Before information was closely guarded and considered a zero sum game. Rosen made a pretty good stab at why some of us do these things. Instead this is a book of tangents in which the author talks about everything but the steam engine until the final chapter. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Why did it take off in England, rather than France, or China, or the Netherlands? He also followed various threads of technological developments from ancient times to 1829 that were needed for the creation of steam locomotives. But the victor, by acclamation, was the Stephenson's Rocket.
By aligning the incentives of private individuals with those of society, it transformed invention from a hobby pursued by the idle rich into an opportunity for spectacular commercial gain open to anyone with a bit of skill and a good idea. His book traces the accumulative steps of refinement that started with a device for de-watering mines, so fuel hungry it had to be placed next to the mine shaft it served, and so inefficient it could only lift water a short distance vertically. A history of the Industrial Revolution, this book explains why the changes took place when and where they did, and the forgive me locomotive force that drove exponential growth rates, ending Malthusian nightmares. Before the Industrial Revolution manufacturing was done by small scale cottage industries working at the same slow pace as they had for many centuries past. Organizing that research needs large, well-funded organizations and businesses, and so our entire scientific-industrial complex, built around the pharmaceutical company, was born.
The relationship between science and technology, as Kelvin observed, is a two-way street. Why did some succeed and others fail? By 1955 the age-old evolutionary relationship between humans and microbes had been transformed, trivializing once-deadly infections. France had neither disadvantage--but the Revolution, then Napoleon, set its inventors a generation behind Britain's. Sure, all the inventions are part of the steam engine and the steam engine could not exist without them, but the book is not about the steam engine. And how did that belief change the way humankind lives and works? If you want the best book about the Scientific Revolution then read The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science.
The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. Abbott Payson Usher- described the four steps of inventing. But by 1900,6 it took less than fifteen minutes to earn enough to buy the loaf; and by 2000, five minutes. Well The Most Powerful Idea in the World is all that and much more - and is a fascinating read. On average, a baby born in France in 1800 lived 25 fewer years than a baby born in the Republic of Congo in 2000. That allowed England to harness the creative potential of its artisan classes in a way that no other country had managed before.
The Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention. 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. The result is a surprisingly readable, insightful, and entertaining book about the steam engine and patent law. And why was it Great Britain and her onetime North American colonies that staked out a technical and commercial lead over the rest of the world which they would never really relinquish? Hardly a week passes without some high-profile court case that features intellectual property at its center. A single 17th century iron works could denude 4000 acres each year. Increased textile production put pressure on the transportation networks, which were reliant on horse drawn wagons or barges, and provided incentives for further developments of the steam engine, leading to the railroads.
Invention cannot be forced but certain conditions encourage it. However, locomotive engines needed to put more power with less weight, in other words, they needed to be more efficient. He talked about many inventors and inventions along the way, including developments in iron working, precision measurement, textiles, mining, and science. But he broke me early on. One would scarcely expect to read a history of the steam engine, or the Industrial Revolution, without, sooner or later, encountering coal. Evans had not only made the James Watt solution more powerfull, but also save on fuel.
Since sharing information is required for an innovative culture, secrets benefited the businesses that had them, but not the field of study. Much of our current economic prosperity is built on the concept that ideas are property, yet many of the barriers to extending learning at low cost run up against this principle. Deeply informative and never dull, Rosen's account of one of the most important inventions made by humans is a rollicking ride through history, with careful scholarship and fast-paced prose in equal measure. Along the way one realizes that the book is not really about steam engines at all, but an inquiry into why the first industrial revolution happened in England and not somewhere else. It carefully tells the stories of some of the key players in the development of steam power and the obstacles they faced.
This is a deep, wide-ranging, and wildly entertaining book. His subjects include the largely forgotten female pioneer who introduced smallpox inoculation to Britain, the infamous knockout drops, the first antibiotic, which saved countless lives, the first antipsychotic, which helped empty public mental hospitals, Viagra, statins, and the new frontier of monoclonal antibodies. With wit and wide-ranging curiosity, Rosen explores the power of creativity, capital, and collaboration in the brilliant engineering of the steam engine and how this power source, which fueled factories, ships, and railroads, changed human history. For while the there is some valuable intormation on early steam engine evolution, primarily the Newcombe and Watt engines in the first couple of chapters and the first practical steam locomotive Rocket in the last, the author casts his net much wider than that. To do so, Rosen conjures up an eccentric cast of characters, including the legal philosophers who enabled most the inventive society in millennia, and the scientists and inventors—Thomas Newcomen, Robert Boyle, and James Watt—who helped to create and perfect the steam engine over the centuries.
Why, for a long time in history, human development stood still? In a style that reminds one somewhat of a James Burke book, t Those who picked up the book looking for a treatise on the evolution of steam engines would do well to look at the subtitle. It is not a strictly chronological narrative and jumps between time zones but sticks to specific aspects of industrialization such as the smelting of iron, and the mechanization of the textile industry. His recounting of the invention of the steam engine puts it in the historical and cultural context that the achievement and its legacy deserve. I've enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed any book expounding on the history of technology. Thus new high pressure steam design economically allowed for train travel. And that change was simple: 17th Century Britain's insistence that ideas were a kind of property, i. The occasional authors notes tended to be a nice little bonus.