- Age Range: 8 and up
- Series: Make
- Paperback: 292 pages
- Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (November 19, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1457187183
- ISBN-13: 978-1457187186
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inventing a Better Mousetrap: 200 Years of American History in the Amazing World of Patent Models (Make) 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
You Don't Have to Be a Genius
"One of the most important things that I learned in compiling the Patent Model Collection and writing the book is that you don’t have to be a genius to be an inventor," says author Alan Rothschild. "Yes, it is certainly true that many inventors have had extra ordinary minds, but the vast majority of inventors have been ordinary, everyday people. They have figured out how to 'build a better mousetrap' for a new or improved idea they dreamed up.
"I would encourage anyone who reads this book to be always thinking: Is there a better way to do something? Then work to bring that idea to fruition. The future and success of our country is in the hands of our creative, inventive, and entrepreneurial individuals who are willing to think out of the box!"
Make Updated Versions of Old Models
- 3D print an electromagnetic motor
- Use a laser cutter to make a Reversible Lounge
- Construct a better mousetrap!
- Use a CNC to build a Pigeon Starter
- Construct a Lego rowboat
- Build a miniature washing machine
"The Rothschild Patent Model Collection lets us see how different our lives would be without the spirit of invention. Seeing what other inventors have done is what motivates us to think outside of the box and to look at life differently. Do we want to watch life go by or be a part of it?"
Co-Founder of Apple Computer
"A national treasury of inspiration for tinkers, model-makers, inventors, hobbyists, innovators, and designers. Both the ingenious mechanisms animating each of these inventions as well as their delightful small-scale model embody a genius that is celebrated by this unique book."
Co-Founder of Wired Magazine
Past Editor & Publisher of Whole Earth Review
Editor & Publisher of Cool Tools Website
"The Rothschild Patent Model Collection reminds us that our nation's economic growth is tied to our ability to turn promising ideas into job-supporting innovations. This book illustrates how ideas hatched going back as far as 200 years ago become innovations that were often protected by patents that helped advance our economy. Our culture's embrace of ingenuity and creativity encourages the inventors of our country to continue pursuing their ideas, and those patents are absolutely the center of our global leadership in business."
United States Senator, (D-Delaware)
"Inventing a Better Mousetrap is an artfully humanized collection of great inventors and their beautiful creations that elegantly achieves that goal. If we want the next 200 years of American growth and innovation to be as exciting as the last two centuries, this book should be required reading."
President of DEKA Research and Development Corp.
Founder of FIRST: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee
"Alan and Ann have preserved the physical history of the first two centuries of Yankee ingenuity, and for this, as a nation, may we be truly grateful. Now, they have brought all of these wonderful models to us in their book, so how 'bout it, Americans--let's put down those electronic tablets and start THINKING again."
Pioneer of the Internet
From the Author
This book is dedicated to the four hundred men and women inventors whose patent models are featured throughout this book. Some of the inventors became famous, such as B.F. Goodrich, Christian Steinway, Nelson Goodyear, and Linus Yale, Jr., known for patenting life-changing inventions. But for most of the inventors chronicled here, their hopes and dreams of becoming rich and famous, or creating some revolutionary new technology, never materialized. Their inventions remained in obscurity, until now. These inventors are finally being recognized for their ingenuity, their imagination, and their efforts in obtaining a United States Patent. May their memories live and be remembered into perpetuity.
We would also like to dedicate this book to our good friend, Dr. Forrest Bird (June 9, 1921-August 2, 2015). Dr. Bird's respiratory inventions have been responsible for saving hundreds of thousands of lives throughout the world. Not only was he a major inspiration to us, but his impact on our world will continue to be felt. Forrest Bird was a brilliant yet humble man who was one of the world's greatest inventors. We will miss him very much.
Top customer reviews
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So why not 5 star?
The book is just at the size limit for soft cover. It's just a little too big and too heavy to comfortably hold while reading. With regard to content, the authors were limited by patent models that still exist and to which they could get access. I suspect they included almost everything that they could photograph, but being inclusive means that some of the inclusions are not very interesting. There were a few, such as the cryptography patent on page 174, that I would have loved to learn more about, but other readers probably will have their own top picks, so egalitarianism though universally applied brevity probably was appropriate.
Organized by type, this book offers a wonderful microcosm of the development of technology through the past two centuries.
They even included a little quiz at the end to add to the fun.
There are instructions for making 6 of the models, but they do look complicated, and most of them require expensive tools. The instructions are step by step with multiple photos and drawings.
Overall, this a great reference book for people who are interested in history and inventions. This book includes patent models, working models required for US patent filings. I was pleased to read that the Rothschilds' personal collection has become a permanent addition to Hagley Museum and Library in Delaware.