Get inventive with reading this month—August 6, 2010
Did you ever look at that cell phone in your hand and wonder who made the very first one? August is National Inventors’ Month, with the expressed purpose of educating the American public about the value of creativity and inventiveness. It is the perfect time to look at the history of inventions and encourage the inventors of tomorrow to get those creative juices flowing.
If you would like to know the origins of everyday things, start with “Toilets, Toasters & Telephones: The How and Why of Everyday Objects” by Susan Rubin. From your kitchen to your bathroom to your office, you will learn how our houses came to be filled with useful things. Want to know the origins of Play-doh, Mr. Potato Head or the Slinky? Don Wulffson has written a fun book called “Toys!: Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions.”
What do you consider the greatest inventions of all time? Phillip Wilkinson attempts to answer that question in “100 Greatest Inventions” and Stephen Tomcek offers his suggestions in “What a Great Idea: Inventions that Changed the World.” Try to come up with your own list and compare it to the ideas in either of these books.
But who are the people that have made all these things possible? In “They Made America” Harold Evans introduces the reader to the men and women from the age of steam to the masterminds of the digital age who have shaped the very way we live. Some of these names you will recognize, many of them you will get to know as you read their stories of chance creation or dogged persistence.
You don’t have to be an engineer or a scientist to be an inventor. In fact, you don’t even have to be grown up. In “Women Inventors & Their Discoveries” by Ethlie Anne Vare and Greg Ptacek, you will see that it is the power of observation and the creativity to solve a problem that distinguishes an inventor. “Brainstorm!” by Tom Tucker tells the story of twenty inventors all under the age of twenty, with some as young as the eleven year old inventor of the popsicle!
Get your creative juices flowing during National Inventors’ Month by checking out the world of resources at the Hastings Public Library.