Inventors: Profiles in Canadian Genius


160 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-920656-93-5
DDC j609.22




Dianne Taylor-Harding is a librarian in St. John’s, Newfoundland.


Inventions by Canadians have changed our world through developments in
communications and transportation. However, biographies of Canadian
inventors are often hard to find. Canadian innovators, neglected or
ignored during their lives, today have been forgotten. Carpenter’s
book tries to fill the void. It answered my questions about certain
Canadian inventors, and sufficiently piqued my interest that I consulted
some of the books its author suggests. Carpenter clearly details the
lives of the inventors he has selected, and describes the technologies
they developed.

Canadian inventors profiled in this volume include: Reginald Fessenden,
whose radio research forms the foundation of modern telecommunications;
Sandford Fleming, who brought standard time to the world; Abraham
Gesner, whose discovery of kerosene brought light to nineteenth-century
homes; Georges-Йdouard Desbarats and William Leggo, who first used
lithographic techniques to illustrate the news; Mabel Bell, who as
founder and sponsor of the Aerial Experiment Association (comprising
J.A.D. McCurdy, Casey Baldwin, Glenn Curtiss, Thomas Selfridge, and
Alexander Graham Bell) helped in the development of the aircraft for
Canada’s first flight and influenced world aviation research
throughout the early twentieth century; Thomas “Carbide” Willson,
inventor of acetylene lighting and a successful industrial innovator;
Joseph-Armand Bombardier, who invented the snowmobile and founded one of
Canada’s most successful corporations; and William Stephenson, who
invented the technique used in wireless photo transmission, prior to his
“Intrepid” career in espionage.

This slim, easy-to-read volume is recommended for college, high-school,
and public libraries, and for individuals interested in history of
technology. Suggested readings are suited to a lay audience.
Illustrations are limited to small photographs; I would like to have
seen clear, full-page diagrams showing details of the inventions.


Carpenter, Thomas., “Inventors: Profiles in Canadian Genius,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 13, 2024,