American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary,and Just Plain Useful Patents

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9780814788134: American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary,and Just Plain Useful Patents
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Every American knows that Thomas Alva Edison's most famous invention was the light bulb, but who invented the pregnancy test? How was the airbag invented? How was the first computer patented? Stephen van Dulken examines the way inventions and patents such as these have helped to create the "American Dream."

Between 1911 and 1999, the number of registered U.S. patents rose from 1 million to 6 million. Showcasing dozens of those original patent drawings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, American Inventions shows how trends in the history of the United States are reflected in the patent records. For example, the invention of the Frisbee dates back to 1920 when a Yale University student recalled throwing around the pie tins of the nearby Frisbie Baking Company, but it was not until 1948 that Fred Morrison and Warren Francioni capitalized on Americans' new-found fascination with flying saucers by applying for a patent on a plastic flying disk.

Van Dulken surveys the inventions and patents of the workplace, the home, the kitchen, the open road, and the beauty parlor, to name a few, to find the compelling stories and eureka moments in American history. From bobby pins to in-line skates, from the jukebox to the fax machine, American Inventions is a captivating catalog of the famous and not-so-famous contraptions that have shaped the American way of life.

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About the Author:

The author of Inventing the 20th Century: 100 Inventions that Shaped the World and American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents (both available through NYU Press), Stephen Van Dulken is an expert curator in the Patents Information Service of The British Library.

From Publishers Weekly:

A patent librarian for the British Library, van Dulken (Inventing the 19th Century; Inventing the 20th Century) once again demonstrates his skill for compiling an impressively thorough catalogue of inventions. In this volume, he focuses on creations that were approved by the U.S. Patent Office during the last two centuries, puncturing his history with dozens of quaint black-and-white patent drawings. From the disposable diaper to bubble gum to Amazon’s one-click ordering system, the objects and ideas that van Dulken presents are by turns ingenious, amusing and perfectly sensible. Readers may be disappointed by his text’s awkward structure, however; each chapter consists of a dizzying narrative that races through a history of "eureka" moments, often mentioning as many as four patented objects on a page. (Subheads are curiously absent from the text—as is an index.) This structure (or lack of it) does highlight how a stream of seemingly unrelated patents affected the way that citizens lived out the American Dream, but it sometimes makes for exhausting reading. Van Dulken’s style is most successful in chapters whose themes can be easily contained and defined, such as "The Sporting Life," and less so in chapters with larger, more complex themes, such as "Working Towards the Paperless Office." Just below the surface of this winding narrative lie fascinating nuggets of information—like the origin of the catcher’s mask (which began as a modified fencer’s mask designed by the captain of the Harvard baseball team)—and these are sure to delight both trivia seekers and history buffs.
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Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English. Brand new Book. Every American knows that Thomas Alva Edison's most famous invention was the light bulb, but who invented the pregnancy test? How was the airbag invented? How was the first computer patented? Stephen van Dulken examines the way inventions and patents such as these have helped to create the "American Dream." Between 1911 and 1999, the number of registered U.S. patents rose from 1 million to 6 million. Showcasing dozens of those original patent drawings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, American Inventions shows how trends in the history of the United States are reflected in the patent records. For example, the invention of the Frisbee dates back to 1920 when a Yale University student recalled throwing around the pie tins of the nearby Frisbie Baking Company, but it was not until 1948 that Fred Morrison and Warren Francioni capitalized on Americans' new-found fascination with flying saucers by applying for a patent on a plastic flying disk. Van Dulken surveys the inventions and patents of the workplace, the home, the kitchen, the open road, and the beauty parlor, to name a few, to find the compelling stories and eureka moments in American history.From bobby pins to in-line skates, from the jukebox to the fax machine, American Inventions is a captivating catalog of the famous and not-so-famous contraptions that have shaped the American way of life. Seller Inventory # AAC9780814788134

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Book Description New York University Press, United States, 2004. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English. Brand new Book. Every American knows that Thomas Alva Edison's most famous invention was the light bulb, but who invented the pregnancy test? How was the airbag invented? How was the first computer patented? Stephen van Dulken examines the way inventions and patents such as these have helped to create the "American Dream." Between 1911 and 1999, the number of registered U.S. patents rose from 1 million to 6 million. Showcasing dozens of those original patent drawings from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, American Inventions shows how trends in the history of the United States are reflected in the patent records. For example, the invention of the Frisbee dates back to 1920 when a Yale University student recalled throwing around the pie tins of the nearby Frisbie Baking Company, but it was not until 1948 that Fred Morrison and Warren Francioni capitalized on Americans' new-found fascination with flying saucers by applying for a patent on a plastic flying disk. Van Dulken surveys the inventions and patents of the workplace, the home, the kitchen, the open road, and the beauty parlor, to name a few, to find the compelling stories and eureka moments in American history.From bobby pins to in-line skates, from the jukebox to the fax machine, American Inventions is a captivating catalog of the famous and not-so-famous contraptions that have shaped the American way of life. Seller Inventory # AAC9780814788134

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Book Description NYU Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 288 pages. Dimensions: 9.3in. x 5.8in. x 1.0in.Every American knows that Thomas Alva Edisons most famous invention was the light bulb, but who invented the pregnancy test How was the airbag invented How was the first computer patented Stephen van Dulken examines the way inventions and patents such as these have helped to create the American Dream. Between 1911 and 1999, the number of registered U. S. patents rose from 1 million to 6 million. Showcasing dozens of those original patent drawings from the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, American Inventions shows how trends in the history of the United States are reflected in the patent records. For example, the invention of the Frisbee dates back to 1920 when a Yale University student recalled throwing around the pie tins of the nearby Frisbie Baking Company, but it was not until 1948 that Fred Morrison and Warren Francioni capitalized on Americans new-found fascination with flying saucers by applying for a patent on a plastic flying disk. Van Dulken surveys the inventions and patents of the workplace, the home, the kitchen, the open road, and the beauty parlor, to name a few, to find the compelling stories and eureka moments in American history. From bobby pins to in-line skates, from the jukebox to the fax machine, American Inventions is a captivating catalog of the famous and not-so-famous contraptions that have shaped the American way of life. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780814788134

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