Skip to main content

Spring/Summer 1990

Volume 6, Issue 1


Polypropylene was invented by many people in many places almost simultaneously.

Eliphalet Nott saw the future and tried to gamble his way there

A short, distortionfree history of high fidelity
The transatlantic ocean liner reached its ultimate refinement in the United States —when the age of international sea travel was already ending
How a twenty-five-mile stretch of California farmland evolved —in the course of a century—to become the heart of America’s electronics industry

How do you make perfectly round lead balls for shooting? With a truly simple technology that has hardly changed for centuries.

An invention must be all three to get a patent, and even then it may have trouble. The story of two hundred years of U.S. patent law and its impossible but necessary task of defining what is an invention.


We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support America's only magazine of the history of engineering and innovation, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to Invention & Technology.


Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.