Inventions
Tesla: Man Out of Time
Tesla
Man Out of Time
Paperback      ISBN: 0743215362

In this "informative and delightful" (American Scientist) biography, Margaret Cheney explores the brilliant and prescient mind of Nikola Tesla, one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists and inventors.

In Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney explores the brilliant and prescient mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists and inventors. Called a madman by his enemies, a genius by others, and an enigma by nearly everyone, Nikola Tesla was, without a doubt, a trailblazing inventor who created astonishing, sometimes world-transforming devices that were virtually without theoretical precedent. Tesla not only discovered the rotating magnetic field -- the basis of most alternating-current machinery -- but also introduced us to the fundamentals of robotics, computers, and missile science. Almost supernaturally gifted, unfailingly flamboyant and neurotic, Tesla was troubled by an array of compulsions and phobias and was fond of extravagant, visionary experimentations. He was also a popular man-about-town, admired by men as diverse as Mark Twain and George Westinghouse, and adored by scores of society beauties.
From Tesla's childhood in Yugoslavia to his death in New York in the 1940s, Cheney paints a compelling human portrait and chronicles a lifetime of discoveries that radically altered -- and continue to alter -- the world in which we live. Tesla: Man Out of Time is an in-depth look at the seminal accomplishments of a scientific wizard and a thoughtful examination of the obsessions and eccentricities of the man behind the science.
Edison
Edison
Hardcover      ISBN: 081299311x
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris comes a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time - Publishers Weekly - Kirkus Reviews

Although Thomas Alva Edison was the most famous American of his time, and remains an international name today, he is mostly remembered only for the gift of universal electric light. His invention of the first practical incandescent lamp 140 years ago so dazzled the world--already reeling from his invention of the phonograph and dozens of other revolutionary devices--that it cast a shadow over his later achievements. In all, this near-deaf genius ("I haven't heard a bird sing since I was twelve years old") patented 1,093 inventions, not including others, such as the X-ray fluoroscope, that he left unlicensed for the benefit of medicine.

One of the achievements of this staggering new biography, the first major life of Edison in more than twenty years, is that it portrays the unknown Edison--the philosopher, the futurist, the chemist, the botanist, the wartime defense adviser, the founder of nearly 250 companies--as fully as it deconstructs the Edison of mythological memory. Edmund Morris, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, brings to the task all the interpretive acuity and literary elegance that distinguished his previous biographies of Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and Ludwig van Beethoven. A trained musician, Morris is especially well equipped to recount Edison's fifty-year obsession with recording technology and his pioneering advances in the synchronization of movies and sound. Morris sweeps aside conspiratorial theories positing an enmity between Edison and Nikola Tesla and presents proof of their mutually admiring, if wary, relationship.

Enlightened by seven years of research among the five million pages of original documents preserved in Edison's huge laboratory at West Orange, New Jersey, and privileged access to family papers still held in trust, Morris is also able to bring his subject to life on the page--the adored yet autocratic and often neglectful husband of two wives and father of six children. If the great man who emerges from it is less a sentimental hero than an overwhelming force of nature, driven onward by compulsive creativity, then Edison is at last getting his biographical due.
The Lunar Men
The Lunar Men
Paperback      ISBN: 0374528888

In the 1760s a group of amateur experimenters met and made friends in the English Midlands. Most came from humble families, all lived far from the center of things, but they were young and their optimism was boundless: together they would change the world. Among them were the ambitious toymaker Matthew Boulton and his partner James Watt, of steam-engine fame; the potter Josiah Wedgwood; the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, physician, poet, inventor, and theorist of evolution (a forerunner of his grandson Charles). Later came Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen and fighting radical.

With a small band of allies they formed the Lunar Society of Birmingham (so called because it met at each full moon) and kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Blending science, art, and commerce, the Lunar Men built canals; launched balloons; named plants, gases, and minerals; changed the face of England and the china in its drawing rooms; and plotted to revolutionize its soul.

Uglow's vivid, exhilarating account uncovers the friendships, political passions, love affairs, and love of knowledge (and power) that drove these extraordinary men. It echoes to the thud of pistons and the wheeze and snort of engines and brings to life the tradesmen, artisans, and tycoons who shaped and fired the modern age.

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything
Soonish
Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything
Paperback      ISBN: 0399563849
The instant New York Times bestseller

A Wall Street Journal Best Science Book of the Year

A Popular Science Best Science Book of the Year

From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a hilariously illustrated investigation into future technologies -- from how to fling a ship into deep space on the cheap to 3D organ printing

What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why do we not have a lunar colony already? What is the hold-up?

