A New Book by Kevin Baker

The Innovations that Changed the World

Tech By Photo by Chris Dent

Kevin Baker — historian; author of a number of books, including Paradise Alley; writer for The New York Times, GQ and The Los Angeles Times — has released a new book, America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World. Inside, you’ll find over 75 short stories about the people and innovations that greatly impacted the world. If you want a taste, you can find three of them below: the stories of the first transatlantic cable, the first safety elevator and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts from America the Ingenious by Kevin Baker (Artisan Books). Copyright ©2016. Illustrations by Chris Dent. The book is available now.

How the Golden Gate Bridge Was Built

A $35 million steel harp.

The Story of the First Transatlantic Cable


The first telegraph cable across the Atlantic Ocean was laid in 1858. It connected New York to London — and to the rest of the world.

The Elevators We Ride Today Started as a Magic Trick

Otis’s invention that drew screams and cries.