Don't look for trailblazers here: these innovators triumphed by refining existing inventions. Each of these eight contagiously exciting chapters demonstrates the achievement and entrepreneurial flair of a product polisher. Eastman, a former bottle-cap salesman, traveled with dogged determination to England to learn more about developing film. King Gillette, whose grandiose ideas matched his name, wanted to reorganize the world as a single corporation but settled for revolutionizing shaving habits. Members of the Otis family invented 50 patented features for their elevators; the Tupper story reflects marketing innovations; while the Caterpillar production demonstrates that necessity is the mother of invention: their new machinery was essential to the vast western expanses. Margaret Rudkin made a success of Pepperidge Farm with a nostalgic appeal to earlier values and stone-ground flour. Patent charts, old ads, and fascinating trivia add to the fun; glossary-like sidebars amplify concepts like ""sole proprietorship."" A delightful exploration of the idiosyncratic and various ways in which individuals have shaped technology and technology in its turn has influenced society. Bibliography; index.