Not even geniuses get it right the first time . . . An “entertaining” look at the failures of great inventors (Booklist)
From Alexander Graham Bell’s multi-nippled sheep to Leonardo da Vinci’s walk-on-water shoes, these ludicrous ideas and faulty designs will leave you with a smile on your face, and the reminder that even the very best of us make mistakes
To achieve great things, you have to be willing to take risks — and as Edison’s Concrete Piano reveals, some of the most famous names in history experienced plenty of flops and face-plants in the course of their careers. 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 multi-nippled sheep somewhere along the way. You’ll also read about Leonardo da Vinci’s walk-on-water shoes, George Washington Carver’s miracle peanut cure, and much more. The ludicrous ideas, faulty designs, and offbeat hobbies in this volume will inspire laughs — and serve as a reminder that even the very best minds make mistakes.
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Judy Wearing is an award-winning educator and author with a PhD in biology from Oxford University. She works as a science education consultant and develops activities and books for children. This is her first popular science book. She lives in Newburgh, Ontario.
Published: October 2009
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“This book sparkles with heaps of ideas, some plain bonkers, others, like the car, more pedestrian.…this book is fun and full of quirks…a fine yarn.” — The Waikato Times
“[Wearing’s] background as a science educator is advantageous in this entertaining piece of popular science: she portrays lively personalities and eccentric projects in concrete prose.” — Booklist
“The popular science is fun and easily accessible, and there’s more to the inventors experiments than the title can contain.” — Los Angeles Times
“Captivating … This book is full of lessons for inventors and non-inventors alike.” — Henry Petroski, author of Success through Failure