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Exploring the History of Great Ideas with Make: Inventions

Amazingly addictive video series, via Make

In 2013, Make: contributor and friend Steve Hoefer created a wonderful, but short-lived video series, called Make: Inventions. The idea was to get hands-on with the history of inventions by looking at patents and patent drawings and attempting to build the devices based on these documents and the historical record.

Steve did a really wonderful job of establishing the problem the device was designed to address, what some of the design trade-offs were, the story behind the patented invention itself, and what the patent documents revealed about the design (or didn’t). From there, he would detail his version of the build and then discuss how and why it worked, issues he discovered, how he might do it better, and so. It was a very well put together program and Steve obviously put a ton of work into it.

In this episode, Steve looks at the pin tumbler lock, the most popular and enduring lock design of the last 150 years. Along the way, he shows how he built a working, transparent model to reveal the lock’s workings.

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