With her sketchbook labeled "My Inventions "and her father's toolbox, Mattie could make almost anything toys, sleds, and a foot warmer. When she was just twelve years old, Mattie designed a metal guard to prevent shuttles from shooting off textile looms and injuring workers.Read more...
With her sketchbook labeled "My Inventions "and her father's toolbox, Mattie could make almost anything toys, sleds, and a foot warmer. When she was just twelve years old, Mattie designed a metal guard to prevent shuttles from shooting off textile looms and injuring workers. As an adult, Mattie invented the machine that makes the square-bottom paper bags we still use today. However, in court, a man claimed the invention was his, stating that she "could not possibly understand the mechanical complexities." Marvelous Mattie proved him wrong, and over the course of her life earned the title of "the Lady Edison."
With charming pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations, this introduction to one of the most prolific female inventors will leave readers inspired.
"Marvelous Mattie" is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year."
- ISBN-13: 9780374348106
- ISBN-10: 0374348103
- Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
- Publish Date: February 2006
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 7-11
A marvelous girl, indeed
Though she was raised in a time that relegated women to household chores or mindless industrial labor, Margaret E. Knight defied her era. Blessed with a curious mind and a father who didn't hesitate to leave her his toolbox upon his death, Mattie grew up with a pencil in hand, constantly scribbling in a notebook she entitled "My Inventions." Mattie's sketches were not mere doodling, but from her earliest years led to useful creations such as a foot warmer for her mother and fanciful toys fashioned for her two brothers.
Born to a poor New England family in 1838, Mattie possessed an abounding interest in machines, resourcefulness and a desire to create. At the age of 12, after witnessing a horrible factory accident in which a young girl was injured by a shuttle ricocheting from a loom, Mattie invented a safety device. Amazingly, mill owners accepted Mattie's idea and soon "stop action devices" were installed on all the looms in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Despite the prevailing attitude of the time that women could not comprehend the complex nature of mechanics and engineering, Mattie continued to invent throughout her life, most notably patenting a paper bag-making machine still employed in bag-making technology today.
In Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor Caldecott Medal winner Emily Arnold McCully skillfully leads readers through the details of patents and the harsh working conditions of the Industrial Age. McCully's technical sketches immediately engage the eye and her softly hued period watercolors enhance the young reader's understanding of time and place. An excellent selection for Women's History Month, this book reminds readers that one need not wait until adulthood to pursue a passion. As McCully shows through the life of Margaret Knight, when you follow your dreams, anything is possible.