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Book Title: The Toothpick: Technology and Culture|
The author of the book: Henry Petroski
ISBN 13: 9780307266361
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 786 KB
Date of issue: October 16th 2007
Read full description of the books The Toothpick: Technology and Culture:Like The Pencil, Henry Petroski’s The Toothpick is a celebration of a humble yet elegant device. As old as mankind and as universal as eating, this useful and ubiquitous tool finally gets its due in this wide-ranging and compulsively readable book. Here is the unexpected story of the simplest of implements—whether made of grass, gold, quill, or wood—a story of engineering and design, of culture and class, and a lesson in how to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Petroski takes us back to ancient Rome, where the emperor Nero makes his entrance into a banquet hall with a silver toothpick in his mouth; and to a more recent time in Spain, where a young señorita uses the delicately pointed instrument to protect her virtue from someone trying to steal a kiss. He introduces us to Charles Forster, a nineteenth-century Bostonian and father of the American toothpick industry, who hires Harvard students to demand toothpicks in area restaurants—thereby making their availability in eating establishments as expected as condiments.
And Petroski takes us inside the surprisingly secretive toothpick-manufacturing industry, in which one small town’s factories can turn out 200 million wooden toothpicks a day using methods that, except for computer controls, haven’t changed much in almost 150 years. He also explores a treasure trove of the toothpick’s unintended uses and perils, from sandwiches to martinis and beyond.
With an engineer’s eye for detail and a poet’s flair for language, Petroski has earned his reputation as a writer who explains our world—from the tallest buildings to the lowliest toothpick—to us.
Read information about the authorHenry Petroski is a civil engineering professor at Duke University where he specializes in failure analysis.
Petroski was born in Brooklyn, New York, and in 1963, he received his bachelor's degree from Manhattan College. He graduated with his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1968. Before beginning his work at Duke in 1980, he worked at the University of Texas at Austin from 1968-74 and for the Argonne National Laboratory from 1975-80.
He has received honorary degrees from Clarkson University, Trinity College, Valparaiso University and Manhattan College. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
In 2004, he was appointed to the United States Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
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