Edison's Concrete Piano: Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-on-Water Shoes, and 12 Other Flops from Great Inventors by Judy WearingEdison's Concrete Piano: Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-on-Water Shoes, and 12 Other Flops from Great Inventors by Judy Wearing

Edison's Concrete Piano: Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-on-Water Shoes, and 12 Other Flops…

byJudy Wearing

Paperback | November 1, 2009

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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.

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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Title:Edison's Concrete Piano: Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-on-Water Shoes, and 12 Other Flops…Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pages, 8 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:November 1, 2009Publisher:ECW PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1550228633

ISBN - 13:9781550228632

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Less Successful Inventions It almost goes without saying that not all inventions by great inventors had, by definition, to be successful; there had to be at least some failures. However, it’s easy to see that the general public may never have heard of them. In this book, the author has selected sixteen inventions, each one by a different inventor, that were unsuccessful. After the Introduction, the book is divided into sixteen chapters (one per invention) grouped into three main sections: The Historic Age (from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries), The Golden Age (from the nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries) and The Modern Era (from the early twentieth century onwards). The list of inventors includes da Vinci, Watt, Hooke, Edison, Tesla, Ford, Bell as well as others – even Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard are included. In each case, the author provides a brief outline (to varying degrees) of the inventor’s life, other inventions, success (and failure) rate and what went wrong with the particular invention highlighted in the chapter. The writing style is clear, friendly, highly accessible and quite engaging. The only sketches/diagrams/photos of the inventions are found on the first page of each chapter; otherwise, no additional figures are included. This is a fun book that can be enjoyed by anyone – especially those fascinated by the history and evolution of technology.
Date published: 2009-11-13

Editorial Reviews

"Judy Wearing has written a captivating book on success and failure . . . This book is full of lessons for inventors and non-inventors alike."  —Henry Petroski, author, Success through Failure