The Way Things Work
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- For the Unknown Instructors album, please refer to "The Way Things Work (album)"
Book cover for The Way Things Work
|LC Class||T47 .M18 1988|
The Way Things Work is a book by Neil Ardley, illustrated by David Macaulay, as an entertaining introduction to everyday machines, describing machines as simple as levers and gears and as complicated as radio telescopes and automatic transmissions. Every page consists primarily of one or more large diagrams describing the operation of the relevant machine. These diagrams are informative but playful, in that most show the machines operated, used upon, or represented by woolly mammoths, and are accompanied by anecdotes of the mammoths' (fictive) role in the operation. The book's concept was later developed into a short-lived animated TV show (produced by Millimages and distributed by Schlessinger Media), a Dorling Kindersley interactive CD-ROM, and a board game. A family "ride" involving animatronics and a 3-D film based on the book was one of the original attractions at the San Francisco Metreon, but closed in 2001.
The New Way Things Work
A newer version, The New Way Things Work, released on October 26, 1998, contains additional text on the workings of computers and digital technology. It also lacks two pages of the first edition; one page demonstrated the working of a mechanical coin-operated parking meter.
The Way Things Work Now
A substantially revised edited, The Way Things Work Now, is due to be published in October 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Dorling Kindersley.
Table of Contents for The New Way Things Work
Part One—The Mechanics of Movement
- The Inclined Plane
- The Wheel and Axle
- Gears and Belts
- Cams and Cranks
- Rotating Wheels
Part Two—Harnessing the Elements
Part Three—Working with Waves
Part Four—Electricity and Automation
Part Five—The Digital Domain
- Making Binary digits
- Storing Bits
- Processing Bits
- Sending Bits
- Using Bits/Digital Systems
Eureka!—The Invention of Machines
- Houghton Mifflin, 1988. ISBN 0-395-42857-2.
- Houghton Mifflin, 1998. ISBN 0-395-93847-3.
- Dorling Kindersley, 2004. ISBN 1-4053-0238-0.