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Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology (100 Ponderables)
Hardcover - English

From ancient aqueducts to soaring skyscrapers, explore engineering milestones over the centuries.

Combining engaging text with captivating images and helpful diagrams, renowned science writer Tom Jackson guides readers through the history of engineering in the 7th installment of the groundbreaking Ponderables(TM) series.

Engineering is all around us. From our bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers, to our cars, computers and smartphones, engineering shapes our world and influences just about everything we see and do. And it's been that way for longer than you might think. From the crudely knapped hand axes of our human ancestor Homo Habilis to the mind-blowing ways in which modern engineering has improved the quality of daily life and expanded the scope of our civilization, the story of engineering is the story of humankind itself. In a series of 100 enlightening articles, this book tells that incredible story by exploring the biggest names, grandest achievements and greatest inventions of the engineering world from prehistory all the way up to present day. Carefully curated, beautifully illustrated and addictively fun, this volume is your ultimate guide to the dreamers, thinkers, tinkerers, and builders that make our world.

Organized in chronological order, Engineering takes readers on a journey through time, encountering milestone achievements in the fields of engineering at each stop along the way:

  • In 1698, Thomas Savery builds "The Miner's Friend; or, An Engine to Raise Water by Fire." It is a water pump that uses steam power. Although incredibly inefficient it is the first functioning steam engine.
  • In 1783, Joseph-Michael and Jacques- tienne Montgolfier build the first flying machine capable of carrying human passengers. It is a 30-feet wide hot air balloon, powered by an open fire and made of paper
  • In 1855, Henry Bessemer designs a new system for making steel, a strong alloy of iron and carbon. Before this invention it took 12 hours to make 1.5 tons of wrought iron. Bessemer's "converter" could produce 15 tons of much stronger steel in just 20 minutes.
  • The first communication satellite is Echo 1, a metallic balloon launched into the upper atmosphere by NASA in 1960.
  • In 2007, 3.3 billion cubic feet (94 million cubic meters) of sand and rock are laid down along the coast of Dubai to make Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest artificial ocean island.
  • In 2016, Solar Impulse flies more than half way around the world powered only by electricity generated by solar panels on its wings.
An indispensable volume for students and anyone interested in the marvels of engineering, this book includes:
  • 100 chronological articles telling the story of engineering from prehistory to the present day.
  • Authoritative text, exciting imagery, and helpful diagrams accompanying each of the steps along the way.
  • Biographies of great engineers, such as Archimedes, Tesla, and Watt, showing the inspirations that lay behind their goals.
  • A guide to each field of engineering and the materials they employ, offering insight into achievements in the fields, the limits, and what might come next.
  • An easy-to-follow graphical representation of engineering milestones.
  • A 24-page removable foldout concertina with a 12-page timeline history of engineering.

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Publication Date
27.69cm x 23.62cm x 3.05cm
Age Group
NA to NA
Not Applicable to Not Applicable
Lexile Level
About Author

Jackson, Tom
Tom Jackson is an experienced author of natural history and science books. Since graduating with a degree in zoology from Bristol University, he has worked at Jersey Zoo and has been involved in the conservation of endangered wildlife in Zimbabwe. As a travel journalist, he has explored the wondrous Galapagos Islands and the Amazonian rainforests. Tom's published works include Tropical Forest (Raintree), Nature Factfile: Monkeys (Southwater), The World Encyclopedia of Animals, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals of America and Parrots, Tropical and Rainforest Birds (all Lorenz Books).

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