Even inventors have bad days. Take Thomas Edison for example, who revolutionized our world with the light bulb and†the phonograph.He also created a concrete piano and a machine to speak to the dead. Edison was not the only one to engineer a complete flop now and again; in fact, failure amid greatness is the norm Ė not the exception. From Alexander Graham Bellís multi-nippled sheep to Leonardo da Vinciís walk-on-water shoes, these ludicrous ideas will leave you with a smile on your face, and a new perspective on the meaning of success.


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Great Inventors and Failure: An Introduction

Understand Physics: Leonardo da Vinciís Walk-on-Water Shoes

Start with a Good Idea: James Wattís Apparatus for Administering Medicinal Airs

Write it Down: Robert Hookeís Flying Machine Powered by Artificial Muscle

Give People What They Want: Thomas Edisonís Concrete Piano

Try Not to Be Too Weird: Nikola Teslaís Earthquake Machine

Donít Kill Your Customers: Henry Fordís Flipping Fordson

Be on the Side of the Successful: George Washington Carverís Miracle Peanut Cure

Be Sure the Market Is Ready: Alexander Graham Bellís Six-Nippled Sheep

Have Adequate Funding: Elihu Thomsonís Quartz Telescope Mirror

Pay Attention to Details: Danny Hillisís Paint Can Robot

Be Agreeable:† J. Walter Christieís Flying Tank

Make Sure You Arenít the Only One Who Thinks Itís a Good Idea:†George Davisonís Popcorn Volcano

Please the Buyers and the Sellers: Jerome Lemelsonís Flying Balloon

Stick to What You Know, Mostly: Stanley Masonís Chinese Tallow Tree Plantation

Avoid Accidents: Buckminster Fullerís Fish-Shaped People Carrier

Have Perfect Timing: Leo Szilard & Albert Einstein's Howling Refrigerator

Table of Contents
The Concrete Piano Experiment

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