Buy Used
£0.73
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by owlsmart_usa
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good clean copy with no missing pages might be an ex library copy; may contain marginal notes and or highlighting
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Invention by Design: How Engineers Get from Thought to Thing Hardcover – 29 Nov 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£0.70
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (29 Nov. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674463676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674463677
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

explains how they make their new creations economically feasible and socially acceptable. Students of technology will delight in one part of the book, cultural historians in another, but both groups will praise the author.

About the Author

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many hopeful university applicants, I ordered this book simply so I could write about it on my Personal statement. To my surprise I was awed at what a treat this gem turned out to be. Petroski effortlessly manages to walk you through the thinking that goes into an object as humble as the simple paperclip, right the way through to citywide mass infrastructure and aerospace engineering.

The book is structured such that each chapter deals with an object/group of objects along with a certain facet of engineering (such as how the design of a bridge can be affected by societal/political views). Starting small the first chapter introduces us to the general thinking of an engineer, and the myriad factors that must be considered when designing even the simplest of devices.

The biggest thing that leapt out to me was that this book was actually fun! I WANTED to find out more about the history of the paperclip, I NEEDED to know all about the design considerations of the tin can and I simply HAD to see just why zippers came about in the first place. It's a rate treat indeed to be gripped by something so superficially dull, but many a night I found myself bleary eyed in the wee hours of the morning, soldiering on to the end of another fascinating chapter.

(As a side note it's worth mentioning that the majority of this book is pretty much maths free, so read in confidence numberphobes!)

Needless to say, I definitely recommend this to any and all, whether you've just a passing interest, or dead set on becoming the next Dyson.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is written as a series of case studies and is a very interesting look at the work of Engineers and the challenges they face.

Whilst there is some technical knowledge needed to understand all aspects, the book is very accessible and written with a good pace and sense of humour.

If you are interested in engineering, patents or simply why things are designed the way they are, you can't do better than this book.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bit dated now, which I wasn't aware of when I bought it. I enjoyed the thoroughness that he went into on the paperclip and some other early inventions, but that seemed to fizzle out as the book progressed and it turned into a rather weak catalogue of relatively recent inventions with only outline descriptions of key engineering aspects. In summary - good to start but disappointing toward the end.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
As a prospective engineering student I found this book truly enjoyable. It is very detailed yet facinating and should inspire all of its readers to think about the design of everyday objects.
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book, apart from the odd grammatical error, is well written. Starting off with the humble paper clip, it really gets you thinking about design, sustainability and economics. Later in the book it discusses grand engineering projects, like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Aeroplane (Boeing 777 and the like). The book is a good read, and I would advise anyone who wants to start a career in engineering, like myself, to read it, as well as anyone who likes to know why things are the way they are.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
After reading the first few lines I thought that this book would be appallingly dull and tedious, repeating itself and choosing to write about the most boring things the author could think of. But no. Petroski manages in the first chapter make the common office paperclip a fascinating artifact and leading us through how the designers and engineers have made the paperclip a near perfect design, how they have changed the design to make it more cheaper and how rivals have come up with their own solution to temporarily fastening paper together. The other chapters address a multitude of engineering challenges. A really interesting and enjoyable read, five stars, highly recommend.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent and makes the role of engineers in society coherent and clear, by countless and well illustrated case studies. I my self purchased this book as after graduation i discovered that Engineering in industry is quite different to what you expect or been taught to expect, an engineer being someone who utilizes physical principles to create a product or process, expect a high level of compartmentalization, restricting you to engage in the whole product development and engineering life cycle, in industry. But anyway i got to a point where i forgot why i even studied engineering and this book was a swift reminder and helped me to specify a career path, to get the role i so desire.

Definitely worth a read, and bound to touch on a specialty of engineering you are most passionate about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback