven Johnson

The six major topics are: glass (telescopes & spectacles), cold (refrigeration & air conditioning, frozen food), sound (recordings, radio), clean (water, disease, sewage), time (pendulum clocks and the Industrial Revolution), and light (Edison, neon)
Kindle Edition from Riverhead/Penguin [9/2014] for $14.99
Riverhead Books 9x6 pb [9/2015] for $10.88
Riverhead Books 9¼x6¼ hardcover [9/2014] for $13.21
Riverhead Books 9½x6¼ hardcover [9/2014] out of print/used
Riverhead Books 9½x6¼ hardcover [9/2014] out of print/used

Who Built That / American Tinkerpreneurs book by Michelle Malkin  "Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs" [2015]
by Michelle Malkin

Kindle Edition from Threshold/Mercury/Simon & Schuster Digital Sales [5/2015] for $14.99
Mercury Ink 9x6 pb [1/2016] for $10.87
Mercury Ink 9x6 hardcover [5/2015] for $18.16
Right-wing pundit Malkin describes a dozen 'self-made tinkerpreneurs', including Willis Carrier and Irvine Lyle (air-conditioning 1920s); King Gillette (razor blades 1900s); Charles E. Hires (root beer 1870s); Edward Libbey and Michael Owens (glass 1890s); Tony Maglica (Maglites 1980s); William Painter (bottle caps 1890s); John A. Roebling (wire rope & suspension bridges 1860s); and George Westinghouse, Jr. and Nikola Tesla (hydroelectric power 1890s); with 20 illustrations and chapters on 'smart limbs' and on toilet paper (1880s). (NOTE that most of these inventions were developed before the Great Depression, and that the oligarchs that Malkin worships have since made patents increasingly difficult to obtain by individuals.)

365 Inventions That Changed The World book  
"365 Inventions That Changed The World" [2015]
Om Books Intl. 10½x7¾ hardcover [2015] out of print/used
Guide to Intellectual Property book by Stephen Johnson  "Guide To Intellectual Property: What It Is, How To Protect It, How To Exploit It" [2015]
by Stephen Johnson

Kindle Edition from The Economist/Hachette [7/2015] for $12.99
The Economist Books 8½x5½ pb [7/2015] for $17.67
The Economist Books pb [7/2015] out of print/used
Eureka, How Invention Happens book by Gavin Weightman  "Eureka: How Invention Happens" [2015] by Gavin Weightman
The full story of five XXth-Century inventions that have transformed our lives and the fantastic
cast of scientists and inspired amateurs whose ingenuity created the airplane, television, the bar
code, the personal computer, and the mobile phone.

Kindle Edition from Yale Univ Press [7/2015] for $14.99
Yale Univ Press 9½x6½ hardcover [9/2015] for $22.23
America The Ingenious book by Kevin Baker  "America The Ingenious: How A Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed The World" [2016] by Kevin Baker
section titles include: Roaming, Trains, Communicating, Computing, Apparel, Women Inventors, Building, Powering, Fighting, Curing, Producing, and Playing - with bibliography & index
Kindle Edition from Workman/Artisan [10/2016] for $10.99
Workman/Artisan 9x7¾ hardcover [10/2016] for $20.94
Wonderland / Play / Modern World book by Steven Johnson  "Wonderland: How Play Made The Modern World" [2016] by Steven Johnson
Author relates many tales of inventors whose eureka moment occured as a result of play
(tinkering or just fooling around)

Kindle Edition from Riverhead/Penguin [11/2016] for $13.99
Riverhead Books pb [DUE Nov 2017] for $13.88
Riverhead Books 9¼x6½ hardcover [11/2016] for $15.59

Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy book by Tim Harford  "Fifty Inventions That Shaped The Modern Economy" [2017] by Tim Harford  8/2017
The items covered vary considerably: the plough, barbed wire, robots, the welfare state, infant formula, TV dinners, the contraceptive pill, video games, market research, air conditioning, department stores, the dynamo, the shipping container, the bar code, tradable debt & the tally stick, IKEA’s Billy bookcase, the elevator, cuneiform writing, public key cryptography, double-entry bookkeeping, the light bulb, Gutenberg's printing press, paper money, Gillette’s disposable razor, plastic, intellectual property, and many others
Kindle Edition from Riverhead Books/Penguin Group [8/2017] for $14.99
Little, Brown & Co. 9¼x6 pb [8/2017] out of print/many used
Riverhead Books 9¼x6½ hardcover [8/2017] for $17.73

