Necessity's Child: The Story of Walter Hunt, America's Forgotten Inventor
- Publish Date: 1997-07-14
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Joseph Nathan Kane
If the sewing machine was the greatest of Walter Hunts inventions, close behind were the safety pin and the fountain pen. In 1829 he patented a knife sharpener still manufactured and widely used today. Among his hundreds of inventions, many still in use, are a restaurant steam table, a tree-felling saw, a ships ice-breaker, inkstands, a rifle, a cartridge, a shoe heel, and a ceiling-walking circus device. He earned, however, only a meager living, instead devoting his life to others. After 65 years of an almost unparalleled act of sustained research--in original documents, 19th century newspaper accounts, court papers, patent files, and Hunts and his descendants family papers--Joe Kane has at last completed his astonishingly detailed story of this unsung craftsman.