Edison's Concrete Piano: Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-On-Water Shoes, and 12 Other Flops From Great Inventors

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ECW Press, 2009 - Science - 270 pages
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Highlighting the careers of well-known inventors, this exploration of failure amid greatness reveals the lesser-known and most fascinating facts about their careers, their wackier hobbies, and their big flops alongside great successes. Thomas Edison, for example, not only revolutionized the world with the light bulb but also designed a concrete piano, a nonoperational helicopter made from box kites and piano wire, and a machine to speak to the dead. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, actually devoted most of his time to his sheep farm in Nova Scotia—devising a multinippled sheep somewhere along the way. The ludicrous ideas and faulty designs housed in this volume will inspire laughs and serve as a reminder that even the very best minds make mistakes.

 

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Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION
THE HISTORIC AGE
UNDERSTAND PHYSICS
START WITH A GOOD IDEA
WRITE IT DOWN
THE GOLDEN AGE
GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT
HAVE PERFECT TIMING
ENDNOTES
Leonardo da Vincis Walk on Water Shoes
James Watts Apparatus for the Administration of Medicinal Airs
Robert Hookes Flying Machine Powered by Artificial Muscle
Thomas Edisons Concrete Piano
Nikola Teslas Earthquake Machine
Henry Fords Flipping Fordson

TRY NOT TO BE TOO WEIRD
DONT KILL YOUR CUSTOMERS
BE ON THE SIDE OF THE SUCCESSFUL
BE SURE THE MARKET IS READY
HAVE ADEQUATE FUNDING
THE MODERN ERA
PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS
BE AGREEABLE
MAKE SURE YOU ARENT THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS ITS A GOOD IDEA
PLEASE THE BUYERS AND THE SELLERS
STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW MOSTLY
AVOID ACCIDENTS
George Washington Carvers Miracle Peanut Cure
Alexander Graham Bells SixNippled Sheep
Elihu Thomsons Quartz Telescope Mirror
Danny Hilliss Paint Can Robot
J Walter Christies Flying Tank
George Davisons Popcorn Volcano
Jerome Lemelsons Flying Balloon
Stanley Masons Chinese Tallow Tree Plantation
Buckminster Fullers FishShaped People Carrier
Leo Szilard and Albert Einsteins Howling Refrigerator
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About the author (2009)

Judy Wearing is an award-winning educator, author, and science education consultant, who holds a PhD in biology from Oxford University. She lives in Newburgh, Ontario.

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