Inventing Modern America: From the microwave to the mouse buy the book about the book about the Lemelson-MIT program games
Did you know? Links and Resources
Doug Engelbart
Thomas Fogarty
Ashok Gadgil
Stephanie Kwolek
Paul MacCready
 
There are hundreds of books and web sites covering invention, patents, inventors, and the products they have created. We’ve put together a very selective list of some of these sites and sources. You can find many more with a good search engine, at your library, or on the Lemelson-MIT Program’s Invention Dimension.

General Invention Resources
Doug Engelbart
Thomas Fogarty
Ashok Gadgil
Stephanie Kwolek
Paul MacCready
Further Reading

     
 

General Invention Resources
The Lemelson-MIT Program’s Invention Dimension features the "Inventor of the Week", an introduction to invention and patents, video interviews, and updates on the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the largest award ever given for invention.
http://web.mit.edu/invent

The Innovative Lives section of the Web site of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution features illuminating essays on several of the inventors featured in Inventing Modern America, including Ashok Gadgil, Wilson Greatbatch, and Stephanie Kwolek.
http://www.si.edu/lemelson

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has an online database with every patent ever issued, as well as information on what a patent means and how to apply for one.
http://www.uspto.gov

Marshall Brain’s "How Stuff Works" is full of useful and detailed explanations of how things work, from computers to cell phones to locks.
http://www.howstuffworks.com

     
 

Doug Engelbart
Technology historian Tim Lenoir’s Mouse Site explores the history of human computer interaction, beginning with Doug Engelbart’s "oNLine System."
http://sloan.stanford.edu/MouseSite/

Engelbart’s ideas about how to help people and groups work together better are explored in-depth at his Bootstrap Institute’s site. Bootstrap.org also includes copies of all of the inventor’s papers as well as historic photos of his work.
http://www.bootstrap.org/

Some of Doug Engelbart’s computing inspiration came from this 1945 article by Vannevar Bush describing a hypothetical information system called the Memex—a kind of pre-digital world wide web.
http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/flashbks/computer/bushf.htm

A San Jose Mercury News story chronicles Engelbart’s inventions and his quest to help computers help mankind.
http://www0.mercurycenter.com/svtech/news/special/engelbart/

Howard Rheingold’s 1985 book Tools for Thought tells the story of the pioneers of graphic and user-friendly computing, including Engelbart, Alan Kay, and others.
http://www.rheingold.com/texts/tft/

     
 

Thomas Fogarty
Thomas Fogarty’s own Web site provides an overview of his career, his current activities, and the many businesses he has founded to develop his medical inventions.
http://www.fogarty-md.com/

Fogarty is also a winemaker of some renown; his winery has its own Web site, with directions on how to visit and details on its different wines.
http://www.fogartywinery.com/

For a short course in cardiovascular medicine, and to see how balloon catheters fit into a heart surgeon's collection of techniques, check out MD Interactive's Web site.
http://mdinteractive.com/Cardio-vascular-surgery.htm

     
 

Ashok Gadgil
Ashok Gadgil is a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory, one of the nation's centers for physical and chemical research. The Lab's Web site provides information on many of its successes and current projects.
http://www.lbl.gov/

WaterHealth International builds and sells Ashok Gadgil’s UV water treatment system. The site features photographs of installed systems, information on how it works, and information about the importance of clean water.
http://www.waterhealth.com

The Natural Resources Defense Council Web site features this Q&A with Gadgil.
http://www.nrdc.org/reference/qa/intgadg.asp

     
 

Stephanie Kwolek
The National Institute of Justice’s video Surviving a Shooting: Your Guide to Personal Body Armor describes how Kevlar bulletproof vests work—and shows how they stop bullets. Real Player or Windows Media Player is required.
http://www.nlectc.org/videos/

About.com’s inventors section includes a short biography of Kwolek and additional links to Kevlar information.
http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blkevlar.htm

The Chemical Heritage Foundation honored Kwolek with their Perkin Award; their site includes a full biography, complete with a list of the chemist’s many honors.
http://www.chemheritage.org/perkin/Kwolek/kwolek.html

     
 

Paul MacCready
Paul MacCready’s home page includes pictures of his aircraft, a biography, and links to related sites.
http://members.aol.com/maccready/index.html

Paul MacCready founded AeroVironment in 1971. Today the company works on many different energy and transportation technology problems, including solar powered flight. The firm’s Web site includes news updates and descriptions of some of MacCready’s projects.
http://www.aerovironment.com/

The American Academy of Achievement web site includes a long video interview with MacCready, together with pictures of his creations and a transcript of the conversation.
http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/mac0bio-1

In 1978 Ben Sheed made a 30-minute documentary of the Gossamer Condor’s construction and its first flight, The Flight of the Gossamer Condor. A local library may have a copy, or order it through the Shedd’s Web site.
http://members.aol.com/sheddprods/GossamerCondorVideo.html

     
 

Further Reading
These books are all excellent introductions to different aspects of invention, from James Burke’s essays on how different technologies are intimately related to Ira Flatow’s stories of inventors’ determination in the face of failure and skepticism.

Brown, Travis. Popular Patents. Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2000

Burke, James. Connections. Boston: Little, Brown, 1995. (Paperback version of his 1978 book.).

Burke, James. The Pinball Effect. Boston: Back Bay Books, 1997.

Flatow, Ira. They All Laughed: From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993.

Grosser, Morton. Gossamer Odyssey: The Triumph of Human-powered Flight. New York: Dover, 1991.

Lindsay, David. House of Invention: The Secret Life of Everyday Products. New York: Lyons Press, 2000.

Macdonald, Anne L. Feminine Ingenuity: How Women Inventors Changed America. New York: Ballantine, 1992.


Petroski, Henry. The Evolution of Useful Things. New York: Vintage books, 1994.

Science Museum of London. Inventing the Modern World: Technology Since 1750. New York: DK Publishing, 2000.

Van Dulken, Stephen. Inventing the 20th Century – 100 Inventions that Shaped the World. New York: New York University Press, 2000.

Vare, Ethlie Ann and Greg Ptacek. Mothers of Invention: From the Bra to the Bomb, Forgotten Women and Their Unforgettable Ideas. New York: Quill, 1989.


top
     
 

Doug Engelbart Thomas Fogarty Ashok Gadgil Stephanie Kwolek Paul MacCready
Buy the book About the Book Links & Resources About The Lemelson-MIT Program Play the Games
  ©2001 MIT. Photo Credits