The Most Powerful Idea in the World

A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention

Author: William Rosen

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226726347

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 370

View: 747

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"The Most Powerful Idea in the World argues that the very notion of intellectual property drove not only the invention of the steam engine but also the entire Industrial Revolution." -- Back cover.

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention

Author: William Rosen

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0679603611

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 8218

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The sweeping true story of how the steam engine changed the world, from the acclaimed author of Miracle Cure If all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, they would show an almost perfectly flat line—until the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress. In The Most Powerful Idea in the World, William Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove it—the steam engine. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen’s answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law the century before: that people had the right to own and profit from their ideas. The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. Rosen traces the steam engine’s history from its early days as a clumsy but sturdy machine, to its coming-of-age driving the wheels of mills and factories, to its maturity as a transporter for people and freight by rail and by sea. Along the way we enter the minds of such inventors as Thomas Newcomen and James Watt, scientists including Robert Boyle and Joseph Black, and philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith—all of whose insights, tenacity, and ideas transformed first a nation and then the world. William Rosen is a masterly storyteller with a keen eye for the “aha!” moments of invention and a gift for clear and entertaining explanations of science. The Most Powerful Idea in the World will appeal to readers fascinated with history, science, and the hows and whys of innovation itself. From the Hardcover edition.

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

A Story of Steam, Industry and Invention

Author: William Rosen

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1407090917

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 7353

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'The most important invention in the whole of the Industrial Revolution was invention itself.' Those words are at the heart of this remarkable book - a history of the Industrial Revolution and the steam engine, as well as an account of how inventors first came to own and profit from their ideas and how invention itself springs forth from logic and imagination. Rocket. It was the fortuitously named train that inaugurated steam locomotion in 1829, jump-starting two centuries of mass transportation. As William Rosen reveals, it was the product of centuries of scientific and industrial discovery. From inventor Heron of Alexandria in AD 60 to James Watt, the physicist whose 'separate condenser' was central to the development of steam power - all those who made possible the long ride towards the Industrial Revolution are brought to life. But crucial to their contributions are other characters whose concepts allowed their invention to flourish - John Locke and intellectual property; Edward Coke and patents. Along the way, Rosen takes us deep into the human mind, explaining how 'eureka' moments occur - when the brain is most relaxed.

Power from Steam

A History of the Stationary Steam Engine

Author: Richard L. Hills

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521458344

Category: Science

Page: 338

View: 1810

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This is the first comprehensive history of the steam engine in fifty years. It follows the development of reciprocating steam engines, from their earliest forms to the beginning of the twentieth century when they were replaced by steam turbines.

A Short History of the Steam Engine

Author: Henry Winram Dickinson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1108012280

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 300

View: 3361

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A highly readable history of the stationary steam engine, intelligible to the non-specialist reader and engineer alike.

James Watt

Making the World Anew

Author: Ben Russell

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780234023

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 1894

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Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer James Watt (1736–1819) is best known for his pioneering work on the steam engine that became fundamental to the incredible changes and developments wrought by the Industrial Revolution. But in this new biography, Ben Russell tells a much bigger, richer story, peering over Watt’s shoulder to more fully explore the processes he used and how his ephemeral ideas were transformed into tangible artifacts. Over the course of the book, Russell reveals as much about the life of James Watt as he does a history of Britain’s early industrial transformation and the birth of professional engineering. To record this fascinating narrative, Russell draws on a wide range of resources—from archival material to three-dimensional objects to scholarship in a diversity of fields from ceramics to antique machine-making. He explores Watt’s early years and interest in chemistry and examines Watt’s partnership with Matthew Boulton, with whom he would become a successful and wealthy man. In addition to discussing Watt’s work and incredible contributions that changed societies around the world, Russell looks at Britain’s early industrial transformation. Published in association with the Science Museum London, and with seventy illustrations, James Watt is not only an intriguing exploration of the engineer’s life, but also an illuminating journey into the broader practices of invention in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Published in association with the Science Museum, London

