How Invention Begins - John H. Lienhard
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How Invention Begins  - John H. Lienhard

Written by John H. Lienhard
Format(s): PDF
Language: English

How Invention Begins: Echoes of Old Voices in the Rise of New Machines
by John H. Lienhard
Oxford University Press, USA | June 2008 | ISBN-10: 0195341201 | PDF | 288 pages | 13.4 mb
http://www.amazon.com/How-Invention-Begins-Echoes-Machines/dp/0195341201
scanned to PDF by me.

In How Invention Begins, Lienhard reconciles the ends of invention with the individual leaps upon which they are built, illuminating the vast web of individual inspirations that lie behind whole technologies. He traces, for instance, the way in which thousands of people applied their combined inventive genius to airplanes, railroad engines, and automobiles. As he does so, it becomes clear that a collective desire, an upwelling of fascination, a spirit of the times--a Zeitgeist--laid its hold upon inventors. The thing they all sought to create was speed itself. Likewise, Lienhard shows that when we trace the astonishingly complex technology of printing books, we come at last to that which we desire from books--the knowledge, the learning, that they provide. Can we speak of speed or education as inventions? To do so, he concludes, is certainly no greater a stretch than it is to call radio or the telephone an "invention."
Throughout this marvelous volume, Lienhard illuminates these webs of insight or inspiration by weaving a fabric of anecdote, history, and technical detail--all of which come together to provide a full and satisfying portrait of the true nature of invention.

About the Author
John H. Lienhard is M.D. Anderson Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and of History at the University of Houston. He is the author and host of "The Engines of Our Ingenuity," a daily radio essay on invention and creativity heard nationally on Public Radio and internationally on the Armed Forces Network. He is also the author of the book The Engines of Our Ingenuity: An Engineer Looks at Technology and Culture.

CONTENTS
Preface vii
Part I Priority and Apriority
1 Otzi and Silent Beginnings 3
2 The Unrelenting Presence of Priority 9
3 I Built My Airplane Before the Wright Brothers Did 19
Part II Steam and Speed
4 Inventing Steam: "Alles was Odem hat" 35
5 From Steam to Steam Engine 51
6 From Steam Engine to Thermodynamics
7 Inventing Speed 95
8 Inventive Motivation and Exponential Change 117
Part III Writing and Showing
9 Inventing Gutenberg 137
10 From Gutenberg to a Newly Literate World: Gestation to Cradle to Maturation 157
11 Inventing Means for Illustrating Reality 173
12 Fast Presses, Cheap Books, and Ghosts of Old Readers Views Through a Wider Lens
13 Inventing Education: The Great Equalizer 217
14 The Arc of Invention: Finding Finished Forms 233
Notes 243
Illustration Credits 261
Index 267

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