Houghton Mifflin Trade and Reference Division

General Reference
All Databases
Featured Consumer Products
Technical Support
The History of Science and Technology: A Browser's Guide to the Great Discoveries, Inventions, and the People Who Made Them from the Dawn of Time to Today
by Bryan Bunch (Editor) and Alexander Hellemans (Editor)

The History of Science and Technology
In this age of genetic engineering and global warming, it is more important than ever to understand the history and current trends of science and technology. With so much information out there, though, it's hard to know where to start. That's where The History of Science and Technology — the most comprehensive and up-to-date chronology of its kind — comes in. From the first stone tools to the first robot surgery, this easy-to-read, handy reference book offers more than seven thousand concise entries organized within ten major historical periods and categorized by subject such as archaeology, biology, computers, food and agriculture, medicine and health, materials, and transportation. You can follow the world's scientific and technological feats forward or backward, year by year and subject by subject. Under 8400 BCE Construction, you will discover that the oldest known wall was built in Jericho. Jump to 1454 Communication and you will learn about Johann Gutenberg's invention of movable type. Take an even larger leap to 2002 Computers and find out about the invention of the Earth Simulator, a Japanese supercomputer.
The History of Science and Technology answers all the what, when, why, and how questions about our world's greatest discoveries and inventions: How are bridges built? When were bifocal eyeglasses invented and by whom? What medical discovery led to the introduction of sterilization, vaccines, and antibiotics? What is the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) process, and why is it one of the pillars of the biotechnology revolution? Not only can you discover how our world came to be and how it works, but with cross-referenced entries you can also trace many intricate and exciting connections across time.

Highly browsable yet richly detailed, expertly researched and indexed, The History of Science and Technology is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the technologically advanced reader alike.

Key Features:

• 10 chapters, each with an incisive historical overview that puts the era's scientific achievements in context
• 175 short essays on such topics as the Human Genome Project, nuclear power, and the nature of light
• 200 brief biographies of notable scientists and inventors
• Ample cross-references and a comprehensive index for quick reference

Technical Specs:

Available Electronic

File Size

File Types & Sizes

Other Associated Files

History of Science and Technology, The

XML with XSL

4.8 MB

271 JPG files, 6.89 MB


Sample Entry:

500 BCE—490 BCE 60_Medicine & Health Alcmaeon of Croton is the first person to dissect human cadavers for scientific purposes. He notes the optic nerve and the eustachian tubes, differentiates veins from arteries, and recognizes the brain as the seat of the intellect. See also 600 BCE MED.

Tools Romans develop the first safety pins, but the idea is lost with the fall of the Roman Empire and not revived until reinvented in 19th-century America. See also 1849 TOOL. The early Iron Age, from 1100 to 500 BCE, sees the invention of lathes, saws, pegs, shears, scythes, iron axes, picks, and shovels. Particularly good evidence for the presence of the lathe is a bas-relief of Darius I at Persepolis showing him on a throne that has legs and rungs that have been clearly turned on a lathe. Stonemasons' tools, mostly punches and chisels, are being made from iron, as are the saws and chisels of woodworkers.

Transportation Darius, the Persian king, has the canal of Pharaoh Necho from the Nile to the Red Sea completed, effectively linking the Mediterranean with the Indian Ocean. The canal is 145 km (90 mi) long and 45 m (150 ft) wide. Eventually, like most ancient canals, it gradually fills and falls into disuse, although it is reopened about 285 BCE by Ptolemy II. Some authorities say that Darius stopped short of making the actual connection for fear that the higher level Red Sea would cause the Mediterranean to rise. See also 600 BCE TRAN; 280 BCE TRAN. A picture on the wall of an Etruscan tomb is the earliest known depiction of a two-masted sailing vessel. The foremast carries a smaller sail than the mainmast and slants forward over the bows. See also 3000 BCE TRAN; 1 CE TRAN.