The most powerful idea in the world: a story of steam, industry, and invention

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If all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, they would show an almost perfectly flat line-until the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress.In The Most Powerful Idea in the World, William Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove it-the steam engine. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen's answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law the century before: that people had the right to own and profit from their ideas.The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. Rosen traces the steam engine's history from its early days as a clumsy but sturdy machine, to its coming-of-age driving the wheels of mills and factories, to its maturity as a transporter for people and freight by rail and by sea. Along the way we enter the minds of such inventors as Thomas Newcomen and James Watt; scientists, including Robert Boyle and Joseph Black; and philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith-all of whose insights, tenacity, and ideas transformed first a nation and then the world.Rosen is a masterly storyteller with a keen eye for the "aha!" moments of invention and a gift for clear and entertaining explanations of science. The Most Powerful Idea in the World will appeal to anyone who is fascinated with history, science, and the hows and whys of innovation itself.
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ISBN:
9781400067053
9781400197095
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full_title most powerful idea in the world a story of steam industry and invention
author rosen william
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-06-03 04:49:52AM

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auth_author2 Prichard, Michael
author Rosen, William, 1955-
author2-role Prichard, Michael, hoopla digital.
author_display Rosen, William
detailed_location_catalog Wright Farms - Adult Nonfiction
display_description If all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, they would show an almost perfectly flat line-until the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress.In The Most Powerful Idea in the World, William Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove it-the steam engine. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen's answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law the century before: that people had the right to own and profit from their ideas.The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. Rosen traces the steam engine's history from its early days as a clumsy but sturdy machine, to its coming-of-age driving the wheels of mills and factories, to its maturity as a transporter for people and freight by rail and by sea. Along the way we enter the minds of such inventors as Thomas Newcomen and James Watt; scientists, including Robert Boyle and Joseph Black; and philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith-all of whose insights, tenacity, and ideas transformed first a nation and then the world.Rosen is a masterly storyteller with a keen eye for the "aha!" moments of invention and a gift for clear and entertaining explanations of science. The Most Powerful Idea in the World will appeal to anyone who is fascinated with history, science, and the hows and whys of innovation itself.
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subject_facet Industrial revolution -- Great Britain -- History, Inventions -- History, Steam-engines -- History, TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / History, TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Inventions
title_display The most powerful idea in the world : a story of steam, industry, and invention
title_full The most powerful idea in the world : a story of steam, industry, and invention / William Rosen, The most powerful idea in the world : a story of steam, industry, and invention [electronic resource] / William Rosen
title_short The most powerful idea in the world :
title_sub a story of steam, industry, and invention
topic_facet History, Industrial revolution, Inventions, Steam-engines