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10 Inventors Who Changed the World    by Clive Gifford & David Cousens order for
10 Inventors Who Changed the World
by Clive Gifford
Order:  USA  Can
Macmillan, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's a splendid collection of biographies of some very important individuals who made monumental discoveries.

Each scientist's story is linked with another inventor's life and addresses influences, events and geography that played a role in the pivotal invention or discovery he or she made.

For example, Thomas Edison was taught to use the telegraph by a man who was grateful that Edison had saved his son's life. Working as a tramp telegrapher, one of young Edison's earliest inventions was a device that would automatically send out a signal on the telegraph every half hour to let people know the operator was awake. The young man fashioned this simple device so he could sleep on the job. Thomas was soon found out and fired, but this early device was eventually refined into one of the 1,093 patents Edison is credited with owning or co-owing.

In the links section, the reader will learn that Nikola Tesla was employed by Edison and redesigned the inventor's error-prone direct current electricity generator. After his boss turned down the idea, Tesla went on to perfect the notion of using alternating current on other devices.

Besides Edison and Tesla, the inventors featured in this well illustrated book include Archimedes, Galileo Galilei, Ben Franklin, James Watt, Isambard Kingdom Brunei, Marie Curie, Glenn Curtiss, and Sergei Korolev.

Appropriate for aged ten and older, the basic premise for this fascinating book is to show that by uncovering unique and often overlooked connections, science history emerges, underscoring a linked chain of patterns and relationships. This will remind older adults of a popular PBS series aired decades ago called Connections.

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