Imagination and a Pile of Junk PDF ePub eBook

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Imagination and a Pile of Junk free pdf A celebration of the extraordinary people who created the modern world, spiced with anecdotes and wit. Trevor Norton, who has been compared to Gerard Durrell and Bill Bryson, weaves an entertaining history with a seductive mix of eureka moments, disasters and dirty tricks. Although inventors were often scientists or engineers, many were not: Samuel Morse (Morse code) was a painter, Lazlow Biro (ballpoint) was a sculptor and hypnotist, and Logie Baird (TV) sold boot polish. The inventor of the automatic telephone switchboard was an undertaker who believed the operator was diverting his calls to rival morticians so he decided to make all telephone operators redundant. Inventors are mavericks indifferent to conventional wisdom so critics were dismissive of even their best ideas: radio had 'no future,' electric light was 'an idiotic idea' and X-rays were 'a hoax.' Even so, the state of New Jersey moved to ban X-ray opera glasses. The head of the General Post Office rejected telephones as unneccesary as there were 'plenty of small boys to run messages.' Some inventions were almost stillborn- the first vacuum cleaner was horse drawn on a cart. The first zip fasteners didn't zip or fasten. It often took a while for great inventions to be exploited. Transistors languished in hearing aids for ten years before they transformed radios. Twenty years after anaesthetics were invented some hosiptals in Britain were still operating without them, and vaccination ('a giant delusion') had to wait almost a century before it was fully accepted. Even the inventor didn't always know the real use of their discovery. Edison designed the phonograph for dictation not to play music. Nobel thought his dynamite would bring about world peace. Norton answers such burning questions as 'How did embroidery save thousands of lives?' and 'Why did it take a World War to get women to wear bras?' Inventomania is a magical place where eccentrics are always in season and their stories are usually unbelievable - but rest assured, nothing has been invented.

About Trevor Norton

At school Trevor's speciality was failing exams. Then he became entranced by a TV series in which Hans Hass went Diving to Adventure with his beautiful wife Lotte. From that moment he knew he had to become a marine biologist. To everyone's surprise he began to pass exams. Later on Trevor held a Personal Chair at Glasgow University and was then appointed Professor of Marine Biology at Liverpool University and director of its Marine Laboratory. He has been the president of two Learned Societies and served on the expert assessors' panel and the policy panel of the European Commission for funding major international research projects. Also a member of the annual review committee of the British Antarctic Survey, and chairman of the Aquatic Science Committee of the Natural Environment Research Council, and a Fulbright-Hayes Fellow in the United States. In addition to180 scientific articles he has also penned 30 magazine articles. Following retirement Trevor became Emeritus Professor at Liverpool University and an Honorary Senior Fellow affiliated to the Centre for Manx Studies. His efforts at literary non- fiction have been critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, and his writing has been compared to that of Bill Bryson, Gerald Durrell and Rachel Carson. He has published widely on ecological topics. His much acclaimed books include Stars Beneath the Sea, Reflections on a Summer Sea and Under Water to Get out of the Rain. Trevor lives on the Isle of Man with his wife.

Details Book

Author : Trevor Norton
Publisher : Coronet Books
Data Published : 30 January 2014
ISBN : 1444732579
EAN : 9781444732573
Format Book : PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
Number of Pages : 448 pages
Age + : 15 years
Language : English
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