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Millions from the Mind


If you do find errors in the book (or this web site), please let us know about them via one of the routes on the Contact Us page or via this e-mail link/address: E-mail address image, click to e-mail or type in your e-mail program's 'To:' field. Thank You! Reports of any errors, even simple typos, will be appreciated but most important are any errors of fact or law. When reporting a significant fact or law error we would very much appreciate it if you also provided one or more solid sources where we can verify the correctness of your correction. We, of course, reserve the right to accept other authorities' versions of "facts."

One more note: As you are cautioned on page 2 of the book "Keep reading before you assume too much" in reference to the common misperception that "Samuel Colt's first U.S. revolver patent" really means "Colt invented the revolver." Colt did invent "a" revolver and his first patent on a revolver was not the first patent on "a" revolver in the U.S. Also be careful before you report an error to double check the exact wording in the text, it often precisely limits what it says to what is known for sure despite the fact that sources can be found that go beyond exactly what is stated in the words of the text.

Color Chart

  • Black: explanations and general text
  • Green and Italic: no impact errors
  • Orange and Bold: minor impact errors
  • Maroon and Italic and Bold: correct when written but now changed
  • Red and Italic and Large Bold: major impact errors

Here are the errors and corrections that have turned up so far.

Throughout book: All footnotes - the footnotes did not make it into the comprehensive index (all the text in the graphics, except patent image text, is indexed in the comprehensive index).

Throughout book: Zeller is the correct (we believe) spelling, not "Zoeller". Our apologies to Noel and Adele Zeller of Zelco Inc. P. 37, 38, 76, 77, 258, 259, 264, 265, and 302.

P. vii first entry under "Tidbits": Davis' - missing apostrophy

P. x, next to last in first column: Fry's - add the posessive "'s".

P. 31, illustration text: Henry M. - drop the period after "Henry".

P. 47, 6th paragraph: I've listed six - correct "nine" to "six".

P. 47, illustration text: U.S.'s - make "U.S." posessive

P.70, illustration text 2nd paragraph: The patent - instead of "That patent" at beginning of next to last sentence.

P.76, illustration text: Three wheels, four - third line from end instead of "Two wheels, three".

P. 88, illustration text: ice/street - should not have a space after the "/".

P. 91, first paragraph of illustration box: Inventor Assistance Center - the PTO has changed the word "Office" to "Center".

P. 183, illustration text: racks, pawls, - period after "racks" should be replaced with a comma in first illustration column paragraph.

P. 231, illustration text: noticed - missing "d" at end of first line of illustration text.

P. 256, "Davis" entry: Davis, Jacob W. / Levi Strauss & Co. - missing "/".

P. 258, "Zoeller" entry: Zeller - extra "o" (at least, all their patents spell the name "Zeller"). (See also "Throughout book" notes above.)

P. 258, "Zoeller" entry: book light - not "book bight".

Inside back cover, Rabinow quote: potential, - a comma should follow the word "potential" in Jacob Rabinow's quote.

Back cover, Casper quote: now - "now" in the third line of Gary Casper's quote should probably be italicized.

Just for sport the following is a paragraph from the original edition of Millions from the Mind that gave us days of fits when doing the fact checking for this edition. You will find many of the supposed "facts" (marked in red, bold, italic) below in many sources but we could not verify them in sources deemed reliable so we used "real" facts that we do deem reliable. The fixed paragraph as it now stands can be seen on page 1 of the book or at the 'A Tradition of Ingenuity' excerpt page.

"Well Painted in the roseate reporting of American history books are such giants as Eli Whitney, the Boston lawyer1 who invented the cotton gin; Samuel Colt, who created a new level of mass production through highly accurate interchangeable parts2; George Eastman, who made the first cameras with roll film; Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray, who not only fought over which of them had first invented the telephone but found time for many other inventions, such as the gramophone3,A and the predecessor of today's telefax4,A machines; Thomas Alva Edison, who invented the light bulb and pioneered the concept of an 'invention laboratory'; Wallace Hume Carothers, who worked for Du Pont5 and created nylon, and Roy J. Plunket, his intellectual successor at Du Pont5, who discovered Teflon® when fluorine was accidentally combined with ethylene in a laboratory fire; Elisha Graves Otis, who invented the first elevator that stopped itself if the cable snapped; and let us not forget Henry Ford, who, contrary to common misconception, did not invent the automobile but did in fact invent and patent the spark plug6,A."

1Whitney was an inventor almost certainly before he was a lawyer. Definitive information on his lawyer practice and credentials would be appreciated.
2Whitney, of course (see the book), "created" the era of "interchangeable parts" and the machines to make them but Colt certainly was among the first to really achieve the goal on a national and international scale.
3Thomas Edison, of course, invented the phonograph then another fellow improved on that with the "gramophone" then sources say both Bell and Gray patented further improvements to that.
4One of Bell's can be found in Millions from the Mind.
5Even a simple thing like a name can be tough to get "right." The DuPont corporate preferred spelling is without a space.
6Henry very well may have been the first to use porcelain as the insulating material on spark plugs and he may even have invented and patented other variations on spark plugs but he certainly was not "the" original inventor.
AIf you have actual patent numbers for these presumably patented improvements to existing inventions we would like to know just what they are. Thank you.

For more interesting errors that turned up in multiple sources when researching the book particularly see page 85 and the Robert Kearns intermittent windshield wiper story in the illustrations. Again, if you know of any errors of fact we will much appreciate it if you'll report them, along with verifying, reliable sources, to us at E-mail address image, click to e-mail or type in your e-mail program's 'To:' field.


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