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Jeremy Coller and Christine Chamberlain
225 pages (September 30, 2009); 5.6MB download
Infinite Ideas; ISBN: 9781906821258
"The lives loves and deaths of splendidly unreasonable inventors" is a brilliant analysis of 30 inventors who changed the world. Coller observes that personality type dictates the potential for success in bringing inventions to fruition. Few people have the full package of skills required to make a success of their idea and failure results when an individual who excels in one area of competence attempts to become all things. Coller focuses on the people rather the inventions and the way in which they did or did not succeed in bringing their visions to fruition.
On one level "The lives loves and deaths of splendidly unreasonable inventors" is a collection of fascinating stories; on another level these stories provoke an unconventional look at the inventive process that created such life-changing products as the telephone, the sewing machine, dynamite, the cinema, the safety razor and vulcanized rubber for tyres. Only historical figures are included, allowing Coller to examine the complete arc of their lives, from early ideas and experiments to success, and often eventual failure. Each of the stories, all of which are personal, colourful and packed with quirky nuggets of information, illustrates a particular aspect of the inventive personality.