The Most Powerful Idea in the World

Author: William Rosen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226726342
Release Date: 2012-03-15
Genre: Business & Economics

"The Most Powerful Idea in the World argues that the very notion of intellectual property drove not only the invention of the steam engine but also the entire Industrial Revolution." -- Back cover.

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

Author: William Rosen
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780679603610
Release Date: 2010-06-01
Genre: History

The sweeping true story of how the steam engine changed the world, from the acclaimed author of Miracle Cure If all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, they would show an almost perfectly flat line—until the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress. In The Most Powerful Idea in the World, William Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove it—the steam engine. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen’s answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law the century before: that people had the right to own and profit from their ideas. The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. Rosen traces the steam engine’s history from its early days as a clumsy but sturdy machine, to its coming-of-age driving the wheels of mills and factories, to its maturity as a transporter for people and freight by rail and by sea. Along the way we enter the minds of such inventors as Thomas Newcomen and James Watt, scientists including Robert Boyle and Joseph Black, and philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith—all of whose insights, tenacity, and ideas transformed first a nation and then the world. William Rosen is a masterly storyteller with a keen eye for the “aha!” moments of invention and a gift for clear and entertaining explanations of science. The Most Powerful Idea in the World will appeal to readers fascinated with history, science, and the hows and whys of innovation itself. From the Hardcover edition.

The Most Powerful Idea in the World

Author: William Rosen
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781407090917
Release Date: 2010-06-10
Genre: History

'The most important invention in the whole of the Industrial Revolution was invention itself.' Those words are at the heart of this remarkable book - a history of the Industrial Revolution and the steam engine, as well as an account of how inventors first came to own and profit from their ideas and how invention itself springs forth from logic and imagination. Rocket. It was the fortuitously named train that inaugurated steam locomotion in 1829, jump-starting two centuries of mass transportation. As William Rosen reveals, it was the product of centuries of scientific and industrial discovery. From inventor Heron of Alexandria in AD 60 to James Watt, the physicist whose 'separate condenser' was central to the development of steam power - all those who made possible the long ride towards the Industrial Revolution are brought to life. But crucial to their contributions are other characters whose concepts allowed their invention to flourish - John Locke and intellectual property; Edward Coke and patents. Along the way, Rosen takes us deep into the human mind, explaining how 'eureka' moments occur - when the brain is most relaxed.

Power from Steam

Author: Richard L. Hills
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 052145834X
Release Date: 1993-08-19
Genre: Science

This is the first comprehensive history of the steam engine in fifty years. It follows the development of reciprocating steam engines, from their earliest forms to the beginning of the twentieth century when they were replaced by steam turbines.

A Short History of the Steam Engine

Author: Henry Winram Dickinson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108012287
Release Date: 2011-02-17
Genre: Technology & Engineering

A highly readable history of the stationary steam engine, intelligible to the non-specialist reader and engineer alike.

The Dawn of Innovation

Author: Charles R. Morris
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781586488284
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Business & Economics

Describes industry in America between the War of 1812 and the Civil War and how this period of growth in the first half of the century built the platform for Carnegie, Rockefeller and Morgan in the second half. 35,000 first printing.

Miracle Cure

Author: William Rosen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698184107
Release Date: 2017-05-09
Genre: Medical

The epic history of how antibiotics were born, saving millions of lives and creating a vast new industry known as Big Pharma. As late as the 1930s, virtually no drug intended for sickness did any good; doctors could set bones, deliver babies, and offer palliative care. That all changed in less than a generation with the discovery and development of a new category of medicine known as antibiotics. By 1955, the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once-deadly infections. William Rosen captures this revolution with all its false starts, lucky surprises, and eccentric characters. He explains why, given the complex nature of bacteria—and their ability to rapidly evolve into new forms—the only way to locate and test potential antibiotic strains is by large-scale, systematic, trial-and-error experimentation. Organizing that research needs large, well-funded organizations and businesses, and so our entire scientific-industrial complex, built around the pharmaceutical company, was born. Timely, engrossing, and eye-opening, Miracle Cure is a must-read science narrative—a drama of enormous range, combining science, technology, politics, and economics to illuminate the reasons behind one of the most dramatic changes in humanity’s relationship with nature since the invention of agriculture ten thousand years ago.

Children of Light

Author: Gavin Weightman
Publisher: Atlantic Books
ISBN: 9780857893000
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Genre: Technology & Engineering

In the early 1870's a nighttime view over Britain would have revealed towns lit by the warm glow of gas and oil lamps and a much darker countryside, the only light emanating from the fiery sparks of late running steam trains. However, by the end of this same decade,Victorian Britons would experience a new brilliance in their streets, town halls, and other public places. Electricity had come to town. In Children of Light, Gavin Weightman brings to life not just the most celebrated electrical pioneers, such as Thomas Edison, but also the men such as Rookes Crompton who lit Henley Regatta in 1879; Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti, a direct descendant of one of the Venetian Doges, who built Britain’s first major power station on the Thames at Deptford; and Anglo–Irish aristocrat, Charles Parsons inventor of the steam turbine, which revolutionized the generating of electricity. Children of Light takes in the electrification of the tramways and the London Underground, the transformation of the home with "labor saving" devices, the vital modernizing of industry during two world wars, and the battles between environmentalists and the promoters of electric power, which began in earnest when the first pylons went up. As Children of Light shows, the electric revolution has brought us luxury that would have astonished the Victorians, but at a price we are still having to pay.

