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Inventions That Could Have Changed the World:... But Didn't    by Joe Rhatigan & Anthony Owsley order for
Inventions That Could Have Changed the World
by Joe Rhatigan
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

As you'll discover as you page through Joe Rhatigan's Inventions That Could Have Changed the World ... But Didn't, there are plenty of what appear to be good ideas that never really translate into devices that consumers wish to purchase. Or, in other situations, the inventor never really had an full understanding of what his or her revolutionary product could accomplish or how it could be made into a practical product.

'For every amazing invention, there are thousands that are never produced, arrive too soon or too late to be of any use, or simply don't work,' writes Joe Rhatigan. 'In many ways, these flops can be just as fascinating as lightbulbs, cars, computers, and smartphones. Wacky, weird, wonderful, or just plain wrong, these are the inventions included in this book.'

After a few observations about patents and how one goes about obtaining one, the author sets about describing some of the incredible flops he has singled out for inclusion in this book. There are chapters on transportation, objects that were intended to make life easier, like an invention that combined a table with a dishwasher, and things that would facilitate raising children and caring for pets.

Accompanied by illustrations, short paragraphs credit the inventor and briefly explain what the device was intended to do. You'll discover dog umbrellas, talking potty seats for toddlers and a smartphone case made from a rice cake. If you are desperate for a snack you can munch on the case in an emergency!

Although this humorous collection of misguided inventions is aimed at younger readers, adults will also find this an amusing book and well worth paging through.

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