A remarkable compendium of wild schemes, mad plans, crazy inventions, and truly glorious disasters
Every phenomenally bad idea seemed like a good idea to someone. How else can you explain the Ford Edsel or the sword pistol—absolutely absurd creations that should have never made it off the drawing board? It Looked Good on Paper gathers together the most flawed plans, half-baked ideas, and downright ridiculous machines throughout history that some second-rate Einstein decided to foist on an unsuspecting populace with the best and most optimistic intentions. Some failed spectacularly. Others fizzled after great expense. One even crashed on Mars. But every one of them at one time must have looked good on paper, including:
- The lead water pipes of Rome
- The Tacoma Narrows Bridge—built to collapse
- The Hubble telescope—the $2 billion scientific marvel that couldn't see
- The Spruce Goose—Howard Hughes's airborne atrocity: big, expensive, slow, unstable, and made of wood
With more than thirty-five chapters full of incredibly insipid inventions, both infamous and obscure, It Looked Good on Paper is a mind-boggling, endlessly entertaining collection of fascinating failures.
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About the Author
Bill Fawcett is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including You Did What?, It Seemed Like a Good Idea . . . , How to Lose a Battle, and You Said What? He lives in Illinois.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An overly simplistic look at a broad array of topics. This book reads like a Cliff's Notes. Some are genuinely interesting, while many others feel like they were added to pad the book. Many of the topics portrayed as disasters are also important in their own right, which is not covered at all.