Imagination is bigger in Texas, too. This collection of inspiring and often quirky stories highlights dozens of examples of innovation from Lone Star history. The Hamill brothers devised a better oil well to reach gushers at Spindletop. The first Neiman-Marcus store opened in Dallas in 1907, revolutionizing the retail fashion world. Astroturf emerged at the Astrodome in 1966. Fritos and corn dogs are just two ubiquitous snack foods claimed as Texan originals. Houston native, and civil rights activist, Congresswoman Barbara Jordan rose to national prominence as a voice of unity during the Watergate scandal. Author Alan C. Elliott details these and many more lessons in success in Texas Ingenuity.
An enlightening and fun look at scientific discoveries and the often wacky and accidental ways in which they have led to some of the most important inventions--by award-winning journalist Ira Flatow.
A perfect balance of science, history, and sociology, Time's Pendulum traces the important developments in humankind's epic quest to measure the hours, days, and years with accuracy, and how our concept of time has changed with each new technological breakthrough. Written in an easy-to-follow chronological format and illustrated with entertaining anecdotes, author Jo Ellen Barnett's history of timekeeping covers everything from the earliest sundials and water clocks, to the pendulum and the more recent advances of battery-powered, quartz-regulated wrist watches and the powerful radioactive clock, which loses only a few billionths of a second per day, making it nearly ten billion times more accurate than the pendulum clock. A tour of the discoveries and the inventors who endeavored to chart and understand time, Time's Pendulum also explains how each new advance gradually transformed our perception of the world.
Over the centuries, clocks have slowly, methodically and inextricably come to regulate every aspect of our lives. Timepieces tells the history of clocks and how the pursuit of an ever better clock has had a remarkable influence on scientific and technological developments. The 800-year journey to a perfect clock involved the greatest thinkers, scientists and mechanical geniuses, including those who improved the accuracy of mechanical clocks to such a degree that sailors could successfully determine longitude. That advance alone resulted in an explosion of travel, commerce and political expansion that would change the world map.
Tracing the history of "the key machine of the modern industrial age" is a remarkable way to trace the histories of technology and society. Each chapter focuses on one era of the clock's growth:
- The Celestial Clock A Call to Prayer The Priceless Possession of a Few From Tabletop to Waistcoat and Beyond The Craft Era in Watchmaking The Industrial Revolution Swiss Watchmaking The Standardization of Time The Quartz Revolution
Illustrated with beautiful artworks and photographs from museums and clock collections, Timepieces is a thorough and attractive historical survey.
From its earliest years, the United States was a nation of tinkerers: men and women who looked at the world around them and were able to create something genuinely new from what they saw. Guided by their innate curiosity, a desire to know how things work, and a belief that anything can be improved, amateurs and professionals from Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Edison came up with the inventions that laid the foundations for America's economic dominance. Recently, Americans have come to question whether our tinkering spirit has survived the pressures of ruthless corporate organization and bottom-line driven caution. But as Alec Foege shows in The Tinkerers, reports of tinkering's death have been greatly exaggerated.Through the stories of great tinkerers and inventions past and present, Foege documents how Franklin and Edison's modern-day heirs do not allow our cultural obsessions with efficiency and conformity to interfere with their passion and creativity. Tinkering has been the guiding force behind both major corporate-sponsored innovations such as the personal computer and Ethernet, and smaller scale inventions with great potential, such as a machine that can make low-cost eyeglass lenses for people in impoverished countries and a device that uses lasers to shoot malarial mosquitoes out of the sky. Some tinkerers attended the finest engineering schools in the world; some had no formal training in their chosen fields. Some see themselves as solo artists; others emphasize the importance of working in teams. What binds them together is an ability to subvert the old order, to see fresh potential in existing technologies, and to apply technical know-how to the problems of their day. As anyone who has feared voiding a warranty knows, the complexity of modern systems can be needlessly intimidating. Despite this, tinkerers can - and do - come from anywhere, whether it's the R&D lab of a major corporation, a hobbyist's garage, or a summer camp for budding engineers. Through a lively retelling of recent history and captivating interviews with today's most creative innovators, Foege reveals how the tinkering tradition remains, in new and unexpected forms, at the heart of American society and culture.
