FORGOTTEN GENIUS - ACelebration of Past Engineering Craftsmanship
by Arnold J. Wade
All around Britain lie the relics of past engineering genius. Many of these are
in museums, some lie half-buried in disuse, and a few still help to provide a
living in the 21st century. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that those
who crafted these machines, tools and other devices, have left a legacy of
technical expertise that remains intact and in use to this day.
Forgotten Genius is an account of this craftsmanship, acknowledging the
determination and inventiveness of the people that brought about the enormous
commercial and physical changes which mainly took place during the Industrial
Revolution, during the years 1740–1840.
As well as the well-known engineers from the period, such as Brunel, Wren, Watt,
etc., there are many who have been all but forgotten, and yet there is no doubt
that it was the perseverance, skill and imagination of all these men, often
from humble backgrounds and with little or no formal education, that led to a
flourishing British economy and an increased standard of living for all.
This book deals with the inspiration, processes, products and mechanisms behind
our engineering heritage in the 18th and 19th centuries, and considers the
measuring instruments, materials, transport and power which were necessary to
implement the enormous changes in mechanisation taking place at that time.
There is also reference given to the changes in work practice, apprenticeships,
and the adjustment of society in general due to the growth of factories
harnessing the best use of industrial methods.
Accompanying the text are illustrative drawings and photographs, all helping to
show the incredible skill of our predecessors.
Arnold J. Wade
The author himself served an apprenticeship as a toolmaker, working on design in
machine tools, instrumentation and the automotive industry. He has been
responsible for manufacture of special purpose machines in the textile industry
and spent a period as a training officer.
Later in his career Arnold Wade spent 15 years teaching craft, design and
technology at secondary school through to A Level. He also gained a Higher
National Certificate in production engineering.
Formerly a member of the Institution of Production Engineers – C Eng MI Prod E – and the Newcomen Society, Arnold is currently a member of the Trevithick
Society and the Tools & Trades History Society.