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The Pencil
A history of Design and Circumstance

Henry Petroski
Paperback
ISBN 0679734155
Alfred A Knopf
October 1992

Henry Petroski traces the origins of the pencil back to ancient Greece and Rome, writes factually and charmingly about its development over the centuries and around the world, and shows what the pencil can teach us about engineering and technology today.

Very engaging and wonderfully informative.... The Pencil unfolds a history of invention, craftsmanship, engineering, manufacture and business that is also at times a history of cultural life on both sides of the Atlantic...No reader of this book will ever be able to pick up a pencil again without marveling.« Hilton Kramer, Newsday

So engrossing that I read it through in one sitting... An utterly absorbing history« Martin Gardner, Raleigh News and Observer

Beguiling... surprising, entertaining, informative. One could scarcely ask a book to be more!... using the story of the pencil as a paradigm, Petroski shows how the process of engineering unfolds and [how] the pencil is the end result of process that parallels those by which products of much greater sophistication -- computers, for example -- are invented designed manufactured and improved.« Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

You will never feel the same about the pencil after you read this terrific book." Larry King, USA Today

 

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