"Feminine Ingenuity: How Women Inventors Changed America" [4/92] by Anne Macdonald

"Patents and How to Get One: A Practical Handbook" [1997] from the U.S. Department of Commerce

"Inventing The 20th Century: 100 Inventions That Shaped the World - From The Airplane To The Zipper" [10/2000] by Stephen van Dulken

"The Picture History of Great Inventors" [6/2005] by by Gillian Clements

"Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact" [8/2005] by Vaclav Smil

"100 Greatest Science Inventions of All Time" [12/2005] by Kendall Haven

"Inventing the 19th Century: 100 Inventions that Shaped the Victorian Age - From Aspirin to the Zeppelin" [11/2006] by Stephen van Dulken

"Icons of Invention: The Makers of the Modern World from Gutenberg to Gates" [Greenwood 7/2009] by John W. Klooster

"Wooden Clocks: 31 Favorite Projects & Patterns" [7/2009] by Editors of Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts

"Edison's Concrete Piano: Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-on-Water Shoes, and
12 Other Flops from Great Inventors" [11/2009] by Judy Wearing

"Splendidly Unreasonable Inventors: The Lives, Loves, and Deaths of 30 Pioneers Who Changed the World" [11/2009] by Jeremy Coller

"Why Didn't I Think of That?: 101 Inventions that Changed the World by Hardly Trying" [4/2010] by Anthony Rubino, Jr.

"The Art of Invention: The Creative Process of Discovery and Design" [11/2010] by Steven J. Paley

"Inventing The 21st Century" [11/2010] by Stephen van Dulken

"The Entrepreneurial Spirit of African American Inventors" [3/2011] by Patricia Carter Sluby

"The Big Book of Celebrity Inventions" [10/2011] by Mark Champkins, Foreword by Peter Jones

"Why Has America Stopped Inventing?" [12/2011] by Darin Gibby

"Great Discoveries and Inventions by African-Americans: Fourth Edition" [1/2012] by David M. Foy

"Great Inventions that Changed the World" [7/2012] by James Wei

"Inventors at Work: The Minds and Motivation Behind Modern Inventions" [10/2012] by Brett Stern

"The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great" [12/2012] by Alec Foege

"The Ultimate Inventor's Guide: Getting From Your Kitchen Table To Retail!" [6/2013]
by Steve Stewart & Joe Gray

"Breakthrough!: Canada's Greatest Inventions and Innovations" [7/2013] by John Melady

"100 Military Inventions That Changed the World" [8/2013] by Philip Russell

"Imagination and a Pile of Junk: A Droll History of Inventors and Inventions" [1/2014] by Trevor Norton


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Individual  Inventors,  A to Z


inventor Ronald Ace [b. 1941] of Maryland
'flat panel solar trap' invention {patents pending}
90-percent efficient solar energy storage device {patents pending}
Pinnacle Products / h2ope official website • no entry at Wikipedia

"The Inventor and The Inventor's Son: The Two Isaac Adams" [] by Anthony J. Marolda

Major Edwin Howard Armstrong [1890-1954]
First public demonstration of F.M. radio by Armstrong 19 December 1935; first FM radio station broadcast 7/18/39 in Alpine, New Jersey.
http://www.geocities.com/neveyaakov/electro_science/armstrong.html 11/M4 also ML/timeline

"Edwin Howard Armstrong: Man of High Fidelity" by Lawrence Lessing, 1956.

Alexander Graham Bell [1847-1922]
recvd patent for phone 7 March 1876
PBS special 'The Telephone' on VHS

"Story of the Telephone" [1910] by Herbert N. Casson; Amzn ebook B0000523WE

"The Story of Alexander Graham Bell" [1939] /tt0031981/

"Alexander Graham Bell: The Sound and The Silence" TV movie [1992] at 420 minutes /tt0106241/

"The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret" [2008]
journalist Seth Shulman argues that Bell stole ideas for the telephone from rival Elisha Gray

T. Townsend Brown [1905-85]
Paul's fansitebook "Defying Gravity"Wikipedia

Luther Burbank [1849-1926]

firearms tycoon Samuel P. Colt [1814-62]

inventor & entrepreneur Peter Cooper [1791-1883]
Built the Tom Thumb locomotive in 1830 for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, then sold them the iron rail they needed to run it.
He co-founded American Telegraph in 1855; he founded the Cooper Union free college (construction completed 1859) in New York City;
he helped revive a school for women in South Carolina in 1878, now the Cooper-Limestone Institute.
entry at Wikipedia
The Forges & Ringwood Manor [purchased 1854] in New Jersey

