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Creating the Twentieth Century
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Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact

Vaclav Smil


This book is a systematic interdisciplinary account of the history of unprecedented technical advances that took place in Europe and North America during the three pre-WWI generations and of their truly epochal consequences. It takes a close look at four classes of fundamental innovations: formation, diffusion, and standardization of electricity-generating systems and the distribution and uses of this most versatile form of energy; invention and rapid adoption of internal combustion engines, the dominant prime mover in transportation; the unprecedented pace of the introduction of new materials ... More

Keywords: history of technical advances, fundamental innovations, electricity, internal combustion engines, new materials, chemical syntheses, information age, communication, high-energy societies

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780195168747
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005 DOI:10.1093/0195168747.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Vaclav Smil, author
University of Manitoba
Author Webpage

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