How Invention Begins: Echoes of Old Voices in the Rise of New Machines

Overview


Invention--that single leap of a human mind that gives us all we create. Yet we make a mistake when we call a telephone or a light bulb an invention, says John Lienhard. In truth, light bulbs, airplanes, steam engines--these objects are the end results, the fruits, of vast aggregates of invention. They are not invention itself.

In How Invention Begins, Lienhard reconciles the ends of invention with the individual leaps upon which they are built, illuminating the vast web of ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (31) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $4.04   
  • Used (25) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$4.04
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(1819)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
019530599X BRAND NEW. A portion of your purchase of this book will be donated to non-profit organizations. We are a tested and proven company with over 900,000 satisfied ... customers since 1997. Choose expedited shipping (if available) for much faster delivery. Delivery confirmation on all US orders. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Nashua, NH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$9.95
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(169)

Condition: New
Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A. 2006 Hard Cover New in New jacket 6 1/2 x 9 1/2. A new book with minimal shelfwear. Through history and biography of ideas and their originators, ... the author gives us cause to celebrate technological creativity as a powerful aspect of our own human experience. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Longmont, CO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$12.67
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(88)

Condition: New
2006-07-14 Hardcover New HARDCOVER, BRAND NEW COPY, Perfect Shape, No Black Remainder Mark,

Ships from: La Grange, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$28.99
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(7)

Condition: New
2006 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Gift-quality. Available for quick dispatch. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 277 p. Contains: ... Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Yellow Springs, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$33.50
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(273)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(162)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
How Invention Begins: Echoes of Old Voices in the Rise of New Machines

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$12.99 List Price

Overview


Invention--that single leap of a human mind that gives us all we create. Yet we make a mistake when we call a telephone or a light bulb an invention, says John Lienhard. In truth, light bulbs, airplanes, steam engines--these objects are the end results, the fruits, of vast aggregates of invention. They are not invention itself.

In How Invention Begins, Lienhard reconciles the ends of invention with the individual leaps upon which they are built, illuminating the vast web of individual inspirations that lie behind whole technologies. He traces, for instance, the way in which thousands of people applied their combined inventive genius to airplanes, railroad engines, and automobiles. As he does so, it becomes clear that a collective desire, an upwelling of fascination, a spirit of the times--a Zeitgeist--laid its hold upon inventors. The thing they all sought to create was speed itself.

Likewise, Lienhard shows that when we trace the astonishingly complex technology of printing books, we come at last to that which we desire from books--the knowledge, the learning, that they provide. Can we speak of speed or education as inventions? To do so, he concludes, is certainly no greater a stretch than it is to call radio or the telephone an "invention."

Throughout this marvelous volume, Lienhard illuminates these processes, these webs of insight or inspiration, by weaving a fabric of anecdote, history, and technical detail--all of which come together to provide a full and satisfying portrait of the true nature of invention.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
University of Houston professor Dr. John Lienhard doesn't want us to think of telephones, light bulbs, or railroad engines as inventions. The popular NPR host of The Engines of Our Ingenuity conceives of these modern wonders as end rewards of vast aggregates of invention. How Invention Begins presents the history of new machines as the incremental orchestration of individual genius and the triumph of the zeitgeist. Lienhard's keen sense of scientific marvels is balanced by his engineer's love of telling details. An exploration of scientific breakthroughs unlike any other.
From the Publisher

"Watt's genius was in devising a practical engine; Lienhard's genius is in telling the real story of invention."--New Scientist Magazine

"Lienhard is enthralled with invention, how it happens and how inventions both shape and are shaped by culture. He posits that the quest for a single canonical inventor of a new technology is illusory, because all inventions are the sum of many contributors. To make his point, Lienhard (host of public radio's The Engines of Our Ingenuity) traces the development of airplanes and steam engines, among other technologies, in a lucid style filled with interesting forays into origins and biography.... The author's personality permeates his writing, and it's impossible not to admire his optimism, his far-reaching knowledge and his enthusiasm for learning."--Publishers Weekly

"Lienhard, a graceful and perceptive writer, has produced a popular book that may well seduce the general public away from receieved hero myths without denigrating those myths."--Technology and Culture

"This is an admirable book, of the sort I easily admire and would like to have written myself, if only I had the skill. Poised and lyrical prose supporting clear thinking and graceful presentation of a provocative and profound analysis of technological history."--Science Besieged

"This complete tour de force journey through the history of technology includes many philosophical observations, and is not at all technocratic in tone. It might well help to inspire the art of engineering to move away from its present static recycling."--Engine

"[Lienhard] has read widely and ecumenically, putting his findings together in unexpected, often delightful ways."--Dr. Arthur P. Molella

Publishers Weekly
Lienhard is enthralled with invention, how it happens and how inventions both shape and are shaped by culture. He posits that the quest for a single canonical inventor of a new technology is illusory, because all inventions are the sum of many contributors. To make his point, Lienhard (professor emeritus of mechanical engineering and history at the University of Houston and host of public radio's The Engines of Our Ingenuity) traces the development of airplanes and steam engines, among other technologies, in a lucid style filled with interesting forays into origins and biography. But the author is also fascinated by what is best described as the invention of the spread of knowledge. The second half of the book is an examination of how Gutenburg's printing press began a worldwide explosion of knowledge that traces its roots to the incunabula, books written between 1455 and 1500, and ends with the mass production of books for popular consumption. Lienhard also pays tribute to the development of the public library, museums, correspondence courses and universities as means of education. The author's personality permeates his writing, and it's impossible not to admire his optimism, his far-reaching knowledge and his enthusiasm for learning. 120 illus. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195305999
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/29/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John H. Lienhard is M.D. Anderson Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and of History at the University of Houston. He is the author and host of The Engines of Our Ingenuity, a daily radio essay on invention and creativity heard nationally on Public Radio and internationally on the Armed Forces Network. He is also the author of the book The Engines of Our Ingenuity: An Engineer Looks at Technology and Culture and Inventing Modern: Growing up with X-Rays, Skyscrapers, and Tailfins.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Otzi and silent beginnings 3
2 The unrelenting presence of priority 9
3 I built my airplane before the Wright brothers did 19
4 Inventing steam : "Alles was Odem hat" 35
5 From steam to steam engine 51
6 From steam engine to thermodynamics 71
7 Inventing speed 95
8 Inventive motivation and exponential change 117
9 Inventing Gutenberg 137
10 From Gutenberg to a newly literate world : gestation to cradle to maturation 157
11 Inventing means for illustrating reality 173
12 Fast presses, cheap books, and ghosts of old readers 195
13 Inventing education : the great equalizer 217
14 The arc of invention : finding finished forms 233
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)