The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to be as They are.

by HENRY PETROSKI | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 0679740392 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingmaryzeewing of Taneytown, Maryland USA on 7/12/2006
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingmaryzeewing from Taneytown, Maryland USA on Wednesday, July 12, 2006
This is my 1600th book registered, and was picked up at my local used bookstore, Willow Tree Books, to include in my "Books about Things" bookbox.

From the cover -
How did the table fork acquire a fourth tine? What advantage does the Phillips-head screw have over its single-grooved predecessor? Why does the paper clip look the way it does? What makes Scotch tape Scotch?

In this delightful book, Henry Petroski takes a microscopic look at artifacts that most of us count on but rarely contemplate, including such icons of the everyday as pins, Post-its, and fast-food "clamshell" containers. At the same time, he offers a convincing new theory of technological innovation as a response to the perceived failures of existing products - suggesting that irritation, and not necessity, is the mother of invention.

Journal Entry 2 by wingmaryzeewing from Taneytown, Maryland USA on Thursday, July 27, 2006
I enjoyed this book - it was the first one by Petroski that I've read. It was written from an engineer's / inventor's point-of-view. He discusses the evolution of various useful, everyday items, and interestingly enough finds the link between seemingly unrelated items. He moves thru the evolution of pins and paperclips, wheelbarrows and automobiles, and even hammers and forks, linking these items thru their common history and product life cycle (development over time). He talks about how failure is the mother of invention, rather than necessity. Since reading this book, I think I'll be looking at everyday items with a new viewpoint. Very readable non-fiction, which will be going into my "books about things" bookbox.

Journal Entry 3 by wingmaryzeewing at Books about Things bookbox in Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (9/6/2006 UTC) at Books about Things bookbox in Bookbox, A Bookbox -- Controlled Releases

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Putting into my "Books about Things" bookbox.

Journal Entry 4 by gomboggit from Baker City, Oregon USA on Wednesday, September 20, 2006
chosen from the bookbox.

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