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Inventing the 20th Century: 100 Inventions That Shaped the World from the Airpla

Van Dulken, Stephen

16 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0613915410 / ISBN 13: 9780613915410
Published by San Val, 2002
Used Condition: Very Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP80487741

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Inventing the 20th Century: 100 Inventions ...

Publisher: San Val

Publication Date: 2002

Book Condition:Very Good

About this title


Imagine your average day without zippers, airplanes or vacuum cleaners, without your clock radio or your personal stereo, without photocopiers. All of these devices were invented within the last hundred years and have since transformed our daily landscape.

Drawing on The British Library's vast and comprehensive collection of patents, this handsomely illustrated book recounts the history of 100 of the most significant inventions of the century, decade by decade.

From the photocopier to the Slinky, from genetic fingerprinting to the Lava Lamp, from the ballpoint pen to the fuel cell, Inventing the Twentieth Century is an informative, illuminating window onto the technology of the twentieth century. It's the perfect gift book for every inventor and tinkerer in your life!

"A wonderful book"
—L.A. Daily Breeze, Oct. 19, 2001


Nobody can complain that the 1900s were boring. Author Stephen Van Dulken observes the transition away from industrial society and past the information age through the world's patent offices in Inventing the Twentieth Century. This collection of 100 brief glimpses into important or oddball inventions is organized by decade, so the reader can see that while some things have changed dramatically--from the electric washing machine to Dolly the cloned sheep in just 86 years--others remain static, like our still-fervent quest for the perfect teabag.

Each entry consists of a page of text describing the patent and a facing page of diagrams from the application, some of which are perplexing or amusing. From the frivolous (snowboard) to the deadly serious (genetic fingerprinting) and even lifesaving (Viagra--?), Van Dulken collects inventions with the widest interest to a general audience. Each decade's section is introduced with a brief contextual exposition that lays the groundwork for understanding the circumstances that permitted each inventor's inspiration to strike. Inventing the Twentieth Century is great fun to read, but it also challenges its readers and inspires thinking about technology and our collective future. Let's hear it for pleasant surprises! --Rob Lightner

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