Request to dismantle the British Science Museum's Gloster-Whittle E28/39 jet engine
From Robin Cooper, Return of the Timewaster Letters (Time Warner Books, 2005). This is a compilation of actual letters he wrote to various organizations, making ridiculous requests. The amazing part is that the recipients usually respond politely! The book is the British equivalent of Ted L. Nancy's Letters from a Nut (Avon, 1997). For more of his zaniness, visit his website.
Ronald W. Clark. The Scientific Breakthrough. The Impact of Modern Invention. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1974.