THE INVENTION OF ORDINARY THINGS by Don L. Wulffson

THE INVENTION OF ORDINARY THINGS

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Odd facts and curiosities connected with the origins or history of 28 ordinary things, from shoes, forks, and chewing gum to TV and cars. Wulffson's sentences tend to begin with ""incredibly,"" ""interestingly,"" or ""believe it or not,"" and to end with exclamation points. His items are geared to amuse trivia collectors who couldn't care less about cultural context or the technical aspect of how things work. Thus Wulffson reports that a paper manufacturer used to import mummies ""for the sole purpose"" of using their wrappings to make paper; that a British postmaster general called the notion of adhesive postage stamps a ""wild and visionary scheme""; and that the first book printed with movable type was Diamond of Sutra, published in Korea in 1409, almost 50 years before Gutenberg's Bible. (We also hear of a book written in the author's blood, and of an early requirement that purchasers of paperbacks throw away the books when finished with them.) Browsable, but dispensable.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1981
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard