November 14 Birthday: ROBERT FULTON: FROM SUBMARINE TO STEAMBOAT

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.

August 19 Birthday: The Boy Who Invented TV, Philo Farnsworth

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

Overview

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

before RCA’s.

July 19 Birthday: MICROWAVE MAN: PERCY SPENCER AND HIS SIZZLING INVENTION

Percy Spencer, inventor
b. July 19, 1894
d. Sept. 8, 1970

MICROWAVE MAN: PERCY SPENCER AND HIS SIZZLING INVENTION
(Enslow, 2014)

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.”