How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World
‘Precision is an integral, unchallenged, and seemingly essential component of our modern social, mercantile, scientific, mechanical, and intellectual landscapes’ – yet most people are not entirely sure what precision is. From John ‘Iron-Mad’ Wilkinson’s work on steam engines in late 18th-century Britain to Seiko’s factory in Morioka, Japan and its quartz watches that proved too precise for some people, Simon Winchester’s history of precision describes inventors and inventions as diverse as guns, jet engines and Leica lenses.
Professor Maxwell's Duplicitous Demon
The Life and Science of James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell’s famously challenging thought experiment in which a Demon controls a door between hot and cold gases, suggests that the second law of thermodynamics can be broken. In this very accessible biography, the Demon as a narrator helps Brian Clegg argue that Maxwell’s work in fields such as electricity and magnetism not only laid the groundwork for much modern physics, but put him on a par with Newton and Einstein.
Discoveries, Inventions, New Technology
Beginning with an overview of early milestones in human innovation, such as the wheel, this volume moves on to consider sources of energy, forms of transport, and how technology, both old and new, informs our everyday lives. Slightly off-mint. Age 9+
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
When George Seldon was granted the American patent for an ‘improved road engine’ in 1895 his royalties hampered the fledgling automobile industry, but Henry Ford’s 1911 legal challenge saw the copyright lifted and the invention went on to define an era. This account debunks the myths surrounding the industry’s origins, and profiles the business tycoons, maverick inventors and daredevil racers who played a part in establishing it.Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
How We Got to Now
Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
Published to accompany a US TV series, this history of human progress identifies six key inventions – refrigeration, clocks, lenses, water purification, sound recording and artificial light – and describes the development and far-reaching consequences of each breakthrough. Felt-tip mark on the lower trimmed edge.
Inventions that Didn't Change the World
It’s no wonder the ‘Combined Umbrella Handle and Railway Carriage Door Key’, or the ‘Continuous Stream Enema Fountain Syringe’, were never made, yet Victorian designers were ever hopeful of relieving life’s burdens. This fascinating collection of 240 illustrations, reproduced from the National Archives, features drawings of gadgets and appliances submitted to officialdom for copyright purposes but never realized as products. Domestic needs and health concerns are among the many aspects of Victorian life revealed by the quirky ingenuity on display.
Inventors & Impostors
How History Forgot the True Heroes of Invention and Discovery
It is fairly well known that there are rival candidates to Alexander Graham Bell for the invention of the telephone, but attributing the idea of a moving assembly line to Henry Ford is not usually disputed. This book tells the story of 14 key inventions or discoveries, from Edison and the light bulb to Watson and Crick's research into DNA, and highlights the involvement of less famous pioneers whom history has overlooked.