In this smart and funny book, celebrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and noted researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what's coming next -- from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. By weaving their own research, interviews with the scientists who are making these advances happen, and Zach's trademark comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.

New technologies are almost never the work of isolated geniuses with a neat idea. A given future technology may need any number of intermediate technologies to develop first, and many of these critical advances may appear to be irrelevant when they are first discovered. The journey to progress is full of strange detours and blind alleys that tell us so much about the human mind and the march of civilization.

To this end, Soonish investigates ten different emerging fields, from programmable matter to augmented reality, from space elevators to robotic construction, to show us the amazing world we will have, you know, soonish.

Soonish is the perfect gift for science lovers for the holidays
The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla
The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla
Paperback      ISBN: 0932813194

Nikola Tesla's Electricity Unplugged is a unique anthology of hand-picked Tesla articles, arranged historically, which presents overwhelming and convincing evidence for the reality of Tesla's high efficiency, low cost wireless power transmission. Following in the footsteps of the editor's first book in the series, Harnessing the Wheelwork of Nature, Dr. Tom Valone's book chronologically traces the original intention that Nikola Tesla had for his wireless electricity and how he updated and expanded upon it later on, with reprints of his key articles, to the recent genius engineers and physicists who are now finally bringing this last and most elusive, highly advanced Tesla technology into reality. The Corum article (along with the Peterson article) on the Zenneck wave transmission experiments culminates the viewpoints of all of the book's contributors. Its purposeful placement as the last chapter of the book, is because this exclusive article publication is a major scientific breakthrough, as testified by the book's endorsement from Brigadier General Michael Miller, and foretells the understandable, visionary road to the corporate formation of wireless power utilities. Furthermore, this is the first and only book in the world which explains how an electromagnetic wave traveling across the electrically conductive surface of the earth, was predicted by Tesla and Zenneck (two pictures in the book show them together on pages 74 and 381) and why it is the essential missing link of any Tesla wireless transmission theory. Many of the contributors also nicely explain the "surface wave phenomenon" as well as "resonant earth-ionosphere" modes of electrical transmission without wires that compliments the surface wave theory and experiment. Nikola Tesla's Electricity Unplugged therefore is a treasure compared to any other Tesla reference book currently in print, since it is jam-packed with personal stories of Tesla, such as one reprinted from the prestigious Smithsonian magazine, along with great illustrated slideshows adapted for the book format, the "secret" history of Tesla's wireless, the real Tesla electric car, high Q resonant power transfer examples being used today by Qualcomm, "Tesla unplugged" explained in an easy-to-understand presentation by a Brookhaven National Lab scientist, wireless electricity article based on scalar waves, even including a couple amazing rigorous equation articles with wireless solutions for the tech audience, a unique and evocative Foreword by Nikola Tesla's last living direct descendant, all presented in a 457-page paperback book, suitable as a college or high school reader, or simply as an eye-opening, optimistic window onto the electrical genius regarded as the "Master of Lightning," with a priceless collection of nineteen (19) contributors not available anywhere else.

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World
The Wizard of Menlo Park
How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World
Paperback      ISBN: 1400047633

Thomas Edison's greatest invention? His own fame.

At the height of his fame Thomas Alva Edison was hailed as "the Napoleon of invention" and blazed in the public imagination as a virtual demigod. Starting with the first public demonstrations of the phonograph in 1878 and extending through the development of incandescent light and the first motion picture cameras, Edison's name became emblematic of all the wonder and promise of the emerging age of technological marvels.

But as Randall Stross makes clear in this critical biography of the man who is arguably the most globally famous of all Americans, Thomas Edison's greatest invention may have been his own celebrity. Edison was certainly a technical genius, but Stross excavates the man from layers of myth-making and separates his true achievements from his almost equally colossal failures. How much credit should Edison receive for the various inventions that have popularly been attributed to him--and how many of them resulted from both the inspiration and the perspiration of his rivals and even his own assistants?

This bold reassessment of Edison's life and career answers this and many other important questions while telling the story of how he came upon his most famous inventions as a young man and spent the remainder of his long life trying to conjure similar success. We also meet his partners and competitors, presidents and entertainers, his close friend Henry Ford, the wives who competed with his work for his attention, and the children who tried to thrive in his shadow--all providing a fuller view of Edison's life and times than has ever been offered before. The Wizard of Menlo Park reveals not only how Edison worked, but how he managed his own fame, becoming the first great celebrity of the modern age.

