Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I received this lovely coffee table book entitled simply Engineers, from my wife Jayne for my birthday.

Bound in a gold metalic cover with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge embossed into it, this is a real treasure.
Like most such massive books this isn't the kind of thing one sits down to read cover to cover, and one could quibble a bit over what Engineers and inventions are included.  
However as the subtitle says...

From the Great Pyramids to the Pioneers of Space Travel

This book covers a lot of ground!

The book is written as a series of individual articles chronicling the course of technological development from ancient times right up to present day.  What I find most fascinating is that just like the Industrial Revolutionaries that I reviewed a few days ago, this book includes lots of biographical detail for the inventors. Although because each section is relatively short, 1-2 pages each, the details provided are in the context of the inventions being discussed.

Lots of fine illustrations, including historic photographs and detailed diagrams, are included.

The book has five sections each covering a historical time period:
  1. The Early Engineers
  2. Renaissance and Enlightenment
  3. The Industrial Revolution
  4. The Machine Age
  5. Modern Times
Each section starts with an full two page introduction, which includes an illustrated timeline placing the major innovations into a chronological context. Then follows sections divided by the technological developments themselves. Since many of these occurred in parallel they are dealt with individually in sections with an article devoted to each Engineer.
For example here is the section on Steam Engines from Section 3, "The Industrial Revolution"

Developing the Steam Engine 
  1. James Watt
  2. Watt's Workshop
  3. Oliver Evans
  4. Jacob Perkins
  5. Richard Trevithick
  6. Ernst Alban
From the back cover;
Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been.
--Albert Einstein

An epic visual guide to the World's greatest engineers and their groundbreaking achievements -- From the ancient Roman aqueducts to the Large Hadron Collider

A lush and lavish book to really spend some quality time with, although it probably wouldn't be a good book for reading in bed! 
Highly recommended.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

From the Great Pyramids to the Pioneers of Space Travel

Edited by Adam Hart-Davis

Dorling Kindersley Limited



Amazon Link


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