The Evolution of Useful Things

[Read] ➳ The Evolution of Useful Things By Henry Petroski –    How did the table fork acuire a fourth tine  What advantage does the Phillips head screw have over its single grooved predecessor Why does the paper clip look the way it does What makes Scotch    How did the table fork acuire a fourth of Useful PDF Ì tine  What advantage does the Phillips head screw have over its single grooved predecessor Why does the paper clip look the way it does What makes Scotch tape Scotch   In this delightful book Henry Petroski takes a microscopic look at artifacts that most of us count on but rarely contemplate including such icons of the everyday The Evolution PDF or as pins Post its and fast food clamshell containers  At the same time he offers a convincing new theory of technological innovation as a response to the perceived failures of existing products—suggesting that irritation and not necessity is the mother of invention.The Evolution of Useful Things

Henry Petroski is a civil engineering professor at of Useful PDF Ì 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 The Evolution PDF or a.

The Evolution of Useful Things PDF ✓ Evolution of
  • Paperback
  • 288 pages
  • The Evolution of Useful Things
  • Henry Petroski
  • English
  • 17 March 2016
  • 9780679740391

10 thoughts on “The Evolution of Useful Things

  1. says:

    If you have a paperclip obsession then boy howdy do I have the book for you

  2. says:

    My last book of 2012This book is less a hey this is how things came to be and hey this why form follows function is a bunch of malarkey and form follows a lot of things often failureThis book was not what I thought it was But that's not always a bad thing In fact I think I got a lot of bang for my buck by it not being what I thought it would be It made me think and analyze Less trivia thoughtHow things get designed and how they come to be is sometimes lost in the commonality of the items This book looks at how forks and knives and paperclip didn't just happen they were thought out designs to solve the failures of other things I didn't know that before the paperclip pins were often used to put papers together Seems such a dumb idea nowwhy not use a paperclip? And how forks evolved and then people went nuts getting one off items of silver like tomato servers Seriously In silver That's just plain silly The best moment of this book is over the holidays I told my nieces and daughter that I would read them a boring book to get them to sleepNiece 1 What is it about?Me Paper clips and I start readingNiece 1 to her mom I thought she was kidding about the paper clip thing

  3. says:

    The subject matter is definitely interesting but the author's writing style is dry and not suitably engaging I had to force myself to continue at times to get through boring sections

  4. says:

    Loooooove this one Only a little bit nuts

  5. says:

    The title and the physical design of this book echo—and intentionally I'm sure—those chosen for paperback editions of Donald Norman's The Design of Everyday Things née The Psychology of Everyday Things at least in the edition I read Norman's landmark work receives its due in the Index and Bibliography of Petroski's and these two works do scratch very similar itches but I'm convinced that the physical similarity of design is here neither Norman's nor Petroski's but rather that of some marketing department bright boy or girl—just another way in which design is influenced by factors separate from the originators' own wishesThe topics Petroski chooses are interesting and his anecdotes plentiful and detailed I found charming for one example designer Raymond Loewy's formulation of the limit on how much innovation consumers will accept which he called MAYA—the most advanced yet acceptable change from existing designsHowever and this might be a personal reaction I just don't find Petroski's prose very engaging His thesis is not especially controversial and it's simply enough stated necessity is not so much the mother of invention; what drives invention is the desire to correct some perceived flaw or lack in what's currently available Stretching this into a book—and I've been too verbose here myself—takes some doingIt's also insufficiently illustrated For a book on design to have so few images of design good and bad is a serious flaw And the images that do exist are small and monochrome Certainly larger full color examples would have added to the expense of the book but they would also have significantly added to its impactThis is by no means the worst book ever written on design; it has an important point to make is well researched and is bolstered with specifics If you are interested in the designs and origins of simple things then you will find rewarding incidents and history here You'll just have to dig for them a little harder than you should have to

  6. says:

