Cover image for Eureka! : great inventions and how they happened
Eureka! : great inventions and how they happened
Platt, Richard.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Kingfisher, [2003]

Physical Description:
95 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 28 cm
1: Everyday life and health -- The pendulum -- The theory of gravity -- The cotton gin -- Vaccination -- Ready-made buildings -- Cereal -- The vacuum cleaner -- Frozen food -- Antibiotics -- Nylon -- Teflon -- The microwave oven -- DNA fingerprinting -- Sequencing the cancer gene -- 2: Getting around -- The hot-air balloon -- Safety elevator -- The stump-jump plow -- Powered flight -- The hovercraft -- 3: Lenses and light -- The telescope -- Photography -- Polaroid -- 4: Electricity -- The lightning conductor -- The electrical battery -- The telephone -- The lightbulb -- The telephone exchange -- Radio -- Television -- 5: Patience and planning -- The "real" McCoy -- Sound recording -- The safety bicycle -- Video games -- The Walkman -- The Internet.
Reading Level:
IG 1050 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.5 3.0 80425.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 7.8 6 Quiz: 36925 Guided reading level: X.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
T15 .P623 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
T15 .P623 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Childrens Area
T15 .P623 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
T15 .P623 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction STEM
T15 .P623 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
T15 .P623 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Eureka! looks at the instances in which some of the world's greatest inventions were conceived and explains how creative genius has enabled some individuals to look right through a problem and come up with a solution that has eluded rivals.

From the excitement of Newton's historic discovery of the laws of gravity to the more recent creation of Teflon, this fascinating book illuminates an amazing variety of inventions, as well as the moments of inspiration (and sometimes perspiration) behind them.

Author Notes

Richard Platt has written more than 30 books, and he has been a children's author since 1992

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-Platt organizes his introductions to inventors and inventions around "eureka moments" when scientific breakthroughs occurred. Two-page topical entries include a brief biography of the scientist, an account of the pivotal event, and an explanation of what happened next. The author's 29 examples include such familiar stories as Eli Whitney and the cotton gin and Edward Jenner and the smallpox vaccination. Other accounts, such as that of Percy Spencer and the microwave, are more obscure. A final chapter considers inventions such as the Internet, which resulted from teamwork and long-term development rather than a single discovery. Although the author mentions that "the contributions of female and black inventors" have been undervalued, he does little to reverse the trend. He mentions no developments by women, and Elijah McCoy is the only African-American inventor included. Colorful photographs, reproductions, and drawings appear on every spread, sometimes resulting in a cluttered look. Small-print captions increase the visual confusion. Although not as well executed as Stephen Tomecek's What a Great Idea! (Scholastic, 2003), this volume offers enough different information to warrant purchase for report writers and browsers.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Sir Paul Nurse
Forewordp. 4
Contentsp. 7
Introductionp. 8
Chapter 1 Everyday Life and Healthp. 10
The pendulump. 12
The theory of gravityp. 14
The cotton ginp. 16
Vaccinationp. 18
Ready-made buildingsp. 20
Cerealp. 22
The vacuum cleanerp. 24
Frozen foodp. 26
Antibioticsp. 28
Nylonp. 30
Teflonp. 32
The microwave ovenp. 34
DNA fingerprintingp. 36
Sequencing the cancer genep. 38
Chapter 2 Getting Aroundp. 40
The hot-air balloonp. 42
Safety elevatorp. 44
The stump-jump plowp. 46
Powered flightp. 48
The hovercraftp. 50
Chapter 3 Lenses and Lightp. 52
The telescopep. 54
Photographyp. 56
Polaroidp. 58
Chapter 4 Electricityp. 60
The lightning conductorp. 62
The electrical batteryp. 64
The telephonep. 66
The lightbulbp. 68
The telephone exchangep. 70
Radiop. 72
Televisionp. 74
Chapter 5 Patience and Planningp. 76
The "real" McCoyp. 78
Sound recordingp. 80
The safety bicyclep. 82
Video gamesp. 84
The Walkmanp. 86
88The Internetp. 88
Chronology of inventorsp. 90
Glossaryp. 92
Indexp. 94
Acknowledgmentsp. 96