"Ideas For A Science of Good Government" [1883] a compilation of Cooper's addresses, letters & articles on public affairs

Mechanic To Millionaire / The Peter Cooper Story TV documentary  "Mechanic To Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story" [G.D.G. March 2009]
Three-part TV docudrama covering Cooper's early life, his businesses, and his late-life
Produced & directed by Janet P. Gardner; written by Elena Mannes; starring
Richard Brundage
indep widescreen color DVD [11/2015] for $29.95
full credits at IMDbofficial movie site

John Deere [1804-86]

see also Spirit of America Bookstore's American Tractors & Farm Equipment Page

inventor William K. Dickson []
demonstrated the first 'talking pictures' on 6 October 1889 at Edison's laboratory in New Jersey
(38 years to the day before the premiere of "The Jazz Singer")

George Eastman [1854-1932]
founder of Kodak who democratized photography with his handy rolls of film.
George Eastman House is now operated as the International Museum of Photography and Film

Spirit of America Bookstore's
inventor Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931] Page

1876: Edison received a patent for his mimeograph duplicator.
1878: Edison received a patent for his phonograph.
1880: Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.
1891: Edison filed patents for the Kinetograph 35mm camera & the Kinetoscope viewer.
1893: Edison completed the world's first motion picture studio in West Orange, New Jersey.

Douglas Carl Engelbart [1925-2013]
inventor of the computer mouse

John Ericsson [1803-89]

"The Great John Ericsson" biopic [1937] /tt0029068/

Spirit of America Bookstore's
inventor Philo T. Farnsworth [1906-71] Page

George W.G. Ferris [1859-96] of Nevada, inventor of the Ferris wheel

John Fitch [1743-98]
Fitch demonstrated his steamboat on the Delaware River near Philadelphia to delegates at the Constitutional Convention on 22 August 1787.

Benjamin Franklin [1706-90]
browse booksbiographyElectric Franklin

Benjamin Franklin [1706-90] Quotations Page at Working Minds Philosophy website

The Franklin Stove
bifocal glasses
the lightning rod

"Stealing God's Thunder: Benjamin Franklin's Lightning Rod and the Invention of America" [8/2005] by Philip Dray

visionary R. Buckminster Fuller [1895-1993] Page
at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore

Dymaxion™ prefab housing (1930 & 1945)
Dymaxion™ automobile prototype (1933)
Dymaxion™ World Map (1943)
defined the geodesic dome, received U.S. patent 2,682,235 in June 1956
popularized the concept 'Spaceship Earth' from 1968

Robert Fulton [1765-1815]
Colonial American engineer & inventor widely credited with developing the first commercially successful steamboat.

Richard J. Gatling [1818-1903]
Gatling received a patent for his rapid-fire gun on 4 November 1862.

toy maker & inventor A.C. Gilbert [1884-1961]

King C. Gillette [1855-1932]
“There is no other article for individual use so universally known or widely distributed. In my travels I have found [the safety razor]
in the most northern town in Norway and in the heart of the Sahara Desert.”

rocket scientist Robert Goddard [1882-1945]

Spirit of America's 'A History of Aviation' Pages

rubber tycoon Charles Goodyear [1800-60]

Bette Nesmith Graham [1924-1980], inventor of Liquid Paper™

Chester Greenwood [1858-1937]
invented the earmuff in 1873, at the age of 15

Chester Greenwood / Inventor of Earmuffs children's book by Meghan McCarthy  "Earmuffs For Everyone!: How Chester Greenwood Became Known
As The Inventor of Earmuffs" [ages 4-8; 2014]
Written & Illustrated by Meghan McCarthy

Kindle Edition from Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman [1/2015] for $12.99
S&S/Paula Wiseman Books 10x9 hardcover [1/2015] for $14.21
S&S/Paula Wiseman Books pb [12/2014] out of print/used

Beulah Henry [1887-1973]
inductee at National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006entry at Wikipedia

Elias Howe [1819-67]

Spirit of America Bookstore's
Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] Page

Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] Quotations Page at Working Minds Philosophy website

Dean Kamen
inventor of the Segway® Human Transporter & the iBot Wheelchair
entry at Wikipediaonline bio at FIRST

"Dean Kamen" TV movie [2002] /tt1064196/

Reinventing the Wheel / Code Name Ginger by Steve Kemper   "Code Name Ginger: The Story Behind Segway & Dean Kamen's Quest To
Invent A New World" [2003] by Steve Kemper

Harvard Business School 9½x6½ hardcover [6/2003] out of print/90+ used
"Reinventing The Wheel: A Story of Genius, Innovation, and Grand Ambition"
[2005] by Steve Kemper

HarperBusiness 8¼x5¼ pb [3/2005] for $13.46

logo for Segway, Inc. manufacturer of the Segway® PT (personal transporter)   basic model of the Segway® PT personal transporter        Segway® Human Transporter website
Segway Los Angeles - rentals & sales in Santa Monica, CA

Amazon dropped their Segway Store some time ago, and almost no items were listed on their website by 2015.

