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Edison’s Concrete Piano

Flying Tanks, Six-Nippled Sheep, Walk-on-Water Shoes, and 12 Other Flops from Great Inventors

Judy Wearing

272 pages
Ecw Press

Not even geniuses get it right the first time . . . An “entertaining” look at the failures of great inventors (Booklist)

From Alexander Graham Bell’s multi-nippled sheep to Leonardo da Vinci’s walk-on-water shoes, these ludicrous ideas and faulty designs will leave you with a smile on your face, and the reminder that even the very best of us make mistakes

To achieve great things, you have to be willing to take risks — and as Edison’s Concrete Piano reveals, some of the most famous names in history experienced plenty of flops and face-plants in the course of their careers. Thomas Edison, for example, not only revolutionized the world with the light bulb, but also designed a concrete piano, a nonoperational helicopter made from box kites and piano wire, and a machine to speak to the dead. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, actually devoted most of his time to his sheep farm in Nova Scotia — devising a multi-nippled sheep somewhere along the way. You’ll also read about Leonardo da Vinci’s walk-on-water shoes, George Washington Carver’s miracle peanut cure, and much more. The ludicrous ideas, faulty designs, and offbeat hobbies in this volume will inspire laughs — and serve as a reminder that even the very best minds make mistakes.

Author Bio
Judy Wearing is an award-winning educator and author with a PhD in biology from Oxford University. She works as a science education consultant and develops activities and books for children. This is her first popular science book. She lives in Newburgh, Ontario.