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The Innovators, Trade

The Innovators, TradeThe Engineering Pioneers Who Transformed America

Enter the workshops of America's early engineering geniuses and discover how they came up with their ideas and applied them to the marketplace. David Billington, acclaimed author of The Tower and the Bridge, reveals the strokes of brilliance behind such landmark developments as the steamboat,... more

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Overview

Enter the workshops of America's early engineering geniuses and discover how they came up with their ideas and applied them to the marketplace. David Billington, acclaimed author of The Tower and the Bridge, reveals the strokes of brilliance behind such landmark developments as the steamboat, electric power, and the rise of the iron and steel industry. He explains each major innovation through the story of the remarkable new engineering formulas that made it possible, showing that one key to engineering progress is the discovery of fundamental relationships in the physical world. He also explores the political and social conditions that allowed these brilliant individuals to implement their ideas, and the sweeping changes that followed in their wake. Who were the innovators? Some are legendary: Robert Fulton, inventor of the steamboat; Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph; and Thomas Edison, inventor of the incandescent lightbulb. Others are not as well known, however, and readers will be introduced to many whose contributions, if not their names, have stood the test of time: people like J. Edgar Thompson, who built the Pennsylvania Railroad; and Thomas Telford, who revolutionized largescale bridge building and design.