Segway miniPRO self-balancing personal transporter from Segway  Segway miniPRO Smart Self-Balancing Personal Transporter
choose black or white; designed with Mobile App Control; steering controls at
adjustable knee height; 14 mile range; USA list price $1,299
miniPRO personal transporter from Segway [6/2016] for $598.00 (FREE shipping)
Segway/Ninebot Xiaomi miniPRO #9 Protective Gear Kit [2016]
(helmet, palm pads, elbow pads, knee pads for outdoor sports)
Protective Gear Kit from Segway/Ninebot [6/2016] for $76.99 (FREE shipping)

Robert M. 'Edward' Keating [1862-1922]
After a one-game baseball career ended from injuries, he turned to inventing; at his death he held 49 patents, including safety razors,
bicyles, and motorcycles; he received a patent in 1887 for a rubber home plate for baseball, which is still in use today.
recent bio articleentry at Wikipedia

Robert M. Keating biography by R.K. Keating  "Wheel Man: Robert M. Keating, Pioneer of Bicycles, Motorcycles,
and Automobiles" [2014] by R.K. Keating

Kindle Edition from McFarland & Co. [10/2014] for $9.99
McFarland & Co. 10x7 pb [10/2014] for $45.00

Edward P. LaForce [1915-98] & Robert C. LaForce [1921-2005] of Vermont
1975 Congress hearings on engine saved 80% fuel
article in Jan 1975 Arizona Highways Magazine
investor Sherwood Webster of Bethesda, Maryland (1975)

U.S. Patent 4020811: Recirculating Fuel Feed & Vaporization Apparatus & Method (May 1977)
report on EPA's third evaluation, Dec 1974

actress & inventor Hedy Lamarr [1913-2000]

Abraham Lincoln [1809-65]

"Lincoln The Inventor" [1/2009] by Jason Emerson

Cyrus Hall McCormick [1809-84]
co-founder of Cyrus H. McCormick and Brothers [est. 1847] in Chicago; name changed in 1879 to McCormick
Harvesting Machine Company; merged in 1902 to form International Harvester Company.

see also Spirit of America Bookstore's American Tractors & Farm Equipment Page

Samuel F.B. Morse [1791-1872]

Samuel Morse and the Telegraph graphic nonfiction by David Seidman  "Samuel Morse and The Telegraph" graphic nonfiction [ages 8-14; 2007]
by David Seidman, Illustrated by Rod Whigham, Keith Williams & Charles Barnett III

Graphic Library 9x7 pb [2007] for $8.10
Capstone Press 9x7¼ library hardcover [2007] for $29.99

photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge [1830-1904] Page
at Magic Lantern Video & Book Store

actual frames shot by Eadweard Muybridge, made in 1878

inventor Joseph W. Newman
official Newman Energy Machine website
Joseph Newman entry at Wikipedia

his book "The Energy Machine of Joseph W. Newman" [1985]

"Big Eureka - The Energy Machine of Joseph Newman" []
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMYo1QlvK5g [1:02:05]

author • philosopher • revolutionary G.E. Nordell
main/personal website

Tom Ogle [1955–81]
Tom Ogle is said to have improved on the several patents of Canadian mechanic & inventor Charles Nelson Pogue [1897-1985], demonstrating
a water-vapor fuel economy system in 1977 (1979 patent number 4,177,779). After selling his Ford prototype car, Ogle was found dead
of a drug overdose in the New Mexico desert at age 26, naturally fueling conspiracy theories; his technology was never marketed.
meager Tom Ogle entry at Wikipedia
article on "Tom Ogle's Vapor Fuel System" at PESwiki
9/2014 article about Tom Ogle on the El Paso Community College Library website
undated 'Tom Ogle Vapor Fuel System' page at Rex Research

Tom Ogle is mentioned in the documentary film "Gashole" [2008] /tt1333998/
watch clip from "Gashole" [1:00] at Vimeo

