A British Library Exhibition Celebrates Innovation大
Have you ever thought of inventing something that could make everyday chores easier? Sam Houghton did and he created a double-headed broom.
Sam was just three years old when he came up with his
idea. He was watching his father sweep up garden leaves
and alternate between two brushes while trying to gather large leaves and fine debris.
Now he is the poster boy for a new exhibition at the British Library in London called 'Inventing the 21st Century'. To celebrate innovation and inspire budding
entrepreneurs, the famous library is telling the story behind 15 of what it considers the most ingenious
inventions to come out of Britain in the past 10 years. Sam's broom is surrounded by products developed by big companies, like a high-tech swimsuit by Speedo that
became popular at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a bladeless fan by Britain's Dyson.
Sam Houghton with his invention (picture courtesy of the British Library)
Every year the UK generates over 25,000 patents,
trademarks and design rights for new products and services. Many of the inventors have to jump through a
lot of hoops before they can see their product on the market.
Richard Thorpe, creator of an innovative folding electric bike, says that it took him seven years to go from concept
to sales. He explains he had to keep quiet about his idea until it was patented.
"When it comes to innovation and selling an idea confidentiality is key", he warns. "Whenever you are
having a meeting with anyone, always have it in a context
that this is confidential information and anything said is not
in the public domain."
Britain is known for nurturing its entrepreneurial spirit
ever since the days of the Industrial Revolution with James
Watt, Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen and their
work on the steam engine.
And young Sam Houghton is true to this tradition. He is now
eight years old and has more inventions in the pipeline.
"I've made a balloon popping machine for play centres", he
explains. "After little children's parties we don't want them
to cry because of big bangs of balloons."
He said that he "took away the bangs" by creating a box
where the balloons can burst without frightening children.
Glossary 词汇表 (收听发音, 请单击英语单词)
; double-headed broom 双头扫帚
; came up with 提出
; sweep up 清扫
; alternate 交替
; debris 碎片
; poster boy 宣传画上的男孩
; innovation 创新产品
; budding entrepreneurs 初露头角的企业家
; ingenious 有独创性的 ; high-tech 高科技
; patents 专利
; trademarks 商标
; jump through hoops 越过层层关卡 ; concept 概念
; confidentiality 保密
; in the public domain 公共领域 ; nurturing 扶植
; in the pipeline 在酝酿中 ; popping 穿破;气球； ; burst 爆破