The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Making of the Modern World, 1776–1914

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Open Road + Grove/Atlantic, May 18, 2010 - History - 432 pages
“Anyone with a passing interest in economic history will thoroughly enjoy” this account of how industry transformed the world (The Seattle Times).
 
In less than one hundred and fifty years, an unlikely band of scientists, spies, entrepreneurs, and political refugees took a world made of wood and powered by animals, wind, and water, and made it into something entirely new, forged of steel and iron, and powered by steam and fossil fuels.
 
This “entertaining and informative” account weaves together the dramatic stories of giants such as Edison, Watt, Wedgwood, and Daimler with lesser-known or entirely forgotten characters, including a group of Japanese samurai who risked their lives to learn the secrets of the West, and John “Iron Mad” Wilkinson, who didn’t let war between England and France stop him from plumbing Paris (The Wall Street Journal).
 
“Integrating lively biography with technological clarity, Weightman converts the Industrial Revolution into an enjoyably readable period of history.” —Booklist
 
“Skillfully stitching together thumbnail sketches of a large number of inventors, architects, engineers, and visionaries. . . . Weightman expertly marshals his cast of characters across continents and centuries, forging a genuinely global history that brings the collaborative, if competitive, business of industrial innovation to life.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
 

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The industrial revolutionaries: the making of the modern world, 1776-1914

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In the period covered by this book-just a little over a century-the world shifted from reliance on human labor to the use of machines as an essential aspect of daily life and work. Weightman's (The ... Read full review

Contents

SPIES
10
MAD ABOUT IRON
22
THE TOOLBAG TRAVELLERS
37
THE CORNISHMANS PUFFER
48
THEY KEPT THEIR HEADS
67
SOME YANKEES IN THE WORKS
90
THE RAILWAY MEN
117
COWCATCHERS AND TIMBER
136
A VERY HANDSOME TAIL
232
THE PETROLEUM PIONEERS
252
THE STEEL REVOLUTION
270
OF SCOTS AND SAMURAI
285
HORSEPOWER
299
THE WIZARD OF MENLO PARK
324
THE TERROR OF THE TORPEDO
342
THE SYNTHETIC WORLD
361

LES ROSBIFS GO TO WORK
152
A PROPHET WITHOUT HONOUR
173
A BLAST OF HOT AIR
190
MORSE DECODED
197
THE PALACE OF WONDERS
213
POSTSCRIPT
383
NOTES
394
BIBLIOGRAPHY
402
INDEX
407
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Gavin Weightman is a social historian with special interest in the origins of modern society. His books include the best-selling London River, The Frozen Water Trade, and Signor Marconi’s Magic Box.

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