Cover image for The patent files : dispatches from the frontiers of invention
The patent files : dispatches from the frontiers of invention
Lindsay, David, 1957-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Lyons Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xv, 232 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
T21 .L463 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A collection of lighthearted essays exploring the eccentric world of inventors, inventions, and patents. This world is peopled with inventors including a NASA consultant challenged with designing a solar-powered spaceship, and the father of the "no-hands" motorcycle. Their successes and failures lead into discussion of deeper issues behind inventions, such as the nature of knowledge, the meaning of originality, and the reality of human limitations. No index. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This collection of Lindsay's columns written for an alternative New York newspaper makes an ideal introduction to the world of inventors and their inventions. Some of the ideas here are pretty grand--a magnetic train, an antigravity machine--and many, like the Feelphonics Acoustisuit (which would enable the deaf to "hear" music), seem a little odd, but they all have one thing in common: they are all conceived by intelligent, passionate people utterly convinced of the value of their creations. Along the way, Lindsay dispells the myth of the "crazy inventor" and examines such controversial issues as the debate over patenting new medical techniques. The book's only drawback is that its essays are fairly short, and some readers might be left wanting more. Still, as an appetizer, it's perfect. --David Pitt

Library Journal Review

Fifty of Lindsay's columns from the New York Press are gathered here in seven broad categories. As Lindsay's regular newspaper readers know, these essays concentrate on inventors, their often eccentric lives, and their fascinating creations. The topics range from Doppler radar to electronic books to solar power. Each essay, written between 1993 and 1998, averages four pages in length. Lindsay's writing is excellent and often delightfully humorous; he keeps his technical descriptions concise and accessible to all readers. Recommended for large collections.‘Michael D. Cramer, Raleigh, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.