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
How We Got to Now
Six Innovations That Made the Modern World
Paperback      ISBN: 1594633932

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Unexpected Life, a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas.

In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes--from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth--How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.

In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species--to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.
America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World
America the Ingenious
How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World
Hardcover      ISBN: 1579656943
"Among the many rewards of America the Ingenious, Kevin Baker's survey of Yankee know-how, is stumbling on its buried nuggets. . . . Baker examines a wide range of the achievements that have made, and still make, America great again--and again."
--The Wall Street Journal

All made in America: The skyscraper and subway car. The telephone and telegraph. The safety elevator and safety pin. Plus the microprocessor, amusement park, MRI, supermarket, Pennsylvania rifle, and Tennessee Valley Authority. Not to mention the city of Chicago or jazz or that magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.

What is it about America that makes it a nation of inventors, tinkerers, researchers, and adventurers--obsessive pursuers of the never-before-created? And, equally, what is it that makes America such a fertile place to explore, discover, and launch the next big thing?

In America the Ingenious, bestselling author Kevin Baker brings his gift of storytelling and eye for historical detail to the grand, and grandly entertaining, tale of American innovation. Here are the Edisons and Bells and Carnegies, and the stories of how they followed their passions and changed our world. And also the less celebrated, like Jacob Youphes and Loeb Strauss, two Jewish immigrants from Germany who transformed the way at least half the world now dresses (hint: Levi Strauss). And Leo Fender, who couldn't play a note of music, midwifing rock 'n' roll through his solid-body electric guitar and amplifier. And the many women who weren't legally recognized as inventors, but who created things to make their lives easier that we use every day--like Josephine Cochran, inventor of the dishwasher, or Marion O'Brien Donovan, who invented a waterproof diaper cover. Or a guy with the improbable name of Philo Farnsworth, who, with his invention of television, upended communication as significantly as Gutenberg did.

At a time when America struggles with different visions of what it wants to be, America the Ingenious shows the extraordinary power of what works: how immigration leads to innovation, what a strong government and strong public education mean to a climate of positive practical change, and why taking the long view instead of looking for short-term gain pays off many times over, not only for investors and inventors, but for the rest of us whose lives are made better by the new.

America and its nation of immigrants have excelled at taking ideas from anywhere and transforming them into the startling, often unexpectedly beautiful creations that have shaped our world. This is that story.
Inventions That Didn't Change the World
Inventions That Didn't Change the World
Hardcover      ISBN: 0500517622
Inventions that Didn't Change the World is a fascinating visual tour through some of the most bizarre inventions registered with the British authorities in the nineteenth century. In an era when Britain was the workshop of the world, design protection (nowadays patenting) was all the rage, and the apparently lenient approval process meant that all manner of bizarre curiosities were painstakingly recorded, in beautiful color illustrations and well-penned explanatory text, alongside the genuinely great inventions of the period. Irreverent commentary contextualizes each submission as well as taking a humorous view on how each has stood the test of time.

This book introduces such gems as a ventilating top hat; an artificial leech; a design for an aerial machine adapted for the arctic regions; an anti-explosive alarm whistle; a tennis racket with ball-picker; and a currant-cleaning machine. Here is everything the end user could possibly require for a problem he never knew he had.

Organized by area of application--industry, clothing, transportation, medical, health and safety, the home, and leisure--Inventions that Didn't Change the World reveals the concerns of a bygone era giddy with the possibilities of a newly industrialized world.
Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything
Soonish
Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve And/Or Ruin Everything
Hardcover      ISBN: 0399563822
The instant New York Times bestseller

A Wall Street Journal Best Science Book of the Year

A Popular Science Best Science Book of the Year

From a top scientist and the creator of the hugely popular web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a hilariously illustrated investigation into future technologies -- from how to fling a ship into deep space on the cheap to 3D organ printing

What will the world of tomorrow be like? How does progress happen? And why do we not have a lunar colony already? What is the hold-up?

In this smart and funny book, celebrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and noted researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what's coming next -- from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. By weaving their own research, interviews with the scientists who are making these advances happen, and Zach's trademark comics, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.

New technologies are almost never the work of isolated geniuses with a neat idea. A given future technology may need any number of intermediate technologies to develop first, and many of these critical advances may appear to be irrelevant when they are first discovered. The journey to progress is full of strange detours and blind alleys that tell us so much about the human mind and the march of civilization.

To this end, Soonish investigates ten different emerging fields, from programmable matter to augmented reality, from space elevators to robotic construction, to show us the amazing world we will have, you know, soonish.

Soonish is the perfect gift for science lovers for the holidays