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INVENTORS

Books | Web Sites

Books

For Teachers

The Book of Inventions by Ian Harrison. (National Geographic, 2004)
A detailed compendium of inventions, inventors, and their histories.

Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough. (Simon & Schuster, 1993)
The personal and public story of the Roeblings and the building of the bridge.

New York: An Illustrated History by Ric Burns, James Sanders, and Lisa Ades. (Knopf, 2003)
Over 500 illustrations enhance the narrative of the history of the city in this companion volume to the PBS series.

Old Brooklyn in Early Photographs, 1865-1929 by William Younger. (Dover, 1978)
A wealth of photographs showing the variety and vitality of Brooklyn's early years.

A Picture History of the Brooklyn Bridge: With 167 Prints and Photographs by Mary J. Shapiro. (Dover, 1983)
The book presents an illustrated account of the building of the bridge with contemporary photos and engravings.

Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries by Rodney Carlisle. (Wiley, 2004)
Filled with facts, this is a look at the origins of 418 inventions and 100 discoveries about nature.

They Made America: Two Centuries of Innovators from the Steam Engine to the Search Engine by Harold Evans. (Little, Brown, 2004)
A companion to the PBS Series, this book profiles 79 of America's leading inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs.


For Students

Fiction

101 Ways to Bug Your Teacher by Lee Wardlaw. (Dial, 2004)
Steve "Sneeze" Wyatt is trying to come up with a project for the History Faire. Fortunately, he has a great group of friends that he can count on for help.

The Amazing Thinking Machine by Dennis Haseley. (Dial, 2002)
Patrick and his older brother Roy escape the troubles of the Great Depression by inventing a thinking machine that can answer any question it is asked.

Ben and Me by Robert Lawson. (Little, Brown, 1988)
A classic story about Benjamin Franklin and his inventions, told from the perspective of his pet mouse.

Clever-lazy, the Girl Who Invented Herself by Joan Bodger. (Tundra, 1997)
Set in ancient China, this is a story about the invention of gunpowder.

The Edison Mystery by Dan Gutman. (Simon & Schuster, 2001)
Qwerty Stevens, Back in Time series. Set in the 21st century, Qwerty discovers a box buried by Thomas Edison. Does it really contain a machine that will allow communication with people from the past?

Hey, Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge? by Jon Scieszka. (Puffin, 2002)
When the Trio gets stuck on top of the half-finished Brooklyn Bridge, they have to find a way our of 1877 Brooklyn without un-inventing the lightbulb, the phonograph, and — oh no! — baseball!

A House of Tailors by Patricia Reilly Giff. (Wendy Lamb Books, 2004)
As the Brooklyn Bridge is being constructed, 13-year-old Dina tries to adjust to her new home in Brooklyn after immigrating from her native Germany. For older readers.

Leonardo and the Flying Boy by Laurence Anholt. (Barron's, 2000)
Zoro, Leonardo da Vinci's apprentice, tells about his master's drawings, writings, paintings, and inventions. For younger readers.

Leonardo's Hand by Wick Downing. (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)
Leonard Smith, who has come to live with Anna Swedenborge after many foster homes, teams up with her granddaughter Julie and a mysterious 500-year-old spirit to enter an inventor's contest. For older readers.

Lights, Camera, Edison! by Gretchen McMasters. (Stargazer, 2004)
A creature named Aesock takes Benjamin and Olivia back to the time of Thomas Edison. (Note: This book is written in Spanish as well as English — just turn it around!)

Twenty-one Elephants by Phil Bildner. (Simon & Schuster, 2004)
Now that the Brooklyn Bride is finally finished, Hannah wants to walk across it, but everyone thinks it's too dangerous.

Nonfiction

African American Inventors by Otha Richard Sullivan. (Wiley, 1998)
The "Black Stars" series. Chronicles the achievements of 25 innovators, from George Washington Carver to John P. Moon, inventor of floppy disks.

Brainstorm! The Stories of Twenty American Kid Inventors by Tom Tucker. (Sunburst, 1998)
From colonial days to the present, ingenious kids have invented lots of things from the practical (Chester Greenwood's earmuffs) to the purely delicious (Frank W. Esperson's Popsicle).

Bridges: From My Side to Yours by Jan Adkins (Roaring Brook, 2002)
From simple stepping stones to complex reinforced steel and concrete, this book uses pen-and-ink drawings to present a variety of bridges from different perspectives.

Brooklyn Bridge by Lynn Curlee. (Atheneum, 2001)
The tragedies and triumphs that are part of the story of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge are depicted in stunning paintings.

The Brooklyn Bridge by Elizabeth Mann. (Firefly, 1996)
Without the talented and determined Roebling family — John, Washington, and Emily — the bridge would never have been completed.

Girls Think of Everything! Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thinmesh. (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)
Girls really do think of everything: windshield wipers, Kevlar®, Liquid Paper®, paper bags, and so much more!
Another book by the same author:

The Sky's the Limit: Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls by Catherine Thinmesh.

Inventing the Future: A Photobiography of Thomas Alva Edison by Marfé Ferguson Delano. (National Geographic, 2002)
Photographs document Thomas Edison from his childhood in Ohio and Michigan to his laboratory in New Jersey.

Inventors by Martin W. Sandler. (HarperTrophy, 1999)
Posters, paintings, and photographs show the range of inventions that Americans have given the world: washing machines, airplanes, communications systems, and more.

The Kids' Invention Book by Arlene Erlbach. (Lerner, 1997)
Thirteen kids and their inventions are described and pictured in photographs. Includes information on applying for patents, entering invention contests, and other practical advice.

Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Foltz Jones. (Doubleday, 1994)
Accidents have produced all sorts of useful things — from paper towels to penicillin — in this account of 37 inventions.

New York Is English, Chattanooga Is Creek by Chris Raschka. (Atheneum, 2005)
This explanation of the names of 41 cities helps readers understand what makes the United States so unique.

So You Want to Be an Inventor? by Judith St. George. (Philomel, 2002)
Humorous pictures and intriguing anecdotes introduce a variety of American and European inventors.

What a Great Idea! Inventions that Changed the World by Stephen Tomecek. (Scholastic, 2003)
A history of the origins of important inventions through the ages.



Web Sites

The Big Bridge Scheme: The Building and Impact of the Brooklyn Bridge
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/ntti/resources/lessons/history.html
This lesson plan helps students study the development, construction, and legacy of the Brooklyn Bridge, and contains primary sources.

Building Big
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/
Explore large structures and what it takes to build them with BUILDING BIG™, a five-part PBS television series and Web site.

The Inventions of Thomas Edison
http://www.inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bledison.htm
The site provides articles and links about Thomas Edison's life and inventions.

Mothers of Invention
http://www.historychannel.com/classroom/guides/
Highlights women inventors from the 18th century until today, and includes science, technology, and consumer goods.

A Science Odyssey
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/
This site has an abundance of information about people and discoveries of the past century.

Super Bridge
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bridge/
This companion site to the television show "Super Bridge," chronicles the building of the state-of-the-art Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River. Test your engineering skills by trying to match the right bridge to the right location.

Thomas Edison's Homepage
http://www.thomasedison.com/
This site contains quotes, photographs, and a biography of this prolific inventor.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office
http://www.uspto.gov/
This site contains news and information about inventions, patents, and policies. A special section for kids includes a history of inventions and a calendar that shows what was trademarked or patented each day of the year.