Book Recommendation: The Inventor’s Dilemma: The Remarkable Life of H. Joseph Gerber

The Inventor’s Dilemma: The Remarkable Life of H. Joseph Gerber

By David Gerber

Copyright 2015 Yale University Press

Price $35.00

Pages: 400 and Index

The story of the man who changed our industry

All of us in the PCB industry should read this book. All of us who have heard about talked about and used “Gerbers” for our entire career should take a moment and thank the man H. Joseph Gerber the man who changed our industry for the better.

This well research and masterly written extensive biography by his son David is a must read for anyone who is interested in someone from another generation who also put a proverbial dent in the universe.

The most surprising thing about this book is that it read like a novel. Mr. Gerber lead a very exciting and dramatic life, from his escape from the Nazis who had invaded his native Austria to his Horatio Alger rise from rags to riches in New York to the his first invention a measuring device made from the elastic waistband of his pajamas to the start of his company Gerber scientific, Mr. Gerber’s story is indeed the stuff of novels and movies!

I think the man’s most striking feature was his generosity. His goal was to invent products that help people produce their products which is something that those of us in our industry can testify to; and he didn’t just help the PCB industry he also did the same thing in the clothing and automotive industries, developing tools that not only made making their products much more efficient but improving lives along the way.

And never for money. He and his team were always interested in the products first, helping people and improving their lives first with the consideration that if they did that the money would come.

A businessman who put people ahead of profits, now that’s a novel idea. This was a man who lived a life in full… a man who worked every single day of his life, worked hard to help mankind in any way that he could, using his talents to make the world a better place.

And let’s remember that this is also a story of forgiveness. Despite what his family went through, regardless of all the suffering he experienced in his early life he always had faith in his fellow man always tried to help the world around him with kindness and generosity instead of the bitterness and rancor some might have said he was entitled.

I commend David Gerber for spending the past 15 years of his life working on this project and I thank him for this act another act of kindness from the Gerber family. I feel that my life is a bit richer for knowing exactly who H. Joseph Gerber was and I urge all of you, my fellow PCB and EMS professionals to pick up and read The Inventor’s Dilemma and enrich your lives as well.

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