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It Looked Good on Paper: Bizarre Inventions, Design Disasters, and Engineering Follies
 
 

It Looked Good on Paper: Bizarre Inventions, Design Disasters, and Engineering Follies [Kindle Edition]

Bill Fawcett
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Product Description

A remarkable compendium of wild schemes, mad plans, crazy inventions, and truly glorious disasters

Every phenomenally bad idea seemed like a good idea to someone. How else can you explain the Ford Edsel or the sword pistol—absolutely absurd creations that should have never made it off the drawing board? It Looked Good on Paper gathers together the most flawed plans, half-baked ideas, and downright ridiculous machines throughout history that some second-rate Einstein decided to foist on an unsuspecting populace with the best and most optimistic intentions. Some failed spectacularly. Others fizzled after great expense. One even crashed on Mars. But every one of them at one time must have looked good on paper, including:

  • The lead water pipes of Rome
  • The Tacoma Narrows Bridge—built to collapse
  • The Hubble telescope—the $2 billion scientific marvel that couldn't see
  • The Spruce Goose—Howard Hughes's airborne atrocity: big, expensive, slow, unstable, and made of wood

With more than thirty-five chapters full of incredibly insipid inventions, both infamous and obscure, It Looked Good on Paper is a mind-boggling, endlessly entertaining collection of fascinating failures.

Synopsis

Gathered in this book is a collection of flawed plans, half baked ideas, and downright ridiculous machines that, with the best and most optimistic intentions, men have constructed throughout history. Included are such military, scientific, commercial, and infrastructure disasters as: The Lead water pipes of Rome; Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse; Edison's electrical folly; Betamax; Concorde crash; Hubble - A $2 billion telescope that didn't work; the Mars probe failures due to simple math mistakes; Cold Fusion; and, Ford Pinto. Some failed spectacularly, others fizzled after great expense, and one crashed on Mars. While this is a book about ideas and things men make that have failed, it is not a technical manual. Rather it is a fun collection that shows how an otherwise brilliant designer, scientist, architect, or doctor can often spend years or millions creating something that a few small bits of common sense would have prevented.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 316 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061358436
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (6 Oct 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001P9O2YU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #299,339 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Noty too good on paper! 13 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although there are a few nuggets embedded in these articles, many are not well written, and much of the information is very old hat. In at least one case with which I am intimately familiar, much of the article is either incomplete or misleading. And because the articles are written by different people, the quality and coherence is very uneven. Not recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It looked good on Amazon 14 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately this book was neither as funny or interesting as i first thought.
I felt that it got bogged down in much of the irrelevant detail of the chapters instead of being more concise and cover more subjects.
For a book of this type it was also missing some much needed sarcasm and humour that such titles usually contain.
not as clever as it should be and not as funny as it could be.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My... 27 Aug 2012
By josh
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My parents suggested i read some books about engineers before i settled on my engineering course at university, this book is a good read if you are interested in general knowledge about the history of engineering...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 23 July 2014
Format:Paperback
its ok but not great
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun 1 Mar 2011
By Rave
Format:Paperback
Not for anyone looking for serious stories about things, just short little anecdotes about the silly things we humans have done during our long and varied history and pre-history.
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