Author(s): Eric Chaline
Some of the most significant advances in the past two centuries have been made in the fields of science and technology. From Stephenson's 'Rocket' to Sony's 'Walkman', mechanical devices have helped to define our culture and to transform the way we live our lives. More recently, their reach has extended beyond the relative confines of Earth, to the furthest regions of space. As technology continues to evolve, so machines offer us ever more profound perspectives on the universe and our place within it. Fifty Machines that Changed the Course of History charts the development of human civilisation through the machines it has produced. With entries ranging from the pre-eminent inventions of the First Industrial Revolution to the items that have revolutionised communications, it gives the historical and technological context behind the devices that, in their time, were pushing the boundaries of what was possible.
Eric Chaline has published titles on philosphy, including The Book of Zen and The Book of Gods, and on history, including Traveler's Guide to the Ancient World: Ancient Greece, History's Worst Inventions, History's Greatest Deceptions, History's Worst Predictions, Fifty Animals that Changed the Course of History and the forthcoming Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History.
Introduction 1. Jacquard loom (1801) 2. Roberts' lathe (1816) 3. Stephenson's Rocket (1829) 4. Whitworth planing machine (1842) 5. Corliss Steam Engine (1849) 6. Harrison power loom (1851) 7. Babbage difference engine (1855) 8. Singer sewing machine (1856) 9. SS Great Eastern (1858) 10. Hyaatt injection molding machine (1872) 11. Gramme DC machine (1873) 12. Linotype machine (1884) 13. Rover Safety Bicycle (1885) 14. Westinghouse AC system (1887) 15. Berliner gramophone (1892) 16. Parsons steam turbine (1894) 17. Lumiere cine projector (1896) 18. Marconi radio (1897) 19. Diesel engine (1897) 20. Underwood No1 Typewriter (1897) 21. Kodak Brownie camera (1900) 22. Tungram tungsten light bulb (1903) 23. Model T Ford (1908) 24. Hoover suction sweeper (1908) 25. Automatic dial telephone (1910) 26. Holt combine harvester (1911) 27. Black & Decker electric drill (1917) 28. General Electric 'Monitor-Top' refrig