Canada's Greatest Inventions and Innovations

Book - 2013
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A look at great inventions and inventors from Canada's past.
Publisher: Toronto : Dundurn, c2013.
ISBN: 9781459708525
Branch Call Number: 609.71 MELAD
Characteristics: 218 p. : ill.


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StratfordLibrary Jul 24, 2013

From medicine to agriculture, sports to theatre, small hand-held tools to a complex machine used on the International Space Station, Canadian inventions have helped to change the world. In his book Breakthrough! Canada’s Greatest Inventions and Innovations, author John Melady of Egmondville gives us a glimpse into the background of these discoveries and the individuals responsible for them. The short biographies of each inventor add an element of human interest, offering readers a clear understanding of the inventor, the importance of their contribution, and how their inventions came to be. Through 22 chapters the author introduces inventors from all parts of Canada, and Stratford readers may be especially interested in the chapter about Tom Patterson, founder of the Stratford Festival. Beginning with a historical background of the city, Melady sets the stage by describing a young Tom Patterson who envisioned a theatre in his hometown where Shakespearean plays could be performed. Upon his return home after serving in World War II, he shared his dream with friends and then eventually politicians and people of influence. Readers will be fascinated to discover the many challenges that he had to overcome in laying the foundation for the world-class theatre we know today as the Stratford Festival. Another interesting Stratford connection in “Breakthrough” can be found in the chapter written about Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans, inventors of the light bulb. The partners from Toronto connected with a famed American, Thomas Edison, who as a teenager worked as a telegrapher for the Grand Trunk Railway in Stratford. Edison bought the rights to their invention, and often is given credit for inventing the light bulb. “The two (Woodward and Evans) were up to something great, but neither gained much for it,” writes Melady. Throughout this book the author’s conversational writing style makes it easy to absorb the wealth of information found in each chapter. He engages the reader with intriguing stories about Canadian inventions such as the snow blower, a crash position indicator for airplanes known as the “black box”, a machine built to travel across snow in the winter, goalie masks, the Robertson screwdriver and the Canadarm. Note: John Melady will be guest speaker at “The Places You’ll Go”, a space-themed event hosted by Stratford Public Library at the Stratford Rotary Complex on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 7 pm. Doors open at 6 pm and the author will be available to sign copies of “Breakthrough” as well as two other books “Maple Leaf In Space” and “Canadians in Space: The Forever Frontier”. Free tickets for this event are available at Stratford Public Library or at the door.

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