Once I got over the "obvious" assertions about the co-evolution of pollinating plants and hummingbird biology, the rest of the book was a really good read on the history of several key innovations (or rather... histories of certain technologies) that we don't always think of as world-changing. For example - sound. The first ever recorded sound was on a phonoautograph - but had no way to play back! It seems inconceivable now (why would anyone create a way to record sound without a way to play it back?!), but the device was based more on the concept of transcription. In other words, the inventor figured that since reporters, etc. can record shorthand and read it back to themselves, so also could people eventually learn to "read" visual sound waves just like printed words on a page. What's really neat is how almost 150 years later, people were able to take these tracings (literally just lines on a page) and convert them back into sound waves.

Similar stories existed for light, time, and the other innovations. Fun read... if you can get over the constant references to the "hummingbird effect."