Steven Johnson's The Invention of Air sparks a delightful reverie on the pivotal role of 18th Century scientist, non-conformist minister and poltical thinker Joseph Priestley. Living in Leeds, I was vaguely aware of Priestley from local museums and the blue plaque at Mill Hill Unitarian Church on City Square. What schoolchild could fail to be … Continue reading Reflections on Reading of Mr Joseph Priestley and M Antoine Lavoisier While Travelling by Air Plane Between Leeds and Paris
05102008295 Oh the impatience of youth! The first time one of my sons pressed the button on a non-digital camera, he turned to me and asked "where can I see the picture?" I knew at once it was a significant moment, but I was all wrong about the reason why. How cute, I thought, he's … Continue reading “Why can’t I see it now?” Or why it pays to listen to your most demanding customer
From Simon Thurley's fascinating Buildings That Shaped Britain we learn that Isambard Kingdom Brunel had only once travelled on a train when he designed the gloriously non-standard Great Western Railway from London Paddington to Bristol. Now that, for good or ill, is the difference between innovation and design.