Skip to main content

"The Mothers of Invention."

Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek, authors of the book Mothers of Invention, a compilation of inventions by women. Some have been rather mundane, like Liquid Paper and drip coffee. But others include radium, the computer language COBOL and the first computer compiler. The authors are better known for their writing about rock and roll. (Interview by Faith Middleton)


Other segments from the episode on March 29, 1988

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, March 29, 1988: Interview with Andrew Weil; Commentary on "bad" music; Interview with Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek; Review of Kobo Abe's novel "The Ark Sakura."


Transcript currently not available.

Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

You May Also like

Did you know you can create a shareable playlist?


Recently on Fresh Air Available to Play on NPR


Rep. Adam Schiff weighs in on the raid at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home

Schiff reflects on the significance of the top-secret documents seized from Trump's residence. He led the first impeachment and serves on the House's committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.


Robin Thede wants her sketch show to open doors for other Black voices

Thede's HBO series, A Black Lady Sketch Show, is the first sketch comedy show solely written, directed and starring Black women. "It is a nonstop job," she says of the various hats she wears.

There are more than 22,000 Fresh Air segments.

Let us help you find exactly what you want to hear.
Just play me something
Your Queue

Would you like to make a playlist based on your queue?

Generate & Share View/Edit Your Queue