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The Washington Post…Birdseye turns out to be less a biography than a glimpse into an exuberantly inventive time in America. Little is known about Birdseye's personal life, and Kurlansky is quick to admit it. But the impact of the man's inventions is on full view here: the whaling harpoon, the dipping of livestock to control ticks, the science of crystallization and cryonics, innovations in food packaging, advances in refrigeration, the birth of the sunlamp, the production of dried edibles, the papermaking revolution. We see a tireless tinkerer, a restless mind, a quintessentially American inventor, driven by two questions about the world around him: Why? and Why not?