The Engineering Revolution
How the Modern World was Changed by Technology
Over the past two million years that human species have inhabited the Planet Earth they have distinguished themselves by their ability to make and do things creatively to ensure their survival. From the beginning, therefore, they have been defined by their technology, and the history of technology is the history of the species. For most of this period, the development of human technical skills has been extremely slow and repetitive, limited to basic tools and weapons and the ability to control fire. The utilization of animal power and the invention of the means of harnessing the power of wind and falling water added gradually to their technical skills, but it was the discovery of ways of using power from heat engines a mere three hundred years ago that accelerated this process into a prodigious expansion of technical power that fundamentally transformed human societies . It is this development which deserves to be to be called The Engineering Revolution and provides the primary focus of this book.