New Book: What a Great Idea! Awesome South African Inventions

south african inventions book

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A new book on innovation by Prof Mike Bruton celebrates numerous South African inventions from pre-colonial times to the present. It provides information on the variety of products and services that South Africans, at home and abroad, have invented.

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?

Everything from Wadley’s Loop to Musk’s Hyperloop, Louis Liebenberg’s Cybertracker to the unique Africanis dog, the first computerised ticketing system in the world to the world’s first digital laser. Read about dozens of items that we use every day but which had very humble beginnings.

The Hippo Roller and many other fantastic inventions and innovations are covered: Waste Shark, CATscanner, Wind-up Pulse Oximeters, Thawte Internet Security System, Oil of Olay, Q20, Kreepy Krawly, Lodox low-dose X-ray machine, Lithium ion batteries, DryBath, Acesco Breast Imaging System, and components of the SALT and SKA telescopes…

The book also discusses the views of SA inventors and innovators on the climate for innovation in South Africa. Well-known names are Elon Musk, Brian Steinhobel, Mulalo Doyoyo, Jacques Blom, Viness Pillay, Kelly Shibale, Tebello Nyokong, Gregory Maqoma, Kiara Nirghin, Tony Budden and Ludwick Marishane.

“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!” –


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