Technology and Inventions

Great Inventors and Inventions

Book cover: 'Great Inventors and Inventions'
Author(s): 
Bruce LaFontaine
Copyright: 
1997
Publisher: 
Dover
Binding: 
Stapled Softcover
Number of pages: 
48 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Nicely drawn images and fairly detailed text overview important inventions and their inventors from Gutenberg's Movable Type (1438) to the Laser (1960). Arranged in chronological order, the descriptions give some historical background and scientific details about each invention. There is a certain amount of typical problems in the text regarding the medieval era to be full of "darkness and superstition" and a rather incomplete and somewhat erroneous account of Galileo's run-in with the Catholic Church.

The inventions covered are: Movable Type, the Microscope, the Telescope, the Mechanical Calculator, the Steam Engine, the Power Loom, the Submarine, the Cotton Gin and Mass Production, the Steamboat, the Electric Battery, the Jacquard Automatic Loom, the Electric Motor and the Electric Dynamo, Photography, the Mechanical Reaper, the Revolver Pistol, the Telegraph, the Underwater Diving Apparatus, the Sewing Machine, the Internal Combustion Engine, the Machine Gun, Dynamite, the Typewriter, Telephone, Phonograph/gramophone, Electric Light Bulb, Electric Power Station, Kinetograph, Kinetoscope, the Automobile, Alternating Current, the Tesla Coil, Motion Pictures, Radio, Television, Iconoscope, Kinescope, Powered Aircraft, the Vacuum Cleaner, the Triode Radio Vacuum Tube, Mass Production and the Automobile, the Battle Tank, the Liquid-Fuel Rocket, the Jet Engine, Xerography, the Helicopter, the Scuba System, the First Electronic Computer, the Transistor and the Laser.

Review Date: 
4-4-01
Reviewed by: 

Incredible Comparisons

Book cover: 'Incredible Comparisons'
Author(s): 
Russell Ash
Copyright: 
1996
Publisher: 
Dorling Kindersley
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
64 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This picture book designed for "big kids" gives side-by-side comparisons according to length, height, area, life-span, speed, etc. of all kinds of things - animals, mountains, countries, modes of transportation, man-made structures and much more.

Segments of the book include: "On the Surface" (compares land-size of various countries, islands, different uses of land), "Into the Earth" (canyon depths, cave lengths and depths, etc.), "Going into Space" (compares power and speeds of rockets vs. airplanes, comet tail size comparison with various planets, etc.), "The Solar System" (compares planet sizes and distances, etc.), "Great Lengths" (compares lenghts of airplanes, highways, major rivers, telecommunications cables, etc.). Other chapters cover animal speeds, ladn and water speeds, human population etc. Does include some environmental and politically correct content. The segment on human population was much better than I expected. To give a sampling.... "A population explosion has seen the number of people in the world more than triple since 1900 - from less than 2,000,000,000 to close to 6,000,000,000. Each day, enough people to fill the largest stadium in the modern world are added to the total. Thankfully, the world is a very big place. All the people in the world today could actually fit, standing shoulder to shoulder, on the small Indonesian island of Bali."

Review Date: 
4-4-01
Reviewed by: 

Trains

Author(s): 
Gail Gibbons
Copyright: 
1987
Publisher: 
Holiday House
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
30 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

I really like it when authors of children's books remember that details of how things work are fascinating to children. Gail Gibbons is definitely one of those authors. Her book is filled with very simple illustrations and text about trains, but the various parts of the trains are labeled and the text explains things like how the trains link together and the differences between gondola cars, hopper cars, boxcars and tank cars.The back page contains a chart of signs and signals relating to trains. Appropriate for preschool or kindergarten age children.

Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: