The Ingenious Victorians: Weird and Wonderful Ideas from the Age of Innovation

The Ingenious Victorians: Weird and Wonderful Ideas from the Age of Innovation

by John Wade

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We all know that some of the greatest inventions came from the Victorian age, the successors of which are still with us today. But this book is not entirely about those. It’s more about some of the weird and wonderful inventions, ideas and projects – some successful, others less so – that have largely been forgotten. Where well-known inventions or design concepts are included, it is from a perspective not previously appreciated, with details of the ingenious technology and thinking that led to their introduction and success.
Here you can read how Victorian innovators were responsible for: the world’s largest glass structure; an electric railway with lines under the sea and a carriage on stilts 20 feet above the waves; a monster globe that visitors could enter to see the world’s land masses, seas, mountains and valleys modelled on the interior; cameras disguised as bowler hats and many other everyday objects; the London Underground as a steam railway; safety coffins designed to prevent premature burial; unusual medical uses for electricity; the first traffic lights, which exploded a month after their erection in Westminster; and the birth and rapid rise to popularity of the cinema ... as well as many other ingenious inventions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473849020
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 09/30/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 28 MB
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About the Author

John Wade began his journalistic career on local newspapers, where he worked his way from junior reporter to deputy editor. He was editor of the UK magazine Photography for seven years before becoming a freelance writer and photographer thirty years ago.

Table of Contents

Introduction to an Era 7

Chapter 1 The World's Biggest Glass Building 15

Chapter 2 The Great Exhibition 23

Chapter 3 The Crystal Palace Reborn 37

Chapter 4 The Great Victorian Way 46

Chapter 5 When Daddy Long-Legs Ruled the Waves 51

Chapter 6 James Wyld's Monster Globe 60

Chapter 7 The Biggest Camera in the World 67

Chapter 8 The First Channel Tunnel 74

Chapter 9 England's Answer to the Eiffel Tower 83

Chapter 10 Under, Over and Across the Thames 96

Chapter 11 Shocking Cures for Every Ailment 118

Chapter 12 Photographic Detectives 127

Chapter 13 Frédéric Kastner's Exploding Organ 135

Chapter 14 Trains in Drains 141

Chapter 15 How to Avoid Being Buried Alive 151

Chapter 16 London's Great Stink 161

Chapter 17 How London Got the Needle 172

Chapter 18 Phonographs, Graphophones and Gramophones 180

Chapter 19 Who Really Invented the Cinema? 189

Chapter 20 The Age of the Velocipede 200

Chapter 21 Pneumatic Railways 214

Chapter 22 The Rise and Fall of Electric Submarines 222

Chapter 23 Building Big Ben 228

Chapter 24 The Amazing Clocks of Charles Shepherd 236

Chapter 25 From Today, Painting is Dead 244

Chapter 26 Victorian Flying Machines 257

Chapter 27 The People Who Invented Christmas 266

Chapter 28 An Amazing Memorial and the End of an Era 274

Bibliography 281

Picture credits 282

Index 286

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