Justinian's Flea

The First Great Plague and the End of the Roman Empire

Author: William Rosen

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101202424

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 1463

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From the acclaimed author of Miracle Cure and The Third Horseman, the epic story of the collision between one of nature's smallest organisms and history's mightiest empire During the golden age of the Roman Empire, Emperor Justinian reigned over a territory that stretched from Italy to North Africa. It was the zenith of his achievements and the last of them. In 542 AD, the bubonic plague struck. In weeks, the glorious classical world of Justinian had been plunged into the medieval and modern Europe was born. At its height, five thousand people died every day in Constantinople. Cities were completely depopulated. It was the first pandemic the world had ever known and it left its indelible mark: when the plague finally ended, more than 25 million people were dead. Weaving together history, microbiology, ecology, jurisprudence, theology, and epidemiology, Justinian's Flea is a unique and sweeping account of the little known event that changed the course of a continent. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Miracle Cure

The Creation of Antibiotics and the Birth of Modern Medicine

Author: William Rosen

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698184106

Category: Medical

Page: 368

View: 368

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The epic history of how antibiotics were born, saving millions of lives and creating a vast new industry known as Big Pharma. As late as the 1930s, virtually no drug intended for sickness did any good; doctors could set bones, deliver babies, and offer palliative care. That all changed in less than a generation with the discovery and development of a new category of medicine known as antibiotics. By 1955, the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once-deadly infections. William Rosen captures this revolution with all its false starts, lucky surprises, and eccentric characters. He explains why, given the complex nature of bacteria—and their ability to rapidly evolve into new forms—the only way to locate and test potential antibiotic strains is by large-scale, systematic, trial-and-error experimentation. Organizing that research needs large, well-funded organizations and businesses, and so our entire scientific-industrial complex, built around the pharmaceutical company, was born. Timely, engrossing, and eye-opening, Miracle Cure is a must-read science narrative—a drama of enormous range, combining science, technology, politics, and economics to illuminate the reasons behind one of the most dramatic changes in humanity’s relationship with nature since the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago.

A Brief History of the Age of Steam

The Power that Drove the Industrial Revolution

Author: Thomas Crump

Publisher: Running PressBook Pub

ISBN: 9780786720477

Category: History

Page: 370

View: 2194

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In 1710 an obscure Devon ironmonger Thomas Newcomen invented a machine with a pump driven by coal, used to extract water from mines. Over the next two hundred years the steam engine would be at the heart of the industrial revolution that changed the fortunes of nations. Passionately written and insightful, A Brief History of the Age of Steam reveals not just the lives of the great inventors such as Watts, Stephenson and Brunel but also tells a narrative that reaches from the US to the expansion of China, India, and South America and shows how the steam engine changed the world.

The Dawn of Innovation

The First American Industrial Revolution

Author: Charles R. Morris

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1586488287

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 7985

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Describes industry in America between the War of 1812 and the Civil War and how this period of growth in the first half of the century built the platform for Carnegie, Rockefeller and Morgan in the second half. 35,000 first printing.

The Making of Modern London

Author: Gavin Weightman,Stephen Humphries,Joanna Mack,John Taylor

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0091920043

Category: History

Page: 500

View: 1099

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In this magnificent introduction to the last 200 years of London’s momentous history, the authors skillfully combine living memory with diligent historical research to record the city of London from Dickens’s time to the present day.

The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective

Author: Robert C. Allen

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521687850

Category: History

Page: 342

View: 8112

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Why did the industrial revolution take place in eighteenth-century Britain and not elsewhere in Europe or Asia? In this convincing new account Robert Allen argues that the British industrial revolution was a successful response to the global economy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He shows that in Britain wages were high and capital and energy cheap in comparison to other countries in Europe and Asia. As a result, the breakthrough technologies of the industrial revolution - the steam engine, the cotton mill, and the substitution of coal for wood in metal production - were uniquely profitable to invent and use in Britain. The high wage economy of pre-industrial Britain also fostered industrial development since more people could afford schooling and apprenticeships. It was only when British engineers made these new technologies more cost-effective during the nineteenth century that the industrial revolution would spread around the world.

