Skip navigation
Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262025089 | 221 pp. | 9 x 11 in | 250 illus., color throughout| November 2001
Paperback | $24.95 Trade | £17.95 | ISBN: 9780262523493 | 221 pp. | 9 x 11 in | 250 illus., color throughout| March 2003

Inventing Modern America

From the Microwave to the Mouse
Foreword by Lester Thurow
Introduction by James Burke


Inventing Modern America profiles thirty-five inventors who exemplify the rich technological creativity of the United States over the past century. The range of their contributions is broad. They have helped transform our homes, our healthcare, our work, our environment, and the way we travel and communicate.

The inventors profiled include such well-known figures as George Washington Carver, Henry Ford, and Steve Wozniak, as well as unsung technological pioneers such as Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of Kevlar, and Wilson Greatbatch, inventor of the first implantable cardiac pacemaker.

Inventing Modern America is designed to create excitement about invention through the personal stories of these American scientists, technologists, and researchers. It is accessible enough to engage high school students yet wide-ranging and interesting enough to appeal to anyone who has ever wondered where microwave ovens and traffic lights come from.

The book was developed by the Lemelson-MIT Program for Invention and Innovation, whose mission is to inspire a new generation of American scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

About the Author

David E. Brown is a New York-based freelance writer and editor.


“A well-written, lavishly illustrated success, and a cheerful one at that...”—Roy Herbert, New Scientist


Inventing Modern America is full of fascinating adventure stories about science, engineering, and technology. The book shows American inventors to be as diverse and as interesting as the things they invent.”
Henry Petroski, A. S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History, Duke University, and author of Invention by Design
“A fascinating look at the individuals whose genius is at the heart of the inventing process—the inventors themselves.”
Q. Todd Dickinson, Partner, Howrey Simon Arnold and White, LLP, former US Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks


Winner in the category of Science in the 2002 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) presented by Independent Publisher Magazine.