The 50 Best Inventions

The year's most inspired ideas, innovations and revolutions, from the microscopic to the stratospheric

Phillip Toledano / Trunk Archive

Correction Appended: Nov. 18, 2011

REINVENTING THE INVENTOR

In the age of Steve Jobs, it's all about perfecting the final product. Nobody remembers the guy who had the idea in the first place

Tell me what you think of when you read the word inventor. (If Professor Jack Gallant of Berkeley, Calif., were here and you were in his fMRI machine, he could read your mind and tell you himself. But more of him anon.) I'll tell you what I think of: a little guy with white hair and a white lab coat from an old Disney cartoon. He's tinkering...

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