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BRIGHT IDEAS by Ann Rossi

BRIGHT IDEAS

The Age of Invention in America, 1870-1910

By Ann Rossi

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7922-8276-0
Publisher: National Geographic

This latest entry in the Crossroads America series looks back to that fertile period when inventions, from the light bulb to the airplane, from skyscrapers to mass-produced automobiles, significantly changed our country’s patterns of work and life. Though Rossi does round up such usual suspects as Edison and Bell, she focuses nearly as much on the achievements of African-American inventors like Granville T. Woods and Lewis Latimer and of such women as Margaret Knight, who patented a paper-bag maker, and Amanda Theodosia Jones (vacuum canning). She also mentions the appearance of blue jeans, Tootsie Rolls and other still-ubiquitous items. Supported by a generous sheaf of period portraits, diagrams, prints and patent illustrations, this quick tally of names, techniques and devices is well endowed with reader appeal, though it’s not going to stand alone as a source for reports. (glossary, Web sites) (Nonfiction. 10-12)