“Humans have always created incredible things,” writes author Jean-Marie Donat in an introduction to Gadgets, Games and Gizmos.
Even things like paper clips and toilet roll, which we perhaps don’t think of as ‘inventions’ any more, were once novel ideas and their designs closely guarded secrets. With these incredible inventions came the need to legally protect them and officially claim ownership of their design – a process that usually begins with submitting a patent application.
Gadgets, Games and Gizmos is like a collection of origin stories. The book brings together original concept sketches, drawings and blueprints that were submitted by inventors along with patent applications for some of the world’s best known inventions. Visuals are accompanied by snippets of information about each invention, which make for an enjoyable read and will likely serve you well in a pub quiz.
Inventions are grouped into chapters based on their use. There is a chapter on designs for Sports and Leisure and another on Science and Technology. Particularly nostalgia inducing is the Games and Toys section, which includes drawings of the first Barbie doll as well as Lego bricks, Mr Potato Head, the Slinky and more.
Gadgets, Games and Gizmos: 122 Inventions that Changed the World is published by Summersdale and costs £14.99. You can order copies here.