The perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

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The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement--precision--in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future.

The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools--machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras--and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider.

Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today's cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia.

As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?

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ISBN:
9780062652553
9780062652577
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 87fc7209-938a-66d9-7dab-f3e661e9ef25
Grouping Title perfectionists how precision engineers created the modern world
Grouping Author winchester simon
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-07-21 05:12:13AM
Last Indexed 2018-07-21 05:18:44AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level
accelerated_reader_point_value 0
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author Simon Winchester
author_display Simon Winchester
collection_aacpl ADULT
detailed_location_aacpl Annapolis Library - Nonfiction, Glen Burnie Library - Nonfiction, Odenton Library - Nonfiction, Online OverDrive Collection
display_description "Precision is so essential a component of modern human life and existence that we seldom stop to think about it. [This book] examines the relatively recent development of the notion of precision--the people who developed it and the ways in which it has shaped the modern world--and the challenges posed and losses risked by our veneration and pursuit of increasingly precise tools and methods. The history of precision as a concept and in practice begins in England with its originators: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who first exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools--machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods in the development of guns, glass, mirrors, lenses, and cameras gave way to further advancements, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider. The fundamental questions at the heart of The Perfectionists are these: Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultraprecise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural coexist in society?"--Dust jacket.
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primary_isbn 9780062652553
publishDate 2018
record_details ils:a1438889|Book|Books|First edition.|English|Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,|[2018]|xii, 395 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm, overdrive:330fb747-a1a9-44c5-a2d0-2ccccb017206|eBook|eBook||English|HarperCollins|2018|
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subject_facet Engineering -- History, Machine design -- History, Metrology -- History, Technological innovations -- History
title_display The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world
title_full The Perfectionists How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World, The perfectionists : how precision engineers created the modern world / Simon Winchester
title_short The perfectionists :
title_sub How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World
topic_facet Engineering, History, Machine design, Metrology, Nonfiction, Technological innovations, Technology