What's the Big Idea? explores the story of inventions through the ages and explains how ideas and technology from different countries and times are built on and developed - that inventions don't just 'happen'. Stunningly illustrated throughout, and with a clear text, it covers many important inventions, from the first stone axe to genetic engineering and the internet - not forgetting the 2,400,000 years in between! The lives of famous and not-so-famous inventors are described. Men and women from different cultural backgrounds, whose major contributions have been overlooked in the past, are included. A time line of events puts inventions in their historical context, showing how wars and trade push ideas forward.