In 2013, Make: contributor and friend Steve Hoefer created a wonderful, but short-lived video series, called Make: Inventions. The idea was to get hands-on with the history of inventions by looking at patents and patent drawings and attempting to build the devices based on these documents and the historical record.
Steve did a really wonderful job of establishing the problem the device was designed to address, what some of the design trade-offs were, the story behind the patented invention itself, and what the patent documents revealed about the design (or didn’t). From there, he would detail his version of the build and then discuss how and why it worked, issues he discovered, how he might do it better, and so. It was a very well put together program and Steve obviously put a ton of work into it.
I really enjoyed the series the first time around and enjoyed re-watching it in putting together this piece. I hope you enjoy it, too.
The Etch A Sketch
Pin Tumbler Lock
Building Morse’s First Telegraph
The Safety Elevator
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