Where do our things really come from? China is the most common answer, but Thomas Thwaites decided he wanted to know more. In The Toaster Project, Thwaites asks what lies behind the smooth buttons on a mobile phone or the cushioned soles of running sneakers. What is involved in extracting and processing materials? To answer these questions, Thwaites set out to construct, from scratch, one of the most commonplace appliances in our kitchens today: a toaster. The Toaster Project takes the reader on Thwaites s journey from dismantling the cheapest toaster he can find in London to researching how to smelt metal in a fifteenth-century treatise. His incisive restrictions all parts of the toaster must be made from scratch and Thwaites had to make the toaster himself made his task difficult, but not impossible. It took nine months and cost 250 times more than the toaster he bought at the store. In the end, Thwaites reveals the true ingredients in the products we use every day. Most interesting is not the final creation but the lesson learned. The Toaster Project helps us reflect on the costs and perils of our cheap consumer culture and the ridiculousness of churning out millions of toasters and other products at the expense of the environment. If products were designed more efficiently, with fewer parts that are easier to recycle, we would end up with objects that last longer and we would generate less waste altogether. Foreword by David Crowley, head of critical writing at the Royal College of Art and curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum.Follow Thomas Thwaites in his newest book GoatMan.
Buried beneath Toronto's streets is a centuries-old trail that was once the road to wealth, adventure, or violent death for thousands of travellers. Now its route lies hidden and forgotten under sidewalks and farmland, though its influence can still be seen.
The Toronto Carrying Place brings Southern Ontario's most important First Nations trail back to life. Retracing the ancient portage from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe, Glenn Turner reveals the dramatic events and extraordinary characters that marked Toronto's earliest days, and shows how the path played a crucial role in the history of the Wendat (Huron), Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), and Mississauga First Nations. Toronto's French and English heritage is also explored, and reminders of the Carrying Place are discovered in unlikely places along its forty-five-kilometre route. Many photographs, maps, and reproductions offer both hikers and armchair voyageurs a look at what remains today of this fascinating portage trail, and an insight into how it has affected the growth of the Greater Toronto Area.
Contrary to popular wisdom, you don't have to be an ace electrician, a coding prodigy, or a mechanical master to come up with a game-changing invention You just need curiosity, a strong desire to fix a problem that you see in the world, and the determination to see your ideas become reality--and this book, which will teach you everything you need to go from zero to inventor.Everyone wants to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but there's never been a clear road map to becoming a wildly successful innovator--until now. In The Total Inventor's Manual, you'll learn to . . . MAKE ONE Get that great idea out of your brain and into the real world with a crash course in ideation, prototyping, and testing. Includes clever, can-do lessons in CAD, 3D-printing, laser-cutting, electronics, robotics, coding, and more. SELL ONE Whether you're riding the Kickstarter wave or hitting the venture capital beat, get your idea funded--and protect it with a proper patent. Then learn to refine your prototype's look and feel to give it a boost in the market. MAKE MANY Bring your invention to the masses with tips on manufacturing processes and best practices, plus solid advice for beginners on running a supply chain. SELL MANY You've built it--time to make them come. Discover how to effectively position your product in the marketplace, deal with consumer feedback, and run--or sell--your newly successful company. With profiles by Rachel Nuwer on the winning inventors who brought you the . . .
SPACE SUIT GLOVE - HEART STENT - SUPER SOAKER - ROOMBA - DIGITAL CAMERA - MAKERBOT 3D PRINTER - UV WATER PURIFICATION - HOME PREGNANCY TEST - AND MORE
From river to harbor to ocean, tugboats are among the most ubiquitous but underappreciated craft afloat. Whether maneuvering ships out from between tight harbor finger piers, pushing rafts of forty barges up the Mississippi, towing enormous oil rigs, or just delivering huge piles of gravel to a river port near you, tugs exude a sense of genial strength guided by the wise experience of their crews. We can admire the precision of their coordination, the determination in their movements, the glow of signal lights at night, silently communicating their condition and intentions to vessels nearby. It is nearly impossible not to be intrigued and impressed by the way tugs work.
In Tugboats Illustrated, Paul Farrell traces the evolution, design, and role of tugboats, ranging from the first steam-powered tug to today's hyper-specialized offshore workboats. Through extensive photographs, dynamic drawings, and enlightening diagrams, he explores the development of these hard-working boats, always shaped by the demands of their waterborne environment, by an ever-present element of danger, and by advancements in technology. Whether making impossible turns in small spaces, crashing through huge swells, pushing or pulling or prodding or coaxing or escorting, we come to understand not only what tugs do, but how physics and engineering allow them to do it.
From the deck layout of a nineteenth-century sidewheel tug to the mechanics of barge towing--whether by humans, mules, steam or diesel engines--to the advantages of various types and configurations of propulsion systems, to the operation of an oil rig anchor-handling tug/supply vessel, Tugboats Illustrated is a comprehensive tribute to these beloved workhorses of the sea and their intrepid crews.