Ladyada's geeky coloring book for makers of all ages

Phil Torrone sez,

Ladyada's "E is for Electronics" is a coloring book adventure with electronic components and their inventors.

Makers of all ages can learn, color, and share common parts and historical figures throughout history. Explore the world of electronics with Ladyada as your guide!

This is the first ever open-source electronics coloring book! Adafruit's coloring books are manufactured in the USA by a family owned and operated business, we use non-toxic soy based, water soluble and environmentally friendly printing supplies. The equipment used is solar powered! Crayons not included.

Ladyada’s "E is for Electronics" (Thanks, Phil!)


  1. Glad to see (young) women makers represented in the coloring book, but do makers only come in one race ?

        1. To paraphrase somebody or other – I’m not questioning your powers of observation; I’m merely remarking upon the paradox of challenging the race of a person in a colouring book.

          1. I dunno if you have noticed this or not, but things like bone structure, facial proportions and hair texture do vary within different ethnicities. Just because you color everyone green — or color an obviously caucasian person brown — the absence of a variety of ethnicities is noticed by the people it matters to — like kids, or people who aren’t represented.

          2. orangedesperado has a point here. Hairstyles, clothing, facial shapes all go a long way to provide cue information.

      1. Gee, you’d think that older women, and people of color never invented or made anything to do with electronics (sarcasm). (Sigh).

    1. @orangedesperado:disqus  it’s an open-source effort, who else should be in there? for which letter and/or historical electronic fast/story/component, etc? so far in the last 24 hours we’ve had a dozen people start the translations and start to work on even more variations of letters (A through Z is not one final effort, we’re doing volumes). we’ll also have “R IS FOR ROBOTS”.
      our challenge to you is join in and help celebrate the makers you feel are not being represented.

      1. This is not my area of research or knowledge at all, but 1/2 an hour of googling yielded many non-white /or non-male inventors, with inventions that are relevant to electronics.

        I think that your project as a whole is good — but I think that considerations of representation and inclusion are super important for everyone, particularly kids. 

        Here are some relevant inventors I discovered in my brief search:

        – Lewis Latimer (b.1848) was the son of escaped slaves, who went on to become an important technical draftsman for patent applications, who worked with Alexander Graham Bell, Hiram S. Maxim(inventor of the machine gun!), and Thomas Edison. He also patented a method of manufacture for carbon filaments for lightbulbs.

        – Granville T. Woods (b. 1856) was described as “the black Thomas Edison” and was employed by Edison after battling with him several times over patents rights to similar inventions.

        – Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena was an early color television inventor (1942)

        – Ida Henrietta Hyde  (b. 1856) invented a micro electrode small enough to work on a single cell

        – James West invented a type of microphone that is used in 90% of all microphones in use today, particularly in telephones.

        – Dr.Grace Murray Hopper helped to invent one of the earliest computer programming languages (COBOL)

        – An Wang developed a magnetic pulse transfer controlling device for computer memory

        – Ajay V. Bhatt helped invent USB technology

        – Valerie Thomas worked at NASA and invented a mysterious device in 1980 called an “illusion 
        transmitter” (!!!)

        There are several books on Black Inventors, although one of these books has the mysterious oversight of only including one woman inventor:

        The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented 
        Ingenuity: Patricia Carter Sluby: 9780313351563: Books

        This site has free print out pages of black inventors but forget to include women inventors !:

        1. @orangedesperado:disqus which specific ones in your list would go to which specific letter for electronic components, it’s “E for electronics”. for this volume we need to cover things like “c is for capacitor”. it does not appear we overlooked anyone for the letters and common components we wanted to start with.for example “C is for COBOL” would be more appropriate for “P is for PROGRAMMING” – that’s likely a future volume we’ll do and we’ll of course include grace hopper if we have programming languages as part of that series.if you’re interested in contributing to this series please let us know, it’s open source and we’re always looking for people to put in valuable effort and share.

          1. I think that this conversation would be more fruitful with a person who has a much greater knowledge of inventions and inventors. How can you put the word out that to invite contributions/information from people who do KNOW this stuff, without the aid of last minute Google ?

            “C is for Carbon Fiber Filament. Lewis Latimer invented a method of manufacturing carbon filaments for the first lightbulbs.”

            I don’t how important it is to have the major electronic component inventors represented — or if a spectrum of inventors who invented electronic items — to include inventors who are non-white, female, etc. is more important to help put the concept of inventor = anybody — not just a white man with a degree.

            I know that if this concept had been implanted in my mind as a child that it could have made a world of difference, for how I saw future possibilities.

          2. @orangedesperado:disqus for “C” we chose “C is for capacitor” – while carbon fiber filament could appear in additional “C” pages or downloads/future volumes, we chose “C is for capacitor”. a capacitor is something that we felt was important to have in a coloring book that is called “E is for Electronics” – at least this first volume. if you’ve followed the story of this coloring book on our blog we worked with the community of makers to collaboratively figure out what term/inventor/component could represent each letter. with space limits for art and text, we really can only pick one. a capacitor is pretty important :)

            the coloring book (or any coloring book) cannot replace google or train someone to be an engineer through 1-2 sentences and a picture, we do think it’s a fun activity for makers of ages (specifically kids) to do with parents/teachers/educators. 

            we know folks will have additional and different ideas on what “C” could or should be, this is why we made it creative commons, share-alike, attribution. we are hoping to see more examples for each letter added, so far we’ve already started to receive translations in less than 24 hours. ladyada’s E for electronics will never be done, if you’re interesting in working on future series and topics please let us know.

        1. It’s the same woman in every panel that features a woman.  She’s wearing long pants, a short-sleeved shirt with a high V neck and glasses.

          You must go to some weird strip clubs.

  2. How is it open-source? How could I work with the source elements right now? Is this a joke I’m missing? I don’t understand.

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