In the elder days of Art, Builders wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part; For the gods see everywhere… Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


They built to 125% of spec in part because they weren’t quite sure how strong it had to be and in part because they were building for the future. Most of what they built is still standing and still operational which is tribute enough. There is not a single chapter in this book that is not wonderfully interesting and that does not deserve to be expanded into a complete book of its own.

 

Dreams of Iron and Steel: Seven Wonders of the Nineteenth Century, from the Building of the London Sewers to the Panama Canal New York, N.Y. : Fourth Estate, 2004      Deborah Cadbury Civil engineering  History  19th century Hardcover. 1st U.S. ed. and printing. First published in Great Britain as Seven wonders of the industrial world. xix, 300 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [267]-288) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clea n dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

A world that had changed little from the Middle Ages was altered beyond recognition by the engineering genius of the nineteenth century:rivers tamed, oceans pacified, continents bridged. In Dreams of Iron and Steel, acclaimed historian Deborah Cadbury tells the heroic tale of the visionaries and ordinary workers who brought to life seven wonders of engineering that still have the power to awe and inspire us today.

From the London sewers that banished cholera to the Panama Canal that shaved thousands of miles off a dangerous sea passage, from the Hoover Dam that diverted the world’s most unpredictable river to give power to over half of the country to the transcontinental railroad that fulfilled the dream of manifest destiny, Dreams of Iron and Steel reveals the epic struggles and personal stories of the most brilliant pioneers of the industrial age, and the financiers and politicians who hung on for the ride as fortunes and reputations were lost and won.

Fueled by Deborah Cadbury’s characteristic scholarship and insight, this extraordinary chronicle re-creates the human odyssey of how our modern world was forged — with rivets, grease, and steam, but also with blood, sweat, and extreme imagination.

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