Last updated on Jan 6th, 2021 at 04:30 pm

Looking for a fabulous gift for enquiring minds of all ages? This coffee-table book of South African inventions will surprise, educate and delight you!

Pages of reasons to be proudly South African

What a Great Idea! is crammed with information on the awesome variety of new products and services that South Africans, at home and abroad, have invented from pre-colonial times to the present.

Everyone knows that the Kreepy Krawly, Pratley’s Putty, Dolos, CATscanner and Thawte Internet Security System were invented in South Africa, but what about the Sheffel Bogie, Oil of Olay, Q20, Policansky fishing reels, Lodox low-dose X-ray machine, Waste Shark, Wind-up Pulse Oximeters, Lithium ion batteries, DryBath, Acesco Breast Imaging System, and components of the SALT and SKA telescopes?

Did you know that the machine that was used to drill the tunnels for the first underground railway in England was invented by a South African, or that the first ‘computers’ in South Africa were women calculators working at the Royal Observatory in Cape Town?

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Meet the new generation of South African inventors and innovators: Brian Steinhobel, Mulalo Doyoyo, Jacques Blom, Elon Musk, Viness Pillay, Kelly Shibale, Tebello Nyokong, Gregory Maqoma, Kiara Nirghin, Tony Budden and Ludwick Marishane, and hear what they have to say about the climate for innovation in South Africa.

Price: R295

Everything from Wadley’s Loop, Musk’s Hyperloop, and Louis Liebenberg’s Cybertracker, to the unique Africanis dog, the first computerised ticketing system in the world, and the world’s first digital laser

About the author

Professor Mike Bruton was born and educated in South Africa, where he obtained his PhD degree from Rhodes University. He initially followed a career in marine biology but, over the past two decades, has focused on science centre and museum design and development, and the psychology of learning.

Throughout his career Mike has shown a keen interest in inventions and innovations made by South Africans and has published extensively in this field. Along the way he has met many South African inventors and innovators and documented their stories.


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