The Art of Invention

A catalog of interesting, often overlooked, historical anecdotes would certainly include the invention and eventual patent of a World War II underwater artillery weapon created by the unlikely team of former Hollywood actress Hedi Lamar and ‘bad boy’ composer George Antheil of Ballet Mecanique fame.

 The history of the world is filled with innovative creations, designs, and contraptions most of which have never found their way into the light of day, let alone occupied a drawer in the patent office.

 It has occurred to me that those who discover or invent new things do so from four  different motivations, or grounding points.

 1.  They are unconditionally driven by individual nature and chemistry.

 2.  They are conditionally rewarded by powerful interests, such as  employers, entrepreneurs, or award committees.

 3.  They don’t have the ‘right’ tool for the job, spawning the aphorism:     ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’

 4. When presented with plenty of free time, mostly males (females typically do not enjoy a wealth of free time) will quickly become bored, resulting in a free-wheeling practice of:

 turning things upside down

fiddling with things

taking things apart

removing objects orcreatures from their natural habitat

setting some thing on fire

bouncing, throwing,tasting, curling, twisting, popping,

puncturing,etc. anything nearby;

in essence playing, experimenting, exploring, and perhaps inventing something new.