Since the autumn of 2007 Justin Pollard’s Eccentric Engineer column in the award-winning E&T magazine has been campaigning to remind engineers of the extraordinary role that their subject has played in human history. This book gathers together three years of those musings, highlighting not simply the most famous engineering tales but the unusual, the erratic, and occasionally the patently insane.
In its fifty stories it covers everything from aircraft carriers made of ice, to the origins of the omnibus. We’ll toy with Roman turbines, and Greek computers, look at Renaissance hypertext and have arguments with Americans over the shape of our lightning conductors. We’ll shake Scotland with earthquakes and build cars out of beans. But most of all we’ll celebrate the joys and perils of living in an engineered world.