Brian D’Ambrosio | From Football to Fig Newtons

Books & Writers

George Nissen, who invented the

Missoula author Brian D’Ambrosio is on a mission to get forgotten American inventors recognized. Who invented football, bluegrass music, Mr. Potato Head, the Kentucky Derby, Sesame Street and the telephone? If you said Walter Camp, Bill Monroe, George Lerner, William Meriwether, Lewis Clark Jr., Joan Ganz Cooney, and Antonio Meucci, respectively, then no need to read From Football to Fig Newtons: 76 American Inventors and The Inventions You Know by Heart.

Otherwise, you can track down the answers and stories, along with 70 others, in D’Ambrosio’s latest book. American ingenuity reveals itself in the simplest and most forgotten places. From familiar brand names such as Wheaties (George Cormack) to the most mundane stop at the traffic light (Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr.), everyday experience provides abundant opportunities to respect and recall the intellect of the men and women who helped shape the culture and landscape of our environment.

Every trip to the grocery store to buy a box of Band-Aids® (Earle Dickson), offers a chance to ask where and how a certain product came about. With every click of the computer mouse (Douglas Engelbart), our curiosity should deepen.

D’Ambrosio, who also wrote Menacing Face Worth Millions: A Life of Charles Bronson, has crafted an instructive read about those who created the spaces, items and comforts we take for granted.

The book is published by Jabberwocky Press, and sells for $15.99 softcover.