Robert Fulton, inventor
Nov. 14, 1765-Feb. 24, 1815
Robert Fulton: From Submarine to Steamboat by Steven Kroll, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Holiday House, 1999)
Fulton’s name is synonymous with steamboats. But first he was a sign painter, air-gun inventor and apprentice jeweler. Read all about his life and inventions in this picture book biography.
Read more about Robert Fulton on this site from the University of Rochester.
Philo Farnsworth, inventor
b. August 19, 1906
d. March 11, 1971
THE BOY WHO INVENTED TV (Random House, 2014)
by Kathleen Krull
illustrated by Greg Couch
An inspiring true story of a boy genius.
Plowing a potato field in 1920, a
14-year-old farm boy from Idaho saw in the parallel rows of overturned
earth a way to “make pictures fly through the air.” This boy was not a
magician; he was a scientific genius and just eight years later he made
his brainstorm in the potato field a reality by transmitting the world’s
first television image. This fascinating picture-book biography of
Philo Farnsworth covers his early interest in machines and electricity,
leading up to how he put it all together in one of the greatest
inventions of the 20th century. The author’s afterword discusses the
lawsuit Farnsworth waged and won against RCA when his high school
science teacher testified that Philo’s invention of television was years
Joseph “Joe” Switzer, inventor
Aug. 16, 1915-c.1973/4
The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tony Persiani (Charlesbridge, 2008)
Here’s a vibrant picture book bio about the brothers who invented eye-popping colors.
Take a look at this “Day-Glow” fish.
John Ericsson, inventor
July 31, 1803-March 8, 1889
Thank You Very Much, Captain Ericsson by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, illustrated by Andrew Glass (Holiday House, 2004)
Ericsson’s inventions centered on the sea. Read about his life and passion for ships in this biography.
Invent.org offers a Hall of Fame Inventor Profile of Ericsson.
Percy Spencer, inventor
b. July 19, 1894
d. Sept. 8, 1970
MICROWAVE MAN: PERCY SPENCER AND HIS SIZZLING INVENTION
by Sara Latta
Summary: “Most people love microwave popcorn or a warm snack from the microwave. But before 1975, homes did not have this great device! How did Percy Spencer go from a small town mill worker to the inventor of one of the most popular devices in the world? Find out how Spencer’s love of science and machines, along with his strong work ethic, helped him achieve a patent for the invention of the microwave oven.”