This delightful and instructive history of invention shows why National Public Radio dubbed Tenner “the philosopher of everyday technology.”Looking at how our inventions have impacted our world in ways we never intended or imagined, he shows that the things we create have a tendency to bounce back and change us.
The reclining chair, originally designed for brief, healthful relaxation, has become the very symbol of obesity. The helmet, invented for military purposes, has made possible new sports like mountain biking and rollerblading. The typewriter, created to make business run more smoothly, has resulted in wide-spread vision problems, which in turn have made people more reliant on another invention-eyeglasses. As he sheds light on the many ways inventions surprise and renew us, Tenner considers where technology will take us in the future, and what we can expect from the devices that we no longer seem able to live without.
Edward Tenner has been a wsltmg scholar m me aepartments of Geosciences and English at Princeton University. Recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, he is cur-rently senior research associate at the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.Tenner lives in Plainsboro, New Jersey.
Chapter One:Technology, Technique, and the Body
Chapter Two:The First Technology: Bottle-Feeding
Chapter Three:Slow Motion: Zori
Chapter Four:Double Time: Athletic Shoes
Chapter Five:Sitting Up Straight: Posture Chairs
Chapter Six:Laid Back: Reclining Chairs
Chapter Seven:Mechanical Arts: Musical Keyboards
Chapter Eight:Letter Perfect?: Text Keyboards
Chapter Nine:Second Sight: Eyeglasses
Chapter Ten:Hardheaded Logic: Helmets
Suggestions for Further Reading