I read a chapter out of an autobiography when I was younger, and found it interesting, but never got around to picking up the book and I don’t remember who wrote it, nor the title.
Anyway, it was written by a man who’d grown up during the horse and buggy era. The chapter I read, talked about a thermometer that the author had invented when he was a kid. It was built into the side of the family barn, and thus could be read from a great distance away. The chapter mainly dealt with him sneaking out at night to build the thing. It also mentioned another project he wanted to work on, which was a giant clock that would be sited in the top of a tree. The author didn’t get to build the clock, however, as his father forbade it, since it would attract too many rubberneckers.