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Ethlie a Vare

Patently female

The typical image of an inventor is of a man working alone in his laboratory (which will be something of a mess) thinking up devices which no one has thought of before. In Patently Female Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek continue their challenge, started in Mothers of Invention, to this gender stereotype.

Thus we quickly find out about all sorts of things which have been invented by women - liquid paper, vacuum canning, the paper bag making machine and lots and lots more. The book has chapters on inventions relating to medicine, and to agriculture and the environment. There are also chapters on games invented by women and on inventions devised by schoolgirls. And predictably there are inventions related to things which have traditionally been done by women such as housework - it will probably be no surprise that a woman invented the pedal-opened trash can.

But the book didn't entirely shake my image of the lone male inventor in his lab, particularly if you are thinking about the 'mad inventor' type of person. For one thing the authors seemed too cast their net too widely sometimes, including scientists and computer programmers rather than strictly inventors. Also, although the authors point out that often a man gets more credit than he should, I can't help feeling that the case of the Bissell carpet sweeper may be ilumminating here - Mrs Bissell ran the company which sold it for a long while, but it was Mr Bissell who originally built it, thus earning the title of inventor.

So in the end I would say that you will get the most from this book if you ignore the 'Battle of the Sexes' element, and just concentrate on some of the fascinating stories of how some of the things we know so well came into being.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 240 pages  
ISBN: 0471023345
Salesrank: 335770
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2001 Wiley
Amazon price $15.00
Marketplace:New from $11.04:Used from $1.98
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 240 pages  
ISBN: 0471023345
Salesrank: 2000663
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2001 John Wiley & Sons
Amazon price £23.99
Marketplace:New from £14.09:Used from £1.18
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 240 pages  
ISBN: 0471023345
Salesrank: 1389962
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2001 Wiley
Amazon price CDN$ 36.64
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 23.34:Used from CDN$ 1.38
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
Discover the trials & triumphs of great female inventors

Astrolabe
Automatic Dishwasher
Barbie Doll
Buffered Aspirin
COBOL
Cotton Gin
Disposable Phone
Drip Coffeemaker
Fabric Softener Sheets
Hang Glider
IV Fluids
Jell-O
Kevlar
Mars Rover
Nystatin
PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
Protease Inhibitors
Rolfing
Smallpox Variolation
Space Suit
Spic & Span
Tract Housing
Vacuum Canning
Windshield Wipers
Zig-Zag Sewing Machine
Zovirax

and many, many more!

Reviews for Mothers of Invention by Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek

"It's a fascinating and gratifying book..It gives us a positive view of women's inventiveness, from the frivolous to the noble."
-The New York Times Book Review

"It is the wide spectrum of female humanity and ability in this book that makes it an especially valuable addition to the growing popular library on the accomplishments and work lives of women."
-Los Angeles Times

"An informative collection of talent, trivia, and history, Mothers of Invention will interest most anyone. More importantly, though, it will serve to inspire girls and women of all ages. For that reason, it belongs on the shelves of schools and public libraries everywhere."
-Tampa Tribune

"Wonderful..A book to be dipped into and sampled at one's leisure."
-The Chicago Biweekly

"This fascinating volume will find a place in the browsing sections of both adult and YA collections.recommended."
-Library Journal

One of the "Best Books for Young Adults,"
American Library Association, 1988