Discover some of the most innovative of the 6.5 million patents that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted since Thomas Jefferson issued the first one in 1790. Updated and reformatted from the original 2004 edition, Ingenious Patents presents each device along with background about the inventor, interesting sidebars and history, and an excerpt from the original patent application. Liberally sprinkled throughout are photos of original models and patent diagrams created by the inventors themselves and annotated to show exactly how each item works.Entries include creative commercial successes in fields as diverse as medicine, aeronautics, computing, agriculture, and consumer goods. Readers are certain to find a topic of interest here, whether it is the history behind the patent for a Pez dispenser, cathode ray tube, kitty litter, DNA fingerprinting, or the design of a Fender Stratocaster guitar.
Jay Bennett, an editor at PopularMechanics.com, has also written for Smithsonian, Popular Science, Outside Magazine, and Major League Baseball. He lives in Brooklyn.Ben Ikenson is a freelance writer. His articles on wildlife conservation have appeared in regional, national, and international magazines, including Americas, Earth Island Journal, Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine, North American Sportsman Magazine, New Mexico Magazine, and American Indian Report.