Book Looks at Inventors and Obscure Geniuses

A portrait of John Fitch, who invented the steamboat toward the end of the 18th century.

A portrait of John Fitch, who invented the steamboat toward the end of the 18th century. Bettmann/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Bettmann/Corbis

Historian Harold Evans talks about great inventions by Americans. Evans' book, They Made America, profiles well-known inventors, and some obscure geniuses — the inventors of the gas mask, the credit rating and the retail franchise. Hear Evans and NPR's Steve Inskeep.

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Books Featured In This Story

They Made America

From the Steam Engine to the Seach Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators

by Harold Evans, Gail Buckland and David Lefer

Hardcover, 496 pages | purchase

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They Made America
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From the Steam Engine to the Seach Engine: Two Centuries of Innovators
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