Why did Isaac Newton invent the cat flap? How did the first mousetrap come about? Why did it take nearly 20 years to make sliced bread? From the moment the alarm clock wakes us up in the morning until the time we switch the light off at night, we are surrounded by things without which our lives would be impossible: microwaves, televisions, cars, cell phones, and credit cards—the list is endless. Yet how often do we consider how such miniature wonders of our lives came about, who invented them, and why? The answers are often incredibly interesting. In this delightful volume, Harry Oliver reveals the most diverting and amusing stories that lie behind the objects and inventions we take for granted, from household items to the technology that fills our world. Everything around us was born from an idea, and as you read the pages in this book, the ordinary will soon appear rather more extraordinary than it did before.