The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance



[PDF / Epub] ✅ The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance By Henry Petroski – E17streets4all.co.uk Henry Petroski traces the origins of the pencil back to ancient Greece and Rome, writes factually and charmingly about its development over the centuries and around the world, and shows what the penci Henry Petroski traces the origins of A History PDF ↠ the pencil back to ancient Greece and Rome, writes factually and charmingly about its development over the centuries and around the world, and shows what the pencil can teach us about engineering and technology today.The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance

Henry Petroski is a civil engineering A History PDF ↠ professor at Duke University where he specializes in failure analysisPetroski was born in Brooklyn, New York, and in , he received his bachelor s degree from Manhattan College He graduated with his PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in Before beginning his work at Duke in , he worked at the University of Texas at Austin from and for the Argonne National Laboratory from He has received The Pencil: Epub / honorary degrees from Clarkson University, Trinity College, Valparaiso University and Manhattan College He is a registered professional engineer in Texas, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of EngineeringIn , he was appointed to the United States Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board.

The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance MOBI
  • Paperback
  • 434 pages
  • The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance
  • Henry Petroski
  • English
  • 18 July 2017
  • 0679734155

10 thoughts on “The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance

  1. says:

    This has to be the most boring book I have ever read 400 pages on the history of the pencil Each chapter had a paragraph or two about the pencil and that was interesting and then page after page of theories of engineering I had this book checked out for 9 weeks I just couldn t take it any longer I made it to page 254 I m going to consider this book READ so it wasn t an entire waste of my time I think I made it to the early 1900 s for pencil history I could have skimmed it to find t This has to be the most boring book I have ever read 400 pages on the history of the pencil Each chapter had a paragraph or two about the pencil and that was interesting and then page after page of theories of engineering I had this book checked out for 9 weeks I just couldn t take it any longer I made it to page 254 I m going to consider this book READ so it wasn t an entire waste of my time I think I made it to the early 1900 s for pencil history I could have skimmed it to find the rest, but I didn t I just couldn t

  2. says:

    Henry Petroski, that most excellent of engineering writers, uses the pencil as a metaphor for the study of the engineering process in his first rate history The Pencil A History of Design and Circumstance The pencil represents innovation, ingenuity and inventiveness.The problems facing a pencil engineer are similar in concept to those of an engineer building a bridge The pencil lead must be created in such a manner so that it will be strong enough to remain sharp as long as possible and stro Henry Petroski, that most excellent of engineering writers, uses the pencil as a metaphor for the study of the engineering process in his first rate history The Pencil A History of Design and Circumstance The pencil represents innovation, ingenuity and inventiveness.The problems facing a pencil engineer are similar in concept to those of an engineer building a bridge The pencil lead must be created in such a manner so that it will be strong enough to remain sharp as long as possible and strong enough not to break This requires special mixtures of clay and graphite, proper baking temperatures and pressures The bridge engineer must also seek the proper balance between competing materials and methods of construction for the best balance of price and strength see Petroski s other book on bridge building and accidents, To Engineer Is Human The Role Of Failure let Successful Design TA174.P474 1992 it is not always easy to predict how combinations of materials will perform.The common inexpensive pencil we take for granted actually requires an exacting manufacturing process to create and uses many different materials from around the world The lead might be a proprietary mixture of two kinds of graphite, from Sri Lanka and Mexico, clay from Mississippi, gums from the Orient, and water from Pennsylvania The woo den case would most likely be cut from western incense cedar from California, the ferrule possibly of brass or aluminum from the American West, and the erase perhaps manufactured using a mixture of South American rubber and Italian pumice stone Actually, the lead pencil of today contains no lead, not even in the paint on the outside The writing material is a mixture of graphite, clay, and other ingredients The most famous graphite came from a single source in the British Isles, and it was so valuable that workers mining the material were required to strip down as they left the mine through several vaulted and locked rooms to prevent theft The depletion of the mine was a source of great consternation until substitute materials were found.The pencil got its name from the Roman fine pointed brush called apenicillus It was created by inserting a tuft of animal hairs into a hollow reed, later called by the diminutive penis, Latin for tail, hence a little tail used for drawing fine lines So, through the history of this little tool, Petroski celebrates the engineer as the innovator and amalgamator of the practical and the theoretical

  3. says:

