Forgotten Genius: A Celebration of Past Engineering Craftsmanship

Forgotten Genius: A Celebration of Past Engineering Craftsmanship


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.

ISBN: 9781852001544 

Size: 217x140mm 

Binding: hardback 

Length: 145pp

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About the author:

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. 

Formally 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.