The Making of Modern London

Author: Gavin Weightman
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780091920043
Release Date: 2007
Genre: History

In this magnificent introduction to the last 200 years of London’s momentous history, the authors skillfully combine living memory with diligent historical research to record the city of London from Dickens’s time to the present day.

A Brief History of the Age of Steam

Author: Thomas Crump
Publisher: Running PressBook Pub
ISBN: 0786720476
Release Date: 2007
Genre: History

In 1710 an obscure Devon ironmonger Thomas Newcomen invented a machine with a pump driven by coal, used to extract water from mines. Over the next two hundred years the steam engine would be at the heart of the industrial revolution that changed the fortunes of nations. Passionately written and insightful, A Brief History of the Age of Steam reveals not just the lives of the great inventors such as Watts, Stephenson and Brunel but also tells a narrative that reaches from the US to the expansion of China, India, and South America and shows how the steam engine changed the world.

The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective

Author: Robert C. Allen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521687853
Release Date: 2009-04-09
Genre: History

Why did the industrial revolution take place in eighteenth-century Britain and not elsewhere in Europe or Asia? In this convincing new account Robert Allen argues that the British industrial revolution was a successful response to the global economy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He shows that in Britain wages were high and capital and energy cheap in comparison to other countries in Europe and Asia. As a result, the breakthrough technologies of the industrial revolution - the steam engine, the cotton mill, and the substitution of coal for wood in metal production - were uniquely profitable to invent and use in Britain. The high wage economy of pre-industrial Britain also fostered industrial development since more people could afford schooling and apprenticeships. It was only when British engineers made these new technologies more cost-effective during the nineteenth century that the industrial revolution would spread around the world.

One Billion Hungry

Author: Gordon Conway
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801466106
Release Date: 2012-10-16
Genre: Business & Economics

Hunger is a daily reality for a billion people. More than six decades after the technological discoveries that led to the Green Revolution aimed at ending world hunger, regular food shortages, malnutrition, and poverty still plague vast swaths of the world. And with increasing food prices, climate change, resource inequality, and an ever-increasing global population, the future holds further challenges. In One Billion Hungry, Sir Gordon Conway, one of the world's foremost experts on global food needs, explains the many interrelated issues critical to our global food supply from the science of agricultural advances to the politics of food security. He expands the discussion begun in his influential The Doubly Green Revolution: Food for All in the Twenty-First Century, emphasizing the essential combination of increased food production, environmental stability, and poverty reduction necessary to end endemic hunger on our planet. Beginning with a definition of hunger and how it is calculated, and moving through issues topically both detailed and comprehensive, each chapter focuses on specific challenges and solutions, ranging in scope from the farmer's daily life to the global movement of food, money, and ideas. Drawing on the latest scientific research and the results of projects around the world, Conway addresses the concepts and realities of our global food needs: the legacy of the Green Revolution; the impact of market forces on food availability; the promise and perils of genetically modified foods; agricultural innovation in regard to crops, livestock, pest control, soil, and water; and the need to both adapt to and slow the rate of climate change. One Billion Hungry will be welcomed by all readers seeking a multifacted understanding of our global food supply, food security, international agricultural development, and sustainability.

The Industrial Revolution Explained

Author: Stan Yorke
Publisher: Countryside Books (GB)
ISBN: 1853069353
Release Date: 2005
Genre: History

Descibes the scientific and engineering achievements of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, discussing such topics as agriculture, coal mining, canals, railways, factories, and buildings.

Edison s Eve

Author: Gaby Wood
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: UOM:39015055204815
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Computers

Describes the human fascination with creating life as it traces the scientific research, theories, hoaxes, and inventions that presaged the evolution of contemporary robotics and experiments with artificial intelligence. 20,000 first printing.

Whistling Vivaldi How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do Issues of Our Time

Author: Claude Steele
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393339727
Release Date: 2011-04-04
Genre: Family & Relationships

In Whistling Vivaldi, described as a 'beautifully-written account' of the relationship between stereotypes and identity, Claude Steele offers a vivid first-person detailing of the research that brought him to his groundbreaking conclusions. Through the telling of dramatic personal stories, Dr. Steele shares the process of constructing and completing experiments and statistical studies that show that exposing subjects to stereotypes - merely reminding a group of female math majors about to take a math test, for example, that women are considered naturally inferior to men at math - impairs their performance in the area affected by the stereotype. Steele's conclusions shed new light on a host of American social phenomena, from the racial and gender gaps in standardized test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men. As Homi Bhabha states, 'Steele's book is both urgent and important in understanding the tyranny of the stereotype and liberating ourselves from its derogatory, one-dimensional vision.' Whistling Vivaldi presents a new way of looking at identity and the way it is shaped by social expectations, and, in Richard Thompson Ford's words, 'offers a clear and compelling analysis and, better still, straightforward and practical solutions.'