We take thousands of inventions for granted, using them daily and enjoying their benefits. But how much do we really know about their origins and development? This absorbing new book tells the stories behind the inventions that have changed the world, with details about-- Convenience items, such as safety pins, toothbrushes, and bifocals Weapons of war, including explosives, gunpowder, and shrapnel shells Industrial advances, such as the steam engine and the power loom for weaving Transportation advances, including the airplane, the diesel engine, the automobile, and the air-inflated rubber tire Electronic marvels, including color television, the microprocessor, the personal computer, the compact disc, and the cell phone Medical advances, from antiseptic surgery to the electron microscope...and much more. Inventors and pioneers of science and technology, including Eli Whitney, James Watt, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Bessemer, Thomas Edison, J.B. Dunlop, the Wright Brothers, Werner von Braun, Jonas Salk, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and many others are also discussed. Fascinating photos and illustrations complement authoritative summaries of each invention, and remarkable quotations from many of the inventors add to this chronicle of human ingenuity that began some 6,000 years ago with the invention of the wheel.