The String Book
Ancient Egyptian surveying equipment, medieval archers’ bows, the rigging of sailing ships and musical instruments are examples of the many uses of string explored in this miscellany. In addition to stories, discoveries, games and scientific theories about string, there is also an illustrated guide to tying 40 of the most useful knots.
Eyes All Over the Sky
Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War
The fighter aces took the glory but reconnaissance flyers had perhaps the more significant role during the First World War, sighting for the artillery, following troop movements, patrolling British coastal waters for U-boats and gathering data for constantly updated maps. Drawing on the experiences of British, American and German airmen, Streckfuss examines the work of balloonists, reconnaissance pilots and aerial photographers over the Western Front and UK seas.
Plato's Alarm Clock
And Other Amazing Ancient Inventions
From underwater breathing equipment (as described by Aristotle) to star charts (drawn on the walls of the Lescaux caves, 33,000–10,000 years ago), James Russell describes the inventions of ancient times. There are chapters on everyday life, with items as diverse as alarm clocks, make-up, games and chewing gum; mechanical and industrial technology, including the spoked wheel and movable type; military inventions; medical breakthroughs; scientific advances; and mysterious lost inventions such as Greek fire, Maya blue and the Baghdad battery.
Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age
George Selden’s American patent for an ‘improved road engine’, granted in 1895, earned him royalties from the fledgling automobile industry, but Henry Ford’s legal challenge set the industry free of copyright restriction after 1911. This account of the era-defining invention explores its origins in Germany and France and development in America, and profiles the business tycoons, courtroom wranglers, maverick inventors and daredevil racers who played a part in establishing the car industry in its early days. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Victorian Steam Locomotive
Its Design and Development 1804–1897
By the end of the 19th century, the steam locomotive was the most prominent and glamorous symbol of industrial modernism. This review of its history and operation was first published in 1897 and deals in the first part with the earliest locomotive designs, explaining the basic technology and outlining the improvements that gradually refined it, and in the second part with how a contemporary engine works, with diagrams and photographs.
Inside the Machine
Art and Invention in the Electronic Age
In the early twentieth century the electronics industry employed fine artists to create advertising material explaining rapid technological advancements to the general public. The resulting artwork tracks the development of new components, including valves, transistors and circuit boards, from ‘laboratory to tabletop’. Slightly off-mint.
The Human Age
The World Shaped By Us
Diane Ackerman may rue the destruction of the natural world, yet she is thrilled by human ingenuity and here contemplates nascent technologies – including those for body heat recycling, 3D-printed human tissue and carbon capture – that may yet save our planet and our species. Slightly off-mint.
And Soon I Heard A Roaring Wind
A Natural History of Moving Air
Before the advent of weather forecasting, ships were wrecked with alarming frequency, and even today’s mathematical modelling of cyclones fails to be completely reliable. Bill Streever sets sail aboard his own yacht to discover the power of the wind first hand, while narrating an engaging history of our understanding of this force of nature, and its impact on commerce, politics and war. The book features lively portraits of meteorological pioneers including Robert Fitzroy, creator of the first published weather forecast. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
David Bushnell's Revolutionary Vessel
In 1776 a one-man underwater craft, designed by American inventor David Bushnell, set out from Manhattan on a daring mission to blow up the British flagship. The attack was a failure, but was still considered 'an effort of genius' by George Washington. This book looks at the history of undersea warfare before Bushnell and, with reference to a full-size replica of the Turtle, assesses its design and performance, and its implications for submarine development in the centuries to come.