Power, Speed, and Form is the first accessible account
of the engineering behind eight breakthrough innovations that
transformed American life from 1876 to 1939--the telephone,
electric power, oil refining, the automobile, the airplane, radio,
the long-span steel bridge, and building with reinforced concrete.
Beginning with Thomas Edison's system to generate and distribute
electric power, the authors explain the Bell telephone, the oil
refining processes of William Burton and Eugene Houdry, Henry
Ford's Model T car and the response by General Motors, the Wright
brothers' airplane, radio innovations from Marconi to Armstrong,
Othmar Ammann's George Washington Bridge, the reinforced concrete
structures of John Eastwood and Anton Tedesko, and in the 1930s,
the Chrysler Airflow car and the Douglas DC-3 airplane.
These innovations used simple numerical ideas, which the
Billingtons integrate with short narrative accounts of each
breakthrough--a unique and effective way to introduce engineering
and how engineers think. The book shows how the best engineering
exemplifies efficiency, economy and, where possible, elegance. With
Power, Speed, and Form, educators, first-year engineering
students, liberal arts students, and general readers now have, for
the first time in one volume, an accessible and readable history of
engineering achievements that were vital to America's development
and that are still the foundations of modern life.
Subjects: Technology, History of Science & Technology
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