Book Cover of The Perfectionists by Simon Winchesterby Simon Winchester 

The revered New York Times bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future.

The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider.

Interview with the Author

Hidden Forces
Simon Winchester a History of Precision Engineering and the Making of the Modern World
7/15/18        57 min

Subscription required for full episode

History Extra
Making the modern world
7/5/18        35 min

Town Hall Seattle Science Series
Simon Winchester
6/11/18        81 min

Boston Athenaeum
Simon Winchester, “The Perfectionist: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World”
11/27/18      52 min

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