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An in-depth look at the top one hundred inventions through the ages examines details of the setbacks and the breakthroughs, as well as anecdotes describing the methods behind the creation and workings of such innovations as the air conditioner, Faraday's electric motor, the Colt pistol, and more. Reprint.
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Though the idea of ranking inventions might seem a little silly, Philbin's catalog of machines and tools that have changed the world proves a surprisingly absorbing read-largely because of the author's brisk, fact-filled and gossipy descriptions. His entry for invention #2, for example, not only recounts how Thomas Edison used plain-old cotton thread to invent the electric light bulb, it also reveals Edison himself to be "a work-obsessed, sometimes ruthless, egoistic man who could be obscene and a little crude." Similarly, in reading about the development of general anesthesia (invention #34), one learns that British chemist Joseph Priestly isolated the gas nitrous oxide in 1776 and that "enlightened members of society" used to hold "ether frolics" in which they reveled in the gas's intoxicating properties. Even a seemingly obvious entry like "nail" (invention #36) yields an intriguing account of the old artisan profession of "nailor." Philbin clearly has a knack for making even the driest facts yield narrative juice. Anyone in the mood for a pleasant survey of science history would do well to buy his book.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Citadel, 2005. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110806524049
Book Description Citadel. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0806524049 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1317461
Book Description Citadel, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0806524049