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The Evolution Of Useful Things [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Henry Petroski
2.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (9 Kundenrezensionen)

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Taschenbuch EUR 11,72  
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Kurzbeschreibung

10. November 1992
Only Henry Petroski, author of The Pencil, could make one never pick up a paper clip again without being overcome with feelings of awe and reverence. In his new book the author examines a host of techno-trivia questions -- how the fork got its tines, why Scotch tape is called that, how the paper clip evolved, how the Post-it note came to be, how the zipper was named, why aluminum cans have hollow bottoms -- and provides us with answers that both astonish and challenge the imagination.

In addition to an extended discussion of knives, forks, spoons, and other common devices, the author explains how the interplay of social and technical factors affects the development and use of such things as plastic bags, fast-food packaging, push-button telephones, and other modern conveniences. Throughout the book familiar objects serve to illustrate the general principles behind the evolution of all products of invention and engineering.

Petroski shows, by way of these examples as well as a probing look at the patent process, that the single most important driving force' behind technological change is the failure of existing devices to live up to their promise. As shortcomings become evident and articulated, new and "improved" versions of artifacts come into being through long and involved processes variously known as research and development, invention, and engineering. He further demonstrates how the evolving forms of technology generally are altered by our very, use of them, and how they, in turn, alter our social and cultural behavior.

In this wonderful mixture of history, biography, and design theory, Henry Petroski brings us to an understanding of an essential question: By what mechanism do the shapes and forms of our made world come to be?

Hinweise und Aktionen

  • Englische Fachbücher: jetzt reduziert - Entdecken Sie passend zum Semesterstart bis zum 15. November 2014 ausgewählte englische Fachbücher. Klicken Sie hier, um direkt zur Aktion zu gelangen.


Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 288 Seiten
  • Verlag: Knopf; Auflage: 1 (10. November 1992)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0679412263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679412267
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16 x 3,6 x 3,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2.8 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (9 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.436.271 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

This surprising book may appear to be about the simple things of life--forks, paper clips, zippers--but in fact it is a far-flung historical adventure on the evolution of common culture. To trace the fork's history, Duke University professor of civil engineering Henry Petroski travels from prehistoric times to Texas barbecue to Cardinal Richelieu to England's Industrial Revolution to the American Civil War--and beyond. Each item described offers a cultural history lesson, plus there's plenty of engineering detail for those so inclined. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

Pressestimmen

"Very engaging and wonderfully informative...The Pencil unfolds a history of invention, craftsmanship, engineering, manufacture and business that is also at times a history of cultural life on both sides of the Atlantic...No reader of this book will ever be able to pick up a pencil again without marveling."

-- Hilton Kramer, Newsday

"So engrossing that I read it through in one sitting...An utterly absorbing history."

-- Martin Gardner, Raleigh News and Observer

"Beguiling...surprising, entertaining, informative. One could scarcely ask a book to be more!...Using the story of the pencil as a paradigm, Petroski shows us how the process of engineering unfolds and [how] the pencil is the end result of a process that parallels those by which products of much greater sophistication -- computers, for example -- are invented, designed, manufactured and improved."

-- Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

"A serious and charming history...Petroski argues his case with wry humor and an amplitude of anecdotage drawn from many centuries and continents. The Pencil is that great rarity, a book that will appeal to ordinary readers and yet seems destined as well to become a minor classic in academe."

-- Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic

"You will never feel the same about the pencil after you read this terrific book."

-- Larry King, USA Today

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In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
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Einleitungssatz
The eating utensils that we use daily are as familiar to us as our own hands. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
Mehr entdecken
Wortanzeiger
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
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Kundenrezensionen

Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Shocked at the popularity 25. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
When I saw this book listed as number 13 on the Amazon bestsellers list for General Science, I felt compelled to warn others about this book. The only merit to the book is that the author provides some interesting information about the history of Post-It notes, paperclips, tableware and such--THAT'S ALL! The style of writing is rambling and redundant. The level of detail in places is enough to bore the most die-hard fan of this topic. At times, I wondered if this book was even proofread by anyone before being published. The author does not do a very good job of making a case for his theories about design--and it is simplistic case to begin with. I normally find merits to almost every book I read and with this one it was difficult. This is the only 1 star review I've ever submitted. Only buy this book if you are an absolutely die hard fan of the topic of design or the history of everyday items. If you do buy it then don't even think about reading it before going to bed--unless you have insomnia. The tragedy is that the topic could have been very interesting and entertaining. The author obviously has the necessary subject matter expertise.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Taschenbuch
Things get improved because in their current form, they do not work properly. Henry Petroski's book, The Evolution of Useful Things, traces the development of objects in our everyday life, including detailed histories of the development of the staple, the zipper, silverware, and hand tools. The book is interesting, although Petroski does tend to shy away from offering a theory of development, and instead offers a conjectures about how things might have developed. He explains, but he does not offer a theory or an argument that explains everything. Overall, though, a goos book, well researched, well illustrated, and interesting on many levels.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great reading, just too repetitive 10. Mai 1999
Format:Taschenbuch
Petroski introduces some wonderful and introducing ideas about the develop and baroque-ing of ordinary objects, as well as illuminating the whole notion of "things" that seem self-evident after they were invented. Okay, the man needs an editor. Please, someone, convince him. His book The Pencil suffers from the same needless and enormous repetition. Both books could have been 1/2 to 1/3 of their sizes and been enormously improved. His saving grace is his solidity of research and his interesting ideas.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen It wasn't so great. 20. August 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
Although the subject is fascinating, I did not like this book very much at all. First of all, it contains far too few illustrations. Not like I need a picture book, but the book is *about* how things look. In fact, at one point the author mentions that a device is clearly depicted in a (presumably famous) painting, but then fails to show it to us! To compensate, he attempts to use highly descriptive language. However, the word choices are often obscure and the sentences difficult to parse. In any case, variations on the saw (for example) are easier to show than tell. He also exaggerates the properties of inventions to bolster his arguments. For example, although weaker than tin cans, modern aluminum cans are hardly "collapsible cream puffs" (p.190), while the chapter on the evolution of silverware would have you believe that eating something without its dedicated fork variant is practically
impossible.

The "message" of this book is that the statement "Form follows function" is false, and that it should be, "Form follows failure". He means that the current form of an object is determined by analysis of the failures of previous forms. Yet the revised form is determined by the function of the object, so this seems to be merely a rewording of the original saying. As he elaborates, it becomes increasingly clear that the issue is semantics, not the process of engineering.

This book would be greatly improved if the author had left out the weak "moral", stuck to the history of the inventions, and replaced many of the long descriptions with diagrams.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting but incomplete 24. August 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Taschenbuch
Henry Petroski uses many examples to drive home REPEATEDLY his points that Irritation is the Mother of Invention, and that function doesn't dictate form. His presentation is convincing, and I enjoyed his discussion of the evolution of the paperclip. By the time he got to the trials of inventing the zipper it had begun to drag.
Of course it does take multiple examples to prove a point. But my real objection to the book isn't what it includes, but what it leaves out. Irritation may be the reason many inventions get started, but Mr. Petroski leaves out all mention of why they get finished, the sublime joy of coming up with something new and actually seeing it work.
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