From flushing toilets to life-saving vaccines, many inventions from history have dramatically changed our lives. The latest How It Works special edition is your essential guide to the greatest gizmos and breakthroughs the world has ever seen. Discover the geniuses behind the inventions, and take a closer look at what makes their gadgets tick.
Inside you’ll find…
50 GREATEST INVENTIONS
From the wheel to the 3D printer, we countdown history’s most significant innovations that have shaped the modern world.
HISTORY’S MOST GRUESOME INVENTIONS
Brutal torture devices, bizarre medical treatments and merciless weapons of war – these terrifying contraptions reveal a darker side of invention.
THE ENIGMA MACHINE
Inside the machine that helped the Allies decipher messages and shorten the war
HOW DO DYNAMO GENERATORS WORK?
Revolutionising the generation of electricity, dynamos are now used worldwide to power cars, planes and ships
How did these massive siege machines break down city walls?
10 NASA INVENTIONS IN YOUR HOME
Bound by its motto ‘for the benefit of all’, since its formation NASA has had an obligation to foster and transfer its technological and scientific breakthroughs to the public and commercial spheres. You’ll be surprised which gadgets were actually developed by the US space agency.
HOW THE GRAMOPHONE WORKED
The invention that brought sound to the home explained
THE BOW DRILL
An ancient device that uses friction to light fires
How the first programmable digital computer helped bring WWII to an end
HOW DO OVERHEAD PROJECTORS WORK?
The science behind the classroom classic
THE FIRST VACUUM CLEANER
How this horse-drawn vacuum cleaned Victorian houses
How were the original motion pictures captured on film?
HOW DID EARLY CALCULATORS WORK?
SELF-HEATING FOOD CANS
THE FIRST SAFETY RAZOR
PORTABLE MUSIC PLAYERS
VIDEO GAME CONSOLES
EVOLUTION OF THE PC
EVOLUTION OF THE BICYCLE
THE FIRST TELEVISION
The How It Works Book of Amazing Inventions is available now. Simply download the free How It Works app onto your iOS device and find this special edition within it. Whilst you’re there, you can also find our guide to the galaxy, earthquakes edition, and book of the senses.
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