Inventing the 19th Century: 100 Inventions that Shaped the Victorian Age from Aspirin to the Zeppelin

Front Cover
NYU Press, 2001 - History - 218 pages
2 Reviews

Dishwashers, electric light bulbs, gramophones, motion picture cameras, radios, roller skates, typewriters. While these inventions seem to speak of the 20th century, they all in fact date from the 19th century.

The Victorian age (1837-1901) was a period of enormous technological progress in communications, transport, and many other areas of life. Illustrated by the original patent drawings from The British Library's extensive collection, this attractive book chronicles the history of the one hundred most important, innovative, and memorable inventions of the 19th century. The vivid picture of the Victorian age unfolds as inventions from the ground-breaking—such as aspirin, dynamite, and the telephone—to the everyday—like blue jeans and tiddlywinks—are revealed decade by decade. Together they provide a vivid picture of Victorian life.

This follow-up volume to Stephen van Dulken’s acclaimed Inventing the 20th Century will be compelling reading to anyone interested in inventors and the “age of machines.” From the cash register to the safety pin, from the machine gun to the pocket protector, and from lawn tennis to the light bulb, Inventing the 19th Century is a fascinating, illustrative window into the Victorian Age.


What people are saying - Write a review

INVENTING THE 20TH CENTURY: 100 Inventions that Shaped the World, From the Airplane to the Zipper

User Review  - Kirkus

A fascinating, though flatly presented, illustrated catalogue of inventions, arranged by decade."The process of invention is a mysterious one," observes van Dulken, who then proceeds in lockstep ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

As a student working on a large project, this book is somewhat of a godsend. I found this piece incredibly informative as well as fun to read. The stories behind each invention were masterfully researched and pieced together, and I learned something - that I didn't forget right away - on each page. 

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

The author of Inventing the 20th Century: 100 Inventions that Shaped the World and American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary, and Just Plain Useful Patents (both available through NYU Press), Stephen Van Dulken is an expert curator in the Patents Information Service of The British Library.

Bibliographic information