The Next Big Thing

 

Up here on the fourth floor of the Millennium Library we’ve been highlighting books about inventions and inventors, tinkering and making. Here are a few picks that have been moving off our shelves:

Black Inventors: Crafting Over 200 Years of Success by Keith Holmes

This book about African American inventors highlights history that is often overlooked. For more on Black inventors check out these profiles from Biography. We also loved finding this write-up about Elijah McCoy as part of his nomination to the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame: “The noted African Canadian inventor, Elijah McCoy was issued more than 57 patents for his inventions during his lifetime. His best known invention was a cup that fed lubricating oil to machine bearings through a small bore tube. Machinists and engineers who wanted genuine McCoy lubricators might have used the expression “the real McCoy.”

Milestones of Space: Eleven Iconic Objects from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Lunar modules, astronaut Neil Armstrong’s space suit, and the Hubble telescope. Milestones of Space provides gorgeous photographs and meticulous explanations of the inventions that have made space exploration possible.

The Eureka Method: How to Think Like an Inventor by John Hershey

Written by a PhD in Electrical Engineering (with 134 patents to his name!), the Eureka Method will show you how to scan the world around you and think systemically to spark big ideas.

Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners, Stories of Women Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas by Ethlie Ann Vare

From the hang glider to Jell-O, tract housing to windshield wipers, learn about the women behind these inventions and many more.

 

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Especially because of the recent announcement of a lower (if not low) cost Tesla, Elon Musk has been in the news a ton lately.  This bio discusses how his success is an example of the intersection of visionary thinking, inventing talent, and business acumen.

A History of Invention From Stone Axes to Silicon Chips by Dr. Trevor I. Williams

From the humble axe-head to the ubiquitous indispensable silicon chip, here’s a fun and informative history of “things”.

Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Their Backyard, Basement, and Garage by Bob Parks

From the publishers who brought us Make magazine this title featuring real-life – and definitely home-grown – inventions is sure to speak to your inner-tinkerer.

Rube Goldberg: Inventions by Maynard Frank Wolfe

The shortest path from A to B may be a straight line but what’s the fun in that? Here’s a wonderfully, whimsical title full of schematics for hair-cutters, Easter egg-dyers, a better golf tee and more, devised by the one and only Rube Goldberg.

 

-Monique W.

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