Street Smart

The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars

Author: Samuel I. Schwartz

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610395654

Category: Political Science

Page: 312

View: 5058

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With wit and sharp insight, former Traffic Commissioner of New York City, Sam Schwartz a.k.a. “Gridlock Sam,” one of the most respected transportation engineers in the world and consummate insider in NYC political circles, uncovers how American cities became so beholden to cars and why the current shift away from that trend will forever alter America's urban landscapes, marking nothing short of a revolution in how we get from place to place. When Sam Schwartz was growing up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn—his block belonged to his community: the kids who played punchball and stickball & their parents, who'd regularly walk to the local businesses at which they also worked. He didn't realize it then, but Bensonhurst was already more like a museum of a long-forgotten way-of-life than a picture of America's future. Public transit traveled over and under city streets—New York's first subway line opened in 1904—but the streets themselves had been conquered by the internal combustion engine. America's dependency on the automobile began with the 1908 introduction of Henry Ford's car-for-everyone, the Model T. The “battle for right-of-way” in the 1920s saw the demise of streetcars and transformed America's streets from a multiuse resource for socializing, commerce, and public mobility into exclusive arteries for private automobiles. The subsequent destruction of urban transit systems and post WWII suburbanization of America enabled by the Interstate Highway System and the GI Bill forever changed the way Americans commuted. But today, for the first time in history, and after a hundred years of steady increase, automobile driving is in decline. Younger Americans increasingly prefer active transportation choices like walking or cycling and taking public transit, ride-shares or taxis. This isn't a consequence of higher gas prices, or even the economic downturn, but rather a collective decision to be a lot less dependent on cars—and if American cities want to keep their younger populations, they need to plan accordingly. In Street Smart, Sam Schwartz explains how. In this clear and erudite presentation of the principles of smart transportation and sustainable urban planning—from the simplest cobblestoned street to the brave new world of driverless cars and trains—Sam Schwartz combines rigorous historical scholarship with the personal and entertaining recollections of a man who has spent more than forty years working on planning intelligent transit networks in New York City. Street Smart is a book for everyone who wants to know more about the who, what, when, where, and why of human mobility.

Liberty's Dawn

A People's History of the Industrial Revolution

Author: Emma Griffin

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300194811

Category: History

Page: 314

View: 4956

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DIVThis remarkable book looks at hundreds of autobiographies penned between 1760 and 1900 to offer an intimate firsthand account of how the Industrial Revolution was experienced by the working class. The Industrial Revolution brought not simply misery and poverty. On the contrary, Griffin shows how it raised incomes, improved literacy, and offered exciting opportunities for political action. For many, this was a period of new, and much valued, sexual and cultural freedom./divDIV /divDIVThis rich personal account focuses on the social impact of the Industrial Revolution, rather than its economic and political histories. In the tradition of best-selling books by Liza Picard, Judith Flanders, and Jerry White, Griffin gets under the skin of the period and creates a cast of colorful characters, including factory workers, miners, shoemakers, carpenters, servants, and farm laborers./div

The Industrial Revolution Explained

Steam, Sparks and Massive Wheels

Author: Stan Yorke

Publisher: Countryside Books (GB)

ISBN: 9781853069352

Category: History

Page: 128

View: 5950

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Descibes the scientific and engineering achievements of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, discussing such topics as agriculture, coal mining, canals, railways, factories, and buildings.

Edison's Eve

A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life

Author: Gaby Wood

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: N.A

Category: Computers

Page: 304

View: 6634

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Describes the human fascination with creating life as it traces the scientific research, theories, hoaxes, and inventions that presaged the evolution of contemporary robotics and experiments with artificial intelligence. 20,000 first printing.

