A Field Guide to Household Technology

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Chicago Review Press, Apr 1, 2007 - House & Home - 256 pages
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Illustrating how a fire alarm detects smoke and what the "plasma" is in a plasma screen television, this fascinating handbook explains how everyday household devices function and operate. More than 180 different household technologies are covered, including gadgets unique to apartment buildings and houseboats. Devices are grouped according to their "habitats"--the living room, family room, den, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and basement--and feature a detailed description of what the device does and how it works, as well as a photograph for easy identification. With helpful sidebars describing related technical issues, such as why a cheap dimmer switch can interfere with radio reception, this handbook for curious readers provides carefully detailed descriptions and the history behind many of the older household technologies like toasters and faucets to newer technologies like motion detectors, TiVo, and satellite radio.
 

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Contents

1 ENTERING THE HOME
11
2 LIVING ROOM FAMILY ROOM AND DEN
25
3 BEDROOM
57
4 KITCHEN
67
5 BATHROOM
93
6 HOME OFFICE
111
7 UTILITY ROOM BASEMENT AND GARAGE
131
8 HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING
159
9 LIGHTING AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS
173
10 APARTMENT BUILDING
203
11 PATIO PORCH ROOF AND OUTSIDE
211
12 HOUSEBOAT
235
About the Author
243
Index
245
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About the author (2007)

Ed Sobey is president of the Northwest Invention Center, where learning programs about invention are developed and presented, and is treasurer and director of Kids Invent! He lives in Redmond, Washington.