Right Now in Invention

Penicillin

A fungal accident in the early 20th century opened the door for the medical wonders of the antibiotic age. In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe explore what came before and how Alexander Fleming’s discovery changed the world. 

Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is everywhere today, but where does it come from? What did we chew before Bubblicious? How does gum affect us? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Invention. 

The Museum

We all love a good museum, but how long have we had them? In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe discuss just what a museum actually is and when the concept seems to have entered human civilization.

Dreams of a Gastro Automaton

Sometimes necessity ISN’T the mother of invention. Case in point: Humanity’s long-standing desire to create machines that poop. In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe discuss Vaucanson’s digesting duck and modern takes on the technology. 






The Condom

Condoms are an important part of human health and medicine, but where did this invention come from? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Invention. 

The Atlatl Spear Thrower

The spear is a truly ancient human technology, but this preceded one of humanity’s oldest mechanical inventions: the atlatl or spear thrower. In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe explore the history and physics of this amazing hunting device.

Listener Mail: Mothers of Invention

Finally, it's listener mail time on Invention! You've wrote in with your thoughts on past episodes and now Robert and Joe are going to read some of them -- with the help of a brand new mailbot. 

The Motion Picture, Part 3

Finally, Robert and Joe finish their look at early motion picture history and invention, discussing some early examples of narrative film and how it continues to manipulate our senses and minds.

A Motion Picture Mystery

In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe talk with show researcher Scott Benjamin about a mysterious disappearance in the history of the motion picture. What happened to Louis Le Prince and his claim on the invention? 



The Motion Picture, Part 2

In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe continue their exploration of photographic technology by taking it to the next phase in its evolution: the motion picture! 

The Motion Picture, Part 1

In this episode of Invention, Robert and Joe continue their exploration of photographic technology by taking it to the next phase in its evolution: the motion picture! 

The Camera, Part 3

Photography is one of the most important technological, artistic and cultural advancements of the 19th century. In the third part of their look at the invention of photography, Robert and Joe consider follow the evolution of photography and move toward the motion picture. 

The Camera, Part 2

Photography is one of the most important technological, artistic and cultural advancements of the 19th century. In the second part of their look at the invention of photography, Robert and Joe consider look the dawn of photography and its major effects on the world.

The Camera, Part 1

Photography is one of the most important technological, artistic and cultural advancements of the 19th century. In the first part of their look at the invention of photography, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the limits of the pre-photographic world and some of the initial advancements that bridged the camera obscura and the first cameras. 

Camera Obscura

Before there was photography, there was the camera obscura. In the first of three episodes focusing on the invention of camera and motion picture technology, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick discuss the ways that stationary and moving images changed our world. 

Board Games, Part 2

Board games have only grown in variety and complexity in recent decades, but just how far back in time do these curious physical simulations go? In this episode of Invention, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the meeples of ancient history. 

Board Games, Part 1

Board games have only grown in variety and complexity in recent decades, but just how far back in time do these curious physical simulations go? In this episode of Invention, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick consider the meeples of ancient history. 

Toilet, Part 2

While the toilet is not THE most important invention, it's certainly hard to imagine life without one -- and the advantages of modern flushing toilets go far beyond mere convenience. In this Invention two-parter, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the ancient origins of the toilet and the origins of the modern flush toilet. 

Toilet, Part 1

While the toilet is not THE most important invention, it's certainly hard to imagine life without one -- and the advantages of modern flushing toilets go far beyond mere convivence. In this Invention two-parter, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore the ancient origins of the toilet and the origins of the modern flush toilet. 

Braille

French educator and inventor Louis Braille invented a system of reading and writing for the blind in 1824. How did he develop it? How has it changed the world? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this episode of Invention.