Ideas

A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud

Author: Peter Watson

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061800309

Category: History

Page: 848

View: 4081

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Peter Watson's hugely ambitious and stimulating history of ideas from deep antiquity to the present day—from the invention of writing, mathematics, science, and philosophy to the rise of such concepts as the law, sacrifice, democracy, and the soul—offers an illuminated path to a greater understanding of our world and ourselves.

Curiosity

How Science Became Interested in Everything

Author: Philip Ball

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022604582X

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 4877

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With the recent landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, it seems safe to assume that the idea of being curious is alive and well in modern science—that it’s not merely encouraged but is seen as an essential component of the scientific mission. Yet there was a time when curiosity was condemned. Neither Pandora nor Eve could resist the dangerous allure of unanswered questions, and all knowledge wasn’t equal—for millennia it was believed that there were some things we should not try to know. In the late sixteenth century this attitude began to change dramatically, and in Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything, Philip Ball investigates how curiosity first became sanctioned—when it changed from a vice to a virtue and how it became permissible to ask any and every question about the world. Looking closely at the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, Ball vividly brings to life the age when modern science began, a time that spans the lives of Galileo and Isaac Newton. In this entertaining and illuminating account of the rise of science as we know it, Ball tells of scientists both legendary and lesser known, from Copernicus and Kepler to Robert Boyle, as well as the inventions and technologies that were inspired by curiosity itself, such as the telescope and the microscope. The so-called Scientific Revolution is often told as a story of great geniuses illuminating the world with flashes of inspiration. But Curiosity reveals a more complex story, in which the liberation—and subsequent taming—of curiosity was linked to magic, religion, literature, travel, trade, and empire. Ball also asks what has become of curiosity today: how it functions in science, how it is spun and packaged for consumption, how well it is being sustained, and how the changing shape of science influences the kinds of questions it may continue to ask. Though proverbial wisdom tell us that it was through curiosity that our innocence was lost, that has not deterred us. Instead, it has been completely the contrary: today we spend vast sums trying to reconstruct the first instants of creation in particle accelerators, out of a pure desire to know. Ball refuses to let us take this desire for granted, and this book is a perfect homage to such an inquisitive attitude.

The Invention of Science

A New History of the Scientific Revolution

Author: David Wootton

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062199250

Category: Science

Page: 784

View: 7690

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A companion to such acclaimed works as The Age of Wonder, A Clockwork Universe, and Darwin’s Ghosts—a groundbreaking examination of the greatest event in history, the Scientific Revolution, and how it came to change the way we understand ourselves and our world. We live in a world transformed by scientific discovery. Yet today, science and its practitioners have come under political attack. In this fascinating history spanning continents and centuries, historian David Wootton offers a lively defense of science, revealing why the Scientific Revolution was truly the greatest event in our history. The Invention of Science goes back five hundred years in time to chronicle this crucial transformation, exploring the factors that led to its birth and the people who made it happen. Wootton argues that the Scientific Revolution was actually five separate yet concurrent events that developed independently, but came to intersect and create a new worldview. Here are the brilliant iconoclasts—Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, and many more curious minds from across Europe—whose studies of the natural world challenged centuries of religious orthodoxy and ingrained superstition. From gunpowder technology, the discovery of the new world, movable type printing, perspective painting, and the telescope to the practice of conducting experiments, the laws of nature, and the concept of the fact, Wotton shows how these discoveries codified into a social construct and a system of knowledge. Ultimately, he makes clear the link between scientific discovery and the rise of industrialization—and the birth of the modern world we know.

What Technology Wants

Author: Kevin Kelly

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143120174

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 406

View: 2951

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Profiles technology as an evolving international system with predictable trends, counseling readers on how to prepare themselves and future generations by anticipating and steering their choices toward developing needs.