    There are a number of engineering and manufacturing types among my in laws, so I had a good idea what level of always geeky, frequently tangential, and often long winded lecturing I was entering with this book And the author is a engineering professor, so that just magnified the potential for minutiae Forewarned is forearmed Still, I have a soft spot for these sort of micro topical studies And I do like a good pencil Dr Petroski uses the the example of the humble pencil to explain how fo There are a number of engineering and manufacturing types among my in laws, so I had a good idea what level of always geeky, frequently tangential, and often long winded lecturing I was entering with this book And the author is a engineering professor, so that just magnified the potential for minutiae Forewarned is forearmed Still, I have a soft spot for these sort of micro topical studies And I do like a good pencil Dr Petroski uses the the example of the humble pencil to explain how form and function intertwine in a long and complicated engineering dance Process is process, whether the end is a bridge which seems to be a particular interest of the author s given how he brings everything back to bridge engineering eventually or the humble pencil Graphite mining, cedar harvesting, ceramics, political maneuvering, labor relations, marketing strategies, import issues, the effect of wars on an industry, even a it of conspiracy theories and corporate espionage are all part of the history of making pencils A lot goes into making a product we took for granted for years and that today few people even use as keyboarding makes handwriting a lost art The book is not for everyone, and it definitely has an engineering slant There is nothing in it about how pencils are used by consumers or what is created with them, only how raw materials become finished goods that evolve in design over time due to user demand, material constraints, and economic factors It s really sort of amazing what goes into the making of something that seems so simple

  4. says:

    I really tried to like this book The topic sounded very interesting, and as a writer who still does write by hand, I figured it would be interesting However, Petroski simply does not know how to write or make an engaging narrative Every time you think he is going to get to the history of the pencil, he goes off on some generic tangent whether it be how wonderful engineering as a field is, or where I finally dropped off, some stuff about storytellers That the prose is dense and dry certain I really tried to like this book The topic sounded very interesting, and as a writer who still does write by hand, I figured it would be interesting However, Petroski simply does not know how to write or make an engaging narrative Every time you think he is going to get to the history of the pencil, he goes off on some generic tangent whether it be how wonderful engineering as a field is, or where I finally dropped off, some stuff about storytellers That the prose is dense and dry certainly does not help things neither I have read a good number of microhistory books histories of just one topic that were pretty good This is not one of them Avoid this book I am sure if you want to learnabout pencils and their history, there are better sources out there I just basically followed the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50 on this one

  5. says:

    There were interesting bits in it, but I felt like I had to sift them out like veins of pure graphite in sub standard ore He repeats himself a LOT I wish he had told me about the pencil half as much as he repeated the phrase The pencil is a paradigm for understanding engineering itself I swear that exact sentence appears no less than 80 times I liked the description of old pencil technology The victorian pencil factories made me wax steampunk, and part of me really wants to see if I can There were interesting bits in it, but I felt like I had to sift them out like veins of pure graphite in sub standard ore He repeats himself a LOT I wish he had told me about the pencil half as much as he repeated the phrase The pencil is a paradigm for understanding engineering itself I swear that exact sentence appears no less than 80 times I liked the description of old pencil technology The victorian pencil factories made me wax steampunk, and part of me really wants to see if I can get ahold of some graphite stone and make my own 16th century pencil.But, alas, that is not the author s doing, but his subject matter despite him I was really hoping for another fun page turner like One Good Turn

  6. says:

    I found this book to be terribly written The concept is brilliant, but the execution was horribly flawed Each chapter felt like direction less rambling The only shred of structure was the Chapter Titles.I really wanted to prove that I could read non fiction, and enjoy it Disappointingly, this was not the right book to fulfill that goal.

  7. says:

    Consider the pencil Consider it especially if you are a confirmed pencil hoarder like me, who haspots of pencils all over the house and who once dressed as a pencil for Halloween bad idea great looking but impossible to sit down in Petroski s delightful book runs you through the history of pencils from Rome to the almost present Who knew that Thoreau had a pencil company That the best graphite comes from Mongolia That Caran d Ache means pencil in Russian And now I m looking forward t Consider the pencil Consider it especially if you are a confirmed pencil hoarder like me, who haspots of pencils all over the house and who once dressed as a pencil for Halloween bad idea great looking but impossible to sit down in Petroski s delightful book runs you through the history of pencils from Rome to the almost present Who knew that Thoreau had a pencil company That the best graphite comes from Mongolia That Caran d Ache means pencil in Russian And now I m looking forward to reading Caroline Weaver s new pencil book she of the most fabulous pencil store in the solar system, CW Enterprise cwpencils.com, for those of you who want a treat Do take a look it s a beauty of a site

  8. says:

    This book received too many unfair ratings, in my opinion I was actually worried it would be boring, a whole book about the pencil, but if fact it was fascinating I guess the beauty is in the eye of the beholder I thought it was delightful.

