Downeast Genius: From Earmuffs to Motor Cars, Maine Inventors Who Changed the World (Paperback)
The genius Thomas Edison once said all anyone needed in order to invent something was a good imagination and a pile of junk. Imagination and creativity have always been essential qualities for survival in Maine and the ingrained habits of "saving up" and "making do" inevitably led to heaps of junk. As a result Maine has produced some extraordinary inventors and inventions with many aimed at a simply making daily life, easier and more comfortable: from Joseph Peavey's self-named tool that dramatically improved log driving to Chester Greenwood's ear muffs to Charles Forster's toothpicks to Hiram Maxim's machine gun to the L.L. Bean Duck Boot.
A Waterville native, Earl Smith spent a forty-year career at Colby, variously as dean of students, dean of the college, and as assistant to three Colby presidents. He continues to serve as the college historian. He is the author of three previous works of history: Mayflower Hill, a history of Colby; With the Help of Friends, a history of the Colby Art Museum; and Water Village, a history of Waterville. He has also published three works of fiction, The Dam Committee, More Dam Trouble, and the well-received novel, Head of Falls.