These nine stories are about inventors whose discoveries were based on a close observation of nature. Each story seems to underline the fact that almost any man-made mechanism is a gross imitation of an intricate, natural one. Each emphasizes the patience and persistence that inventors bring to their work after the first flash of insight into nature's ways. An excellent feature of the book is the way the authors has sought out recent inventions that fit this pattern. Included are: Mikimoto, the poor Japanese peddler who rediscovered the method of pearl culture by trial and error with thousands of oysters; Clarence Birdseye working endlessly to perfect a program for preserving fresh food by freezing after his almost accidental discovery of the possibility in the Arctic; the Sperry gyroscope and the automatic pilot evolved from the observation of natural phenomena; and De Mestral's discovery of the way burdock burrs are put together which has led to an almost invisible zipper that has brought a virtual revolution to clothing design. The stories are well told with a read-on quality that should have special appeal for the mechanically oriented. Seen without the..