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Power, Speed, and Form:
Engineers and the Making of the Twentieth Century
David P. Billington & David P. Billington Jr.

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"The authors . . . discuss the development of each [innovation] in a way that is readily accessible to building engineers and non-engineers--their ultimate purpose. . . . The book, then, was meant to serve as a text for introductory engineering courses, especially those designed to help liberal arts students satisfy technical literacy requirements. Such courses can also excite engineering students by explaining how many innovations sprang from ideas that though novel were relatively simple."--Ray Bert, Civil Engineering

"By introducing the fundamental theories upon which various significant technological achievements are based, Billington Sr. . . . and Billington Jr. . . . shed light on the unseen foundations of invention. . . . A remarkable accomplishment of this book is that it presents these theories and equations in a manner that is understandable to general readers, rather than accessible only to engineers or scientists. Thus, it fills a much-needed role in helping to enhance technological literacy and understanding among the general public. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice

"Power, Speed, and Form is physically an extraordinary volume...chock full of the most extraordinary photos.... Yet this is not a picture book. It is a serious history of the development of American technology in the period between the year 1876...and 1939.... [W]hat is unique, and what, along with the illustrations, makes this book something of a treasure, is the inclusion of more than forty sidebars, each a full-page explication in words, numerical formulas, and splendidly clear diagrams, of the historic innovations discussed in the text."--Samuel C. Florman, Technology and Culture


"This important book makes a significant and unique contribution to the cause of technological literacy. It will be of great value to nonspecialists and general readers precisely because of its introduction of simple equations and formulas: these sharpen and focus the technical argument without obscuring it with vague language or, worse, jargon."--Henry Petroski, Duke University, author of Success through Failure: The Paradox of Design

"This book fills an important need for a work that straddles the literacy-numeracy divide. It is a useful historical synthesis of the technical foundations of the American experience in the twentieth century."--Robert Friedel, University of Maryland, author of Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty

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File created: 4/21/2017

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