Another of Frank Tousey‘s Ten Cent Hand Books has been released as a Project Gutenberg eBook thanks to scans from our Digital Library and the volunteer efforts of the Distributed Proofreaders project.
How to Become an Inventor, published in 1898, doesn’t really include much practical advice on inventing things, but it does include introductory (if sometimes cryptic, and never illustrated) instructions on carpentry, electricity, hydraulics, magnetism, photography, mechanics, pneumatics, optics and microscopy. All of this advice is likely drawn from other sources without attribution, as was the fashion of the cheap publishers of the time.
While not likely to be of much practical use to a modern reader, the book is nonetheless interesting in what it reveals of its time, including the details of some outdated scientific theories, and the alarming fact that it was once considered an everyday fact of life to have “eels” living in your vinegar.
If you want to check it out for yourself, you can find the whole book online (and available for download in popular formats) through Project Gutenberg.
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