A funky and fascinating collection of inventions that never caught on, from the authors of the international bestseller MAPS.

When Leonardo da Vinci invented the tank, car, helicopter, glider, parachute, submarine, lift and telescope, over 500 years ago, he was considered a dreamer. Or even crazy. Today he is understood to be a genius, ahead of his time. This book collects ancient and modern inventions. Some are revolutionary, others comical, others were simply impossible. But each of them testifies to the extraordinary imaginations of their inventors. You will find here a flying bicycle, bubble telegraph, passenger clouds and passenger birds, mechanical chess players, a water clock, a concentration hood and many more incredible ideas.


Malgorzata Mycielska is an art historian, publisher and book editor.

Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski are graduates of the Faculty of Graphic Arts of the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and founders of the Hipopotam Studio. They are authors of internationally recognized children’s books and creators of fonts, apps and websites. Their prize winning book Maps was a worldwide bestseller.


An amiable ramble past some of the quirkier highlights in the history of invention.

Kirkus Reviews

Each invention is outlined with brilliant diagrammatic illustrations on a double-page spread, and the book puts each invention into a humorous context with a cartoon on the following page


This non fiction book is a quirky, funny and interesting read filled with inventions that range from peculiar to inspired.

Squishie Minnie Bookstore

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