Skip to content Skip to navigation

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Registration is NOT required
Members Free and Non-members Free with admission ($10)

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

Simon Winchester

Precision is an essential component of the modern world. Much of what is important in our everyday lives—our cell phones, our computers, our cars, our ballpoint pens—is fitted together with precision to operate with near-perfection. But, what is precision and why is it important? Who invented it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in our world blinded us to other things of equal value? Can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World locates the origins of precision in Industrial Age England and introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production. Thomas Jefferson brought their discoveries to the United States, setting the fledgling nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Through Winchester’s inimitable, learned, and charming storytelling, you will discover why so many words having to do with cars and driving—“garage,” “chauffeur”—come from the French and where the expression “lock, stock and barrel” originated. You’ll learn about the relationship between the making of guns and the design of shoes, and what a shower head had to do with the design of the Hubble Telescope.

Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, Atlantic, Pacific, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa, all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. In 2006 Mr. Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He lives in western Massachusetts.