Alchemy of Us, The

Alchemy of Us, The How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another

Paperback (29 Mar 2021)

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Synopsis

In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hot-headed undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway's writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid's cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262542265
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
Language: English
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 530g
Height: 153mm
Width: 228mm
Spine width: 29mm