Inventing the 20th Century: 100 Inventions that Shaped the World by Stephen van Dulken
Imagine your average day without zippers, airplanes, vacuum cleaners, without your personal stereo, without photocopiers. All of these devices were invented within the last hundred or so years and have since transformed our daily landscape.
Drawing on the British Library's vast and comprehensive collection of patents, this handsomely illustrated book recounts the history of one hundred of the most significant inventions of the century, decade by decade. Many of these inventions changed the world; others radically changed our daily lives. By combining a brief history of each patent with a copy of the original—and often entertaining—patent application (the zipper is a "hookless fastener," the Post-It note and "inherently tacky, elastomeric polymer"), Inventing the 20th Century reveals the ways in which many of the most basic aspects of our material existence—our clothes (nylon, Velcro), our leisure (Monopoly, Scrabble), our homes (Tupperware, Teflon)—have been revolutionized through specific objects.
From the photocopier to the Slinky, from genetic fingerprinting to the Lava Lamp, from the ballpoint pen to the fuel cell, Inventing the 20th Century is an informative, illuminating window onto the technology of the twentieth century.