One of the basic things which separate humanity from every other living creature on the planet is our endless capacity for invention and innovation. The constant quest for improvement, the resourcefulness and creativity…………If something isn`t broke – someone somewhere goes ahead, fixes it and improves it anyway.
Breverton`s Encyclopedia of Inventions takes us through the key innovations and technological breakthroughs, from the germination of the idea through to it`s impact on society and the environment.
We start with the building of the pyramids to the discovery of the solar system, then move swiftly on to all the key elements which make up modern society and feed it`s needs; surgery, gunpowder, dynamite, steam power, the internal combustion engine, rockets, to modern technology such as electronics, the smart card and genetic engineering.
There are surprises in store for the reader: who really discovered penicillin, who actually invented the light bulb, and who first advanced the theory of evolution. The sheer persistence of so many brilliant men and women down the ages, fighting against the tide of prejudice of their times to make the modern world what it is ( for good or bad ) is simply breath taking.
I have to admit that my favourite section is on the remarkable Leonardo da Vinci: his notebooks are packed to the rafters with ideas, including the tank, hang glider, calculator, helicopter, engines of all varieties, the double hull for ships, solar power, flying machines, musical instruments, hydraulic pump, parachute, finned mortar shell, telescopic rifle sight, steam cannon and reversible crank mechanisms. Among his inventions which have passed into everyday use are the lens-grinding machine, a machine for tensile strength of wire and the automated bobbin winder. No less awesome was his designs for a fully functioning humanoid automaton.
As it says on the cover, Breverton`s is a compendium of technological leaps, groundbreaking discoveries and scientific breakthroughs………..It is The Big Book of Everything.