Robert Browning Sosman, a physical chemist who died in 1967 at the age of 86, packed many careers into one lifetime. He wrote the definitive book on the chemical compound silica; was the seventh person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail; and, at home in New Jersey, kept a 3,500-strong map collection. He also made a significant contribution to the New York dining scene: Between 1941 and 1962, while frequenting Manhattan for work, Sosman compiled notes for his self-published Gustavademecum for the Island of Manhattan: A Check-List of the Best-Recommended or Most Interesting Eating-Places, Arranged in Approximate Order of Increasing Latitude and Longitude.
An unusual but visionary restaurant guide "for the convenience of mathematicians, experimental scientists, engineers, and explorers," it crammed a gastronomic brain trust into a 16-page, saddle-stitched leaflet filled with hand-drawn symbols.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.