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(Read an earlier edition.)
Most inventors had the same pattern in common. Generally, they were average people. They had an idea, invested all their time and money, suffered a lot, and finally came up with something new. The majority were able to reap a decent reward for their sacrifice and labors. These stories inspire one to think that there are always better ways of accomplishing something.
This isn't just about the inventions themselves, it is also about the inventor. This gives the historical background of the invention (although these are not the most up-to-date models -- e.g. reaper vs. combine) and the personal character of the inventor. I love the pen and ink drawings to illustrate the stories.