Untitled Tom Ogle Project [still 'in development' in 2015]
Announced 2011: Based on the true story of El Paso's Tom Ogle, who some considered the greatest inventor since Edison.
Did his unwillingness to sell his invention to the oil companies lead to his mysterious death at the age of 26?
latest info at IMDb

inventor & industrialist James Oliver [1823-1908]

Elisha Graves Otis [1811-61]

Dr. Jonas Salk [1914-95]
Salk's vaccine for polio of 1955 was intentionally not patented; it eradicated one of the world’s worst plagues.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California

politician & inventor John Stevens [1749-1838] of New Jersey
built a prototype 'steam carriage' (railroad locomotive) in 1825

Carl Strandlund [1899-1974]

"Lustron: The House America's Been Waiting For" TV movie [2004] /tt0345595/

Kango Suzuki of Japan
art student at the Tohoku University of Art & Design majoring in product design hand-carved the 'Plock' clock from wood
watch 2/2016 video [0:53] at Business Insider website
2/2016 article at Spoon & Tamago website

Spirit of America Bookstore's
'Tom Swift' Books Series Page

Nikola Tesla [1856-1943] Pages
at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore

Spirit of America Bookstore's
automaker Preston Tucker [1903-56] Page

Spirit of America Bookstore's
George Westinghouse, Jr. [1846-1914] Page

Eli Whitney [1765-1825]

"Mr. Whitney Had A Notion" 11-minute short [1949]

The Wright Brothers
Orville Wright [1871–1948] & Wilbur Wright [1867–1912]
bookswebsitePBS 'Innovators' episodeCentennial Dec 2003PBS bio

Spirit of America's 'A History of Aviation' Pages

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Afro-American  Inventors,  A to Z
Museum of Black Inventors [est. 1996] in St. Louis, Missouri
The Black Inventor Online Museum
"Pioneers in African-American Automotive History" exhibit at the A.A.C.A. Museum [Feb-April 2016] in Hershey, PA

"Black Inventors of America" [6/1969] by McKinley Burt

"Black Pioneers of Science and Invention" [6/1970] by Louis Haber

"Black Inventors" [7/1997] by Nathan Aaseng

African American Inventors book by Otha Richard Sullivan  "African-American Inventors (Black Stars Series)" [ages 11-17; 1998] by Otha Richard Sullivan
featuring: Benjamin Banneker; Andrew Jackson Beard; George E. Carruthers, PhD; George Washington Carver; Michael Croslin, PhD; David Nelson Crosthwait, Jr.; Charles Richard Drew, MD; Meredith Gourdine, PhD; Claude Harvard; Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD; Frederick McKinley Jones; Percy Lavon Julian, PhD; Ernest Everett Just, PhD; Lewis Howard Latimer; Jan Earnst Matzeliger; Elijah McCoy; Benjamin Montgomery; John P. Moon; Garrett Augustus Morgan; Norbert Rillieux; Earl D. Shaw, PhD; Madame C.J. Walker; Daniel Hale Williams, MD; Granville T. Woods; and Jane Cooke Wright, MD
Kindle Edition from Wiley [4/2010] for $16.07
Wiley 9¼x7½ pb [4/2011] for $16.92
Wiley 9½x7¾ hardcover [5/98] out of print/used

"The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity" [4/2004] by Patricia Carter Sluby

"Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success" [7/2008] by Keith C. Holmes

"Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors" [7/2009] by Otha Richard Sullivan & Jim Haskins

"The Entrepreneurial Spirit of African American Inventors" [3/2011] by Patricia Carter Sluby

George Washington Carver [1864-1943]

"The Story of Doctor Carver" 10-minute short [1938] /tt0030801/

Lonnie Johnson [b. 1949]
Johnson Research & Development Co., Inc. [est. 1991] in Atlanta, GeorgiaLJ entry at Wikipedia

Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Inventions book by Chris Barton  "Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions" [grades 2-5; 2016]
by Chris Barton, Illustrated by Don Tate

The Super Soaker was invented entirely by accident and is one of the top twenty toys of all time. N.A.S.A. engineer Lonnie Johnson was trying to design a cooling system for rocket engines . . .
Kindle Edition from Penguin/Random House [5/2016] for $9.99
Charlesbridge 11¼x9 hardcover [5/2016] for $13.13

rocket toward the right      jump to page two      rocket toward the right

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here on the Inventors of America Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore

top of Page 1short historygeneral linksgeneral booksinventors, A-ZAfro-American inventors

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