SA has quite a list of inventions to be proud of. There’s the Kreepy Krauly, Pratley’s Putty, Dolos, the CAT scanner, Oil of Olay and the Thawte Internet security system. But what about the Sheffel Bogie, Q20, Policansky fishing reels, the Lodox low-dose X-ray machine, Waste Shark and wind-up pulse oximeters?

That is the list of our latest inventions — and they appear to be as impressive as some of our earlier iconic ones.

The details of every SA invention to date appear in Mike Bruton’s book, What a Great Idea!, released this month. It is highly readable and richly illustrated, with stories that will surprise and even inspire you.

For example, did you know that the machine that was used to drill the tunnels for the first underground railway in England was invented by a South African? Or that the first "computers" in SA were actually "women calculators" working at the Royal Observatory in Cape Town?

The book introduces readers to a new generation of SA inventors and innovators. Historic photographs, fascinating anecdotes and illuminating case studies show that SA is clearly punching above its weight in international circles.

• What a Great Idea! by Mike Bruton. Jacana

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