Monday, November 09, 2009

Google Books Fun

I noted a while back that the authorized biography of SF writer Robert A. Heinlein will be out early next year. This reminded me that I had once seen an article in an old issue of Popular Mechanics about the unique house Heinlein built in Colorado Springs in the 1950s. I went in search of the article at Google Books, and found it. I also turned up this filler about a Heinlein ancestor he once mentioned:

THE INVENTOR OF THE WATCH Peter Heinlein, the inventor of the pocket watch, was persecuted for witchcraft in the days when he withdrew from his companions—in particular his wife—to work on his invention. He was finally cast into prison, where the watch was perfected. Later he was tried for murder, but escaped by paying the family of his victim a large indemnity. He then retired to the convent of the Carmelites, where he continued manufacturing watches, giving the proceeds to the order. He died in 1540. At Nuremburg, the scene of his persecutions, a monument has been erected to him.

(From Popular Mechanics, December, 1905)

Sometimes Google Books is just a big toy.

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