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OT: Historical non-fiction books about significant manufacturing / machining projects

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  • OT: Historical non-fiction books about significant manufacturing / machining projects

    I read quite a bit of non-fiction history in a lot of different areas, WWII, American Revolution, Civil War, anthropology, Politics, etc.

    Yesterdays Falcon heavy launch has me thinking about the book Korolev, which is about the history of the Soviet Space Program.

    https://www.amazon.com/Korolev-Maste...?ie=UTF8<br />

    A short version, Korolev was a hobbyist who built gliders and planes just after WWI. Prior to WWII he spent time in the Gulag, when Stalin asked him to head the country's rocket development program (or alternatively....stay in the Gulag). Korolev developed much of the technology still in use by Soyuz rockets today, at a time when they dismissed US use of digital machine control technology as 'bourgeois'.

    I really recommend this book.

    Another book is The Gun by C.J. Chivers
    https://www.amazon.com/Gun-C-J-Chive...sap_bc?ie=UTF8

    This book Chivers outlines the history of fully automatic weapons from Gatlin through Stoner's AR15. He spends a significant portion of the book discussing the development of the AK-47. This book is much more about the politics that drove weapons innovation, but still a great read. Chiver's does a great job of remaining neutral and outside of the gun debate, focusing on technical capabilities and specific historical events for the reader to consider.

    Please let me know of book titles that you recommend in this genre. I am always looking for new titles.
    If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy

    https://www.facebook.com/WDHSTechClub

  • #2
    I'm assuming you have read Richard Rhodes' books on the atomic and hydrogen bombs? I seriously think everyone needs to read both of those books.

    Another one of my personal favourites is Internal Fire by Lyle Cummins. It is a history of the internal combustion engine.


    https://www.amazon.com/Internal-Fire-Internal-Combustion-Engine-1673-1900/dp/0917308050


    It is hard to find as it is out of print. I picked mine up from the discard bin at a local library. Excellent book with some very good research.
    www.thecogwheel.net

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    • #3
      "The soul of a new machine" by Tracy Kidder

      Chronicles the development of the Data General mini-computer in the 1970's. Couldn't put down, reads like a crime novel.

      Comment


      • #4
        I tried to find a link to the story of taming the R3350 aircraft engine's vibration problems but couldn't find it in a quick search (at work) but did find this excerpt from "The Piston Engine Revolution" about the R4360. All aircraft or aircraft engine history is fascinating reading IMHO. Especially the WWII era.

        https://www.newcomen.com/wp-content/...r-13-White.pdf
        Milton

        "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

        "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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        • #5
          Paul Israel: "Edison -A life of Invention"

          Ned Allen: "The Engines of Pratt & Whitney: A technical History"


          Eric Schlosser: "Command And Control"
          (A bit off topic, but a tech account of the Damascus missile accident.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by wombat2go View Post
            Eric Schlosser: "Command And Control"
            (A bit off topic, but a tech account of the Damascus missile accident.)
            Look's similar to Blind Man's Bluff, a book about Cold War era submarine operations and mishaps...

            https://www.amazon.com/Blind-Mans-Bl...8025486&sr=1-1
            If the women don't find ya handsome, they should at least find ya handy

            https://www.facebook.com/WDHSTechClub

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            • #7
              https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/...l1_detail.html

              Parts 1-4 will keep you busy for a while.
              Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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              • #8
                I thought that
                "The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge"
                by David McCullough
                was a pretty good read.
                George
                Traverse City, MI

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                • #9
                  Perfect machine by Ronald Florence
                  About constructing the 200” telescope at mt palomar

                  Frank

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
                    I thought that
                    "The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge"
                    by David McCullough
                    was a pretty good read.
                    Ditto his book on the Panama Canal

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bob_s View Post
                      "The soul of a new machine" by Tracy Kidder

                      Chronicles the development of the Data General mini-computer in the 1970's. Couldn't put down, reads like a crime novel.
                      Most of them retired but I occasionally worked with a few of the actual guys in the book whom stayed when EMC bought DG.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
                        Most of them retired ...G.
                        I got the distinct impression that for the most part, the guys who did the biggest part of the development (on their own time ) got royally eff'd over. Like any company where corp-politics dominated the a$$-kissers and assorted back-stabbing brown-nosers seemed to get ahead.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bob_s View Post
                          I got the distinct impression that for the most part, the guys who did the biggest part of the development (on their own time ) got royally eff'd over. Like any company where corp-politics dominated the a$$-kissers and assorted back-stabbing brown-nosers seemed to get ahead.
                          I know all of the DG engineers that stayed on after the EMC acquisition and were still there by ~2014 did VERY well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Two of my favorites: "Not Much of an Engineer" an autobiography of Sir Stanley Hooker. He worked at Rolls Royce from WWII thru 1967. His first assignment was to help boost the power output of the Merlin engine. Within a few months he added 30% more power.

                            "Engine Revolutions" , Autobiography of Max Bentele. Began is career in Nazi Germany working for Heinkel-Hirth and ended up in the USA working for Avco-Lycoming, Curtiss Wright. Heavily involved with the Wankel engine, gas turbine engines of all types. Numerous honors from SAE.

                            RWO
                            .

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                            • #15
                              Longitude, the story of Harrison and his clocks is a good book
                              Mark

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