Skip to main content

Winter 1994

Volume 9, Issue 3


For its first two centuries, New York—like almost all big cities—suffered along with inadequate and unhealthful water supplies. The city finally authorized a water system in 1774, but didn’t get its first drink for nearly seventy years.
At Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, begun as Henry Ford’s personal monument to American ingenuity, the technological past emerges anew

Horace Goldin wanted to keep people from stealing the magic trick he invented, so he took out a patent. It worked, but ultimately it cost him a magician’s greatest asset—secrecy.

Inventing the sewing machine wasn’t nearly as hard as getting society to accept it— it was supposed to put thousands of poor women out of work
Jack Northrop’s lifelong ambition was to build an airplane that would be all wing, with no fuselage or tail. He came tantalizingly close, but eventually his failure broke him.

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.