The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to be as They are.

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   How did the table fork acquire 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?

   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 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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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About the author

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. The author of more than a dozen previous books, he lives in Durham, North Carolina, and Arrowsic, Maine.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Dec 1, 2010
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780307773050
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Antiques & Collectibles / Americana
History / World
Technology & Engineering / Industrial Design / Product
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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