Twenty-two sections cover the entire field of the history of technology, and have been contributed by a team of international experts. Each section has been designed to summarise the development of its subject from the earliest times to the present day, and is written so as to stand as an independent section, while also forming an integral part of the story of Man's efforts to harness the forces of Nature to his own ends. The text of each section forms a continuous narrative, with major inventions and developments being introduced and explained in sub-sections. The authors have throughout laid stress on the relation of their subjects to the social context of the times, as well as showing their interrelation with contemporary scientific thought and developments. Likewise the continuity of history is emphasised by the extensive time-scale, taking the reader from Stone Age to Space Age'. There are full indexes of both subjects and names.
Ian McNeil is Rolt Research Fellow at the University of Bath and former Executive Secretary of the Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology.