Evolution of Useful Things How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to Be as They Are

ISBN-10: 0679740392
ISBN-13: 9780679740391
Edition: N/A
Authors: Henry Petroski
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Description: Petroski tells fascinating stories about the arduous processes that resulted in paper clips, Post-its, Phillips-head screwdrivers, Scotch tape, and fast-food "clamshell" containers. "Petroski . . . an examines the simplest . . . tools in our lives  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 2/1/1994
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.594

Petroski tells fascinating stories about the arduous processes that resulted in paper clips, Post-its, Phillips-head screwdrivers, Scotch tape, and fast-food "clamshell" containers. "Petroski . . . an examines the simplest . . . tools in our lives with an appraising eye."--Washington Post Book World. 45 illus.

Henry Petroski is an American engineer with wide-ranging historical and sociocultural interests. He earned a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1968, and became Aleksandar S. Vesic professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. Petroski teaches traditional engineering subjects, as well as courses for nonengineering students, that place the field in a broad social context. One of the major themes that transcends his technical and nontechnical publications is the role of failure and its contribution to successful design. This is the central theme in his study To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design, which is accessible to both engineers and general readers. This theme is also incorporated into Petroski's The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance (1990), which relates the history of the pencil to broader sociocultural themes. The theme is expanded further, illustrating the relationship of engineering to our everyday life in The Evolution of Useful Things (1992). Petroski's most recent book, Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering, is planned for publication in 1994. After that, he will begin a study of the complex interrelationships between engineering and culture. Widely recognized and supported by both the technical and humanities communities, Petroski's work has effectively conveyed the richness and essence of engineering in its societal context for the general reader.

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