  9. says:

    Writers typically regard pencils the same way they regard ink cartridges or cups of coffee They are consumables, means to an end However, the history of this invisible, prosaic, throwaway item is the history of communication technology and fashion trends, international trade and the mercantile economy The pencil made note taking a much easier task than it was in the days of styluses on wax tablets, chalk on slates and ink on scraped and re scraped scraps of vellum When written communicatio Writers typically regard pencils the same way they regard ink cartridges or cups of coffee They are consumables, means to an end However, the history of this invisible, prosaic, throwaway item is the history of communication technology and fashion trends, international trade and the mercantile economy The pencil made note taking a much easier task than it was in the days of styluses on wax tablets, chalk on slates and ink on scraped and re scraped scraps of vellum When written communication is cheap and easy, society changes to take advantage of it The foundations of broad literacy, from the penny dreadful to the concept of the ubiquitous To Do list, can be found within the history of the pencil.Aside from all of that, this book is just interesting Why is yellow such a common color for pencils Because some of the finest graphite deposits were found in China in the late 19th century, pencil manufacturers painted their best products yellow to draw on that color s association with Orientalia What exactly does the No.2 or HB on you pencil represent It s a measure of hardness of the lead and intensity of the color the higher the number, the harder the lead, and HB stands for Hard Black Why don t pencil shavings smell as good as they used to Because the dense, aromatic cedar used in the first part of the 20th century has been logged out in North America lighter, softer, unscented woods are used now.In an act of deliberate mindfulness, Henry David Thoreau listed everything he took with him to Walden, from his axes to his bootlaces Everything, that is, except the tool he used to make the list his pencil Maybe that was because, as a fish is unaware of the water in which he swims, Thoreau as a writer was unaware of the pencil On the other hand, maybe that was because the family fortune that allowed him to go up to the lakehouse for a couple of years was founded on the manufacture of pencils Either way, this book is a chance for you to take an entirely new look at the pencil

  10. says:

    One event that happens when you read enough, sometimes by plan, sometimes by happenstance is a new book will click in with a previous read The connection can be a direct link or it can be a connection only you see In June of 2013 I read Correction by Thomas Bernhard I didn t like it much, butI didn t really get it, though there was a kernel of something nagging at me First clue was someone said something about an engineer Second big clue is Pencil Henry Petrosky is an engineer who wr One event that happens when you read enough, sometimes by plan, sometimes by happenstance is a new book will click in with a previous read The connection can be a direct link or it can be a connection only you see In June of 2013 I read Correction by Thomas Bernhard I didn t like it much, butI didn t really get it, though there was a kernel of something nagging at me First clue was someone said something about an engineer Second big clue is Pencil Henry Petrosky is an engineer who writes about what seems to me to be odd topics, in this case pencils Much of this book is a reconstruction of the history of pencils, because man s tools seemed secondary to what he could do with them I have read hundreds of technical articles written by engineers Often I laugh because they don t know how to write or is it I really don t know how to read technical writing Petrosky s writing circles around and around his topic The wood, the graphite, the paint, the eraser etc Petrosky talks about the gradual development of each feature of the pencil and the intricacies of its gradual evolution over the last 400 years Then he talks about sharpening the pencil It proper shape Here some old schooling popped into my head and I realized Petrosky was using words to create different perspectives Elevations The side The end perspective The cut away Now I flashed back to the Bernhard book and his process became a lot clearer to me His character was a professor of some technical field, and so too perhaps was the unnamed narrator of the first half I fantasized placing quotes with similar wording side by side, but then no, I said, this is a book review, not a essay for a grad school lit assignment I m not even sure how to connect this review to the one I did for Correction Not if anyone would care, or agree Anyway, that s what I like about reading Sometimes these connections get made

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