EUREKA: How Invention Happens

EUREKA: How Invention Happens

GAVIN WEIGHTMAN    Book Number: 84662    Product format: Hardback

We all know that the Wright Brothers were the first to fly a powered, piloted heavier-than-air machine, but what of those who had the idea before, but didn't have the technology or resources needed to make their experiments successful? In 1808, a Viennese clockmaker announced he had taken to the air using a machine called an ornithopter. The news excited Sir George Cayley, who had been researching the subject of aerodynamics in depth, convinced that one day man would fly. Subsequently however, it was discovered that the clockmaker had cheated by attaching his machine to a hot air balloon. Even so, seeds of hope were installed in the mind of Cayley and it is now generally agreed that he grasped the basics of heavier-than-air flight before anyone else. Some of his experimentation was to prove of value to the pioneer aviators at the end of the 19th century. This is the story of the original brains, the first people to come up with an idea, as well as the giants of industry who couldn't see the value of investing in the project at the time. In the late 1940s an American wanted some kind of code to print on groceries to help shoppers get served quicker. One day sitting on a beach he ran his fingers through the sand and had his Eureka moment as he gazed at the resulting four lines - a code using thick and thin bars. He couldn't develop the idea as he didn't have access to a powerful enough light, so approached IBM but they couldn't see the value. It wasn't until the mid-1970s that his idea was taken up. Intriguing and fascinating account of how computers, television, flight, mobile phones and laser technology was developed stage by stage, often over centuries. 266pp, b/w illus.
Published price: £20
Bibliophile price: £1.75

Additional product information

ISBN 9780300192087
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