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House of Invention: The Secret Life of Everyday Products

     by Lindsay, David

House of Invention: The Secret Life of Everyday Products

The stories of the inventions selected by Lindsay for inclusion in this book are arranged according to the room of the house in which they are likely to be used. Thus, in the bathroom, the reader finds stories of the disposable razor, Vaseline, and the personal care products of Indianapolis businesswoman Madam C. J. Walker. The stories of frozen food and Kellogg's Corn Flakes are found in the kitchen. Other products from other rooms include bank notes, locks and keys, the pencil, the intermittent windshield wiper, television, solitaire, and the brassiere. And although Lindsay has arranged inventions by room, he states in his introduction to The Garage, "theoretically, every invention in this book could find its way into the average garage. This is the graveyard of commerce, where all good products go to decompose‚Ķ" 

This fascinating and easy-to-read book is a delightful introduction to the inventions of a variety of everyday products. Author of The Patent Files: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Invention, David Lindsay has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, and The Village Voice.

Reviewed by mc, 1/01. Other reviews by mc.