Inventive Minds: Creativity in Technology

Hardcover | February 1, 1993

EditorRobert J. Weber, David N. Perkins

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Is invention really "99 percent" perspiration and "one percent inspiration" as Thomas Edison assured us? Inventive Minds assembles a group of authors well equipped to address this question: contemporary inventors of important new technologies, historians of science and industry, and cognitivepsychologists interested in the process of creativity. In telling their stories, the inventors describe the origins of such remarkable devices as ultrasound, the electron microscope, and artificial diamonds. The historians help us look into the minds of innovators like Thomas Edison, AlexanderGraham Bell, Michael Faraday, and the Wright brothers, drawing on original notebooks and other sources to show how they made their key discoveries. Finally, cognitive psychologists explore the mental processes that figure in creative thinking. Contributing to the authors' insight is their specialfocus on the "front end" of invention -- where ideas come from and how they are transformed into physical prototypes. They answer three questions: How does invention happen? How does invention contrast with other commonly creative pursuits such as scientific inquiry, musical composition, orpainting? And how might invention best happen -- that is, what kinds of settings, conditions, and strategies appear to foster inventive activity? The book yields a wealth of information that will make absorbing reading for cognitive and social psychologists, social historians, and many workingscientists and general readers who are interested in the psychology of personality and the roots of ingenuity.

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From Our Editors

Is invention really "99 percent perspiration" and "one percent inspiration" as Thomas Edison assured us? Or does invention involve little recognized, often hidden principles that are accessible to most of us? Inventive Minds assembles a group of authors well qualified to address these questions: contemporary inventors of important new ...

From the Publisher

Is invention really "99 percent" perspiration and "one percent inspiration" as Thomas Edison assured us? Inventive Minds assembles a group of authors well equipped to address this question: contemporary inventors of important new technologies, historians of science and industry, and cognitivepsychologists interested in the process of ...

From the Jacket

This book yields a wealth of insight for all those fascinated by the psychology of creativity, the history of invention, and the roots of human ingenuity.

Robert J. Weber is at Oklahoma State University. David N. Perkins is at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.49 × 6.3 × 0.91 inPublished:February 1, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195071700

ISBN - 13:9780195071702

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Table of Contents

PART I: Setting the Stage1. Robert Friedel: Perspiration in Perspective: Changing Perceptions of Genius and Expertise in American InventionPART II: Classic Inventors2. Ryan D. Tweney: Inventing the Field: Michael Faraday and the Creative "Engineering" of Electromagnetic Field Theory3. W. Bernard Coulson and Michael E. Gorman: A Cognitive Framework to Understand Technological Creativity: Bell, Edison, and the Telephone4. Tom D. Crouch: Why Wilbur and Orville? Some Thoughts on the Wright Brothers and the Process of InventionPART III: Contemporary Inventors5. U James Hillier: Electron Microscopy and Microprobe Analysis: Recalling the Ambience of Some Inventions6. John J. Wild: The Origin of Soft Tissue Ultrasonic and Early Instrumental Application to Clinical Medicine7. James A. Teeri: The Soil Biotron: An Underground Research Laboratory8. Robert H. Wentorf: The Synthesis of Diamonds9. Edward Rosinski: The Origin and Development of the First Zeolite Catalyst for Petroleum Cracking10. Discovery and Invention in Polymer Chemistry,Paul W. Morgan11. William C. Campbell: The Genesis of the Antiparasitic Drug IvermectinPART IV: The Logic of Invention12. Robert J. Weber: Stone Age Knife to Swiss Army Knife: An Invention Prototype13. David N. Perkins: The Topography of Invention14. Jacob Helfman: The Analytic Inventive Thinking ModelPART V: The Social Context of Inventions15. David A. Hounshell: Invention in the Industrial Research Laboratory: Individual Act or Collective Process? The Case of the Pioneering Research Laboratory, Du Pont Fibers Department, 1928-196816. George Wise: Inventors and Corporations in the Maturing Electrical Industry17. Donald J. Quigg: Technology on the Move

From Our Editors

Is invention really "99 percent perspiration" and "one percent inspiration" as Thomas Edison assured us? Or does invention involve little recognized, often hidden principles that are accessible to most of us? Inventive Minds assembles a group of authors well qualified to address these questions: contemporary inventors of important new technologies, historians of science and industry, and cognitive psychologists interested in the process of creativity. In telling their stories, the inventors describe their groundbreaking work on ultrasound, synthetic fibers, petroleum cracking catalysts, electron microscopes, wonder drugs, artificial diamonds, and underground observatories. The historians help us look into the minds of innovators like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Michael Faraday, and the Wright brothers, drawing on original notebooks and other sources to show how they made their key discoveries. The historians also reveal the dramatic transition from craft shop to the modern industrial laboratory. Finally, psychologists and educators explore the mental pro

Editorial Reviews

"This is an excellent collection that brings together both work on innovation by people who study it and the reflections of those who have done it. It provoked several class discussions that went well beyond the material and into issues none of us had thought about."--Thomas Hewett, DrekelUniversity