    This book is far interesting than one might expect from reading the back cover The author argues that form does not follow function and necessity is not the mother of invention Instead the major inspiration for invention is correcting the failure of previous inventions Makes sense to me although I always thought form follows function was a rule for good design as in form SHOULD follow function rather than a truth about design All of that theory gets a little boring and repetitive but I found all of the various examples paperclips post its can openers fascinatingThe other day I read the chapter on can openers on the way home from work they were created a surprisingly long time after the cans themselves When I got home I started making dinner had to open a can and wouldn't you just know my can opener broke I had to bust into that can using a fork much the way people must have done with the first cans If someone out there can improve upon the design of the can opener so that the little screw holding the blade can't fall off I would be much obliged

  7. says:

    His later text is much better edited I'm not saying that Engineers can't write or edit I'm just saying that the 65 pages spent on knives spoons and forks was oh dare I? bland

  8. says:

    This book can't help but change the way its readers looks at the myriad of minute things that surround them The author has an uncommon ability to notice all of the little ways in which our objects are designed to satisfy human wants and convenience and even importantly how often they fail to Henry Petroski's main argument is that every object's form follows failure namely that every invention is related to some perceived shortcoming of its predecessor Like a good engineer or innovator he can't help but note that every object no matter how perfect fails at its tasksTake the story of the paperclip which really begins with the story of the pin Adam Smith himself had noted how efficient a division of labor in a pin making factory could be but it wasn't until John Ireland Howe teamed up with the newspaper printer Robert Hoe in 1832 that a real machine for making pins was created Yet these could not be mass produced because they had to be stuck individually by hand to little pieces of paper Howe soon created a machine for crimping paper and attaching it to pins and someone else created long rolls of attached paper for bank pins to pin paper and bank notes together Yet it was a Norwegian named Johann Vaaler at the end of the 19th century who created a steel wire folded back upon itself whose tensile force stuck to paper the first modern paper clip which did not reuire poking through paper and maybe oneself like a pin It was William Middlebrook of Connecticut who came up with a machine for folding these paper clips and keeping the entire wire in the same plane Middlebrook thus created the gem paperclip that is the standard today which attracts many peahens for its simple utility Yet as Petroski shows even the gem has its faults it can't hold many pieces of paper it tends to slip off it tends to hook together So of course while many people think of the modern paperclip as a near Platonic form inventors and merchants have manufactured hundreds of different types of paper clips some with ridges for a tighter grip paper clips of copper or gold that won't rust on paper paper clips in owl eyed shape for small batches and a tighter grip and so on Where many people see perfection Petroski and most engineers see something that can be improved upon at least for some people at some timesPetroski goes through this story in many iterations for tableware of all sorts the fork was a relatively late addition it did not reach England until the 16th century and did not usually get four tines until the nineteenth century zippers it took decades before Gideon Sundback and BF Goodrich figured out the modern zipper with the Y shaped slider and spoon shaped teeth in the 1920s and attached it to rain boots and adhesion both scotch tape in the 1930s and post its in the 1970s came from manufacturer 3M's tendency to allow its engineers to bootleg in their spare timeSome of the book's descriptions of particular types of oyster fish salad and dessert forks and spoons can get a little dense but after reading the book I did begin looking at all of my little items with a fresh eye It's a wonderful benefit from a little book

  9. says:

    This was a collection of individual examples of design accreted under the concept that designers try to correct previous failings I enjoyed some of the storylines such as the fork and the post it note much than the others In other chapters I had a hard time remaining engaged

  10. says:

    On occasion the reader can be caught up in an interesting process of new form through failure or necessity for example I had never thought to attribute the relatively short existence of McDonald's McDLT to the environmental shift away from polystyrene packaging at the time but through most of the book the writing is too dry to truly grab Some of the information could be fascinating but unfortunately much of it read like assigned homework from a sell back immediately at the end of semester textbook The uestions How did the table fork acuire a fourth tine? What advantage does the Phillips head screw have over its single grooved predecessor? Why does the paper clip look the way it does? What makes Scotch tape Scotch? are intriguing and lead the reader to expect a book lighter and fun tone Though perhaps that expectation is the fault of the publisher than the author fault being relative the publisher did after all succeed in selling his book to me but when reading for curiosity rather than research I had hoped the answers to the above uestions would be made both interesting and sticky Sadly after trudging through the entire volume my memory fails How DID the table fork acuire a fourth tine? Why DOES the paper clip look the way it does? I won't read it again in the hope of remembering those answers this time

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