1,000 Inventions & Discoveries Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-05-07 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 7 user ratings

" Timeline of inventions and discoveries " said.

" Very useful and interesting book! With a lot of illustrations. " said.

" Few things are miscalculated on the time-line, or the information is out of date. (some by hundred years) " said.

"This is a book similar to "1001 Inventions That Changed The World" and "Defining Moments in Science". While the first book goes through 1001 inventions from the dawn of man just like this one, the second one concentrates on around 1000 inventions and discoveries from just the past 100 years or so. How does this book compare to both of them?

The large font of this book seems to suggest that it is geared towards the younger reader. The entries are indeed shorter than in either of the above books and the pictures are bigger, but the overall experience is quite good. Since the book is shorter, the details given are of course much more sparse. Even though it does mention and date 1000 inventions and discoveries, most entries provide just a minimum of descriptions. Most of the time, you will not really learn the working principles of an invention (but to be honest, this was often also a problem with the above books). You will learn the date of the invention, the most likely inventor and a few tidbits about the invention, but not much extra information beyond that. Fortunately the book provides separate expanded two page entries for more important discoveries, which go much more indepth than the above two books.

The beginning of the book lags a bit, but that is to be expected with entries not too thrilling like fire and the wheel, for which we cannot really ascertain any actual dates, inventors or even circumstances of the invention. Most of it is just conjecture and guesswork, which reads more like a history book for children than a popular science book. Fortunately the book picks up steam once it reaches historically verifiable inventions and retains its fascination up until the end.

The one problem with this book is that many stories are presented as the accepted wisdom, whereas in the above mentioned books you will often discover the surprising true stories behind many events. This probably stems from the fact, that whereas the above books were written by dozens of authors, each an expert in their field, this book is written by just one author who cannot be expected to have indepth knowledge of each of the 1000 entries in this book.

The other problem is the needlessly large font. By reducing the font, the author could have included either more details for the existing entries or added more pictures.

The third problem, and this is common to all books of this kind (be it about art, movies, videogames etc), is that the very latest entries are usually of questionable value. I understand that the authors need to include some of the very latest discoveries in their book as well, but these are often unproven to have lasting value. A glaring example is the WAP protocol for mobile browsing, which may have been hot in 2001 when this book was published, but is competely irrelevant these days and certainly not worthy of being included in the 1000 crowning achievements of mankind. There are other examples as well but like I said, the same can be said about other books of this kind and so it can be forgiven.

The book is peppered with high quality photos and good quality illustrations, even though the illustrations are usually superfluous and not very informative (like Newton holding an apple or Galileo peering through a telescope) and don't really add to the information in any meaningful way. They are just there to illustrate the subject matter but unlike in later DK books, where we get superb cutouts, all sorts of graphs and hugely informative illustrations and graphics, what we have here is just nice looking but fairly dull pictures you'd find in any story book. In fact, as such they really do have a somewhat dated look to them and seem like something out of the 70s or 80s. Luckily DK cleaned up its act in later books and almost all of its illustrations these days are also there to inform us, not simply to illustrate a story.

Overall the book provides a nice quick overview on most of the major achievements of science, but if you are an adult and are looking for more details, I suggest "1001 Inventions That Changed The World" instead. That book goes beyond the very minimum you'll find here and actually fleshes out the inventions with more background and better details. For another good book on a similar subject but with a narrower and more in-depth focus on the science and inventions of just the past 100+ years, I suggest "Defining Moments in Science". That book provides you with even more discoveries and backstories, omitting all those boring entries for things invented 5000 or more years ago and concentrating on the time where science and invention really took off.

If however you have kids or want a quicker, lighter read with nice large drawings and detailed photos, I can certainly recommend this book.
" said.

"Many nice pictures but the title of this book may have reflected its contents better if it had been '1000 Inventions and Discoveries from mainly Europe, China, Egypt and the Middle East'. Although it mentions discoveries from 3,000,000 BC, there is practically no mention of any significant discovery from India. The thousands of potential readers of Indian origin and those who know about the great discoveries India has contributed to the world may not appreciate such an 'oversight'. ..." said.

"It is very easy to read, has plenty of illustrations/pictures. There is soooo much information in this book, I recommend it highly, even for adults.

I bought this book in order to learn where certain inventions and discoveries came from.

It starts out explaining stone tools (c 3,000,000 BC), the use of fire and continues on throughout time. It ends in 2001 with self-cleaning glass invention.

I had to laugh at the first walkman (do young people know what that is?) in 1979.

I was amazed at all the things we take for granted, when they were actually discovered, how and so forth. I recommend this book to anybody that is curious about when and what was invented/discovered.
" said.

"Pictures & illustration makes this book more entertains to read although someone can suggest other encyclopedia that gives more information than this book, but for me, it doesn't matter how much or complete the information but how much information reader can get from this book... if you want more complete information you can go further with multi-volume encyclopedia like Britannica or simply using internet to google many information regarding any great invention and discoveries in human kinds. (eg Wikipedia, etc)

IMHO, this book is suitable for any level, adults or children, but may be the content is only for leisure reading, not for complete & formal educational purposes, it may wrong to state this book have a complete reference about human inventions but for me it contains 'enough inventions' to be known by us.

Lastly, I really enjoyed reading this book. Just my 2 cent :)

p/s: sorry for any bad English as it is not my mother tongue.
" said.

"I thought this was an excellent buy and found few problems with the book. It included many illustration and photographs to help the reader visualize events, inventions, and people. The descriptions of each invention were clear and concise. Some prominent inventions had entire pages devoted to their explanation and context, thus stressing their importance. An example of these more "prominent inventions would be the lens and how it not only helped vision-impaired human beings better see the world but was an extraordinary step in science because it allowed people to view microscopic things.

I truly enjoyed these lengthy descriptions of such inventions but I wish that there were more like them. Even though the average description of an invention was adequate in that it provided basic context and use at the time, it would not be nearly as interesting. While the lengthy descriptions provided the discovery, the use at the time, and the forerunners of inventions, the average description would attempt to fit much more basic info in 5 sentences. This results in many dates and names in each section. While it is important for an encyclopedia to have such information, it is often payed no attention to if not presented to in the right manner. There are 1000 inventions and discoveries; if each one has 3-5 dates and 2-6 names in it, then it is impossible for younger audiences to remain focused and absorb the information. During the longer descriptions, while there may have been more dates and names, it was much easier to read and remember the information.

My second issue with this book was the manner in which it tried to provide context for the inventions. At the bottom of the page, there was a small area devoted to history for the 50-100 years during which the inventions above were created. While this may seem like a great idea to allow for perspective for that era, it is quite tunnel minded and avoids many great historical events that occurred during the time periods. Even so, the information provided in it was good and unexpected after I read the title of the book.

Even though this book has a few minor flaws, I would definitely recommend it for all ages because of the endless intellectual and stimulating reading time it will provide.
" said.

June 2017 New Book:

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