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Eurekaaargh!: A Spectacular Collection of Inventions That Nearly Worked – Adam Hart-Davis

4 Stars

This work presents 100 stories of weird and wonderful inventions, full-blown and well-developed disasters of what seemed to be brilliant inventions that fell at the first fence, or sometimes the second, like the first steam-powered submarine, still lying on the seabed off North Wales.

I love books like this – the real and rather sad history of things. Most of us remember learning about the Montgolfier balloon; the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk; George Stevenson and his steam engine; and other notable inventors. But what about those that came before and failed? Or did not have the money to patent their invention? Or those whose inventions were too far ahead of their time to be viable. This is a book about these folks – the men (mostly – sorry ladies) who tried (and sometimes died) to better mankind with gadgets and machines and came to a sorry end.

Mr Hart-Davis has done his homework and tells a good tale. The tone is light-hearted, yet informative. There is enough information to draw in the reader but not so much as to get boring, or confusing.  One could dip in and out of this book, entertain one’s friends with it, or simply wonder at the ingenuity and foolishness of people.

Please note most of these are British inventors.

Recommended for fans of history.

 

 

 

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