New book on precision engineering a 'salute to the engineer'

Weekend Variety Wireless 03/06/2018
Photo credit: Getty.

Weekend Variety Wireless host Graeme Hill talks to author Simon Winchester about his book, Exactly! How precision engineers created the modern world.

Graeme describes the book as “a salute to the engineer.”

The book taps into a market which previously wasn’t really served by books.

“There are 2.5 million working engineers in this country [United States]”, says Mr Winchester.

In the early 50s, Mr Winchester’s father introduced to him a beautiful wooden box with red velvet which held over 100 small steel pieces of metal of an array of sizes.

These steel pieces described as ‘Gage Blocks’were used to calibrate things like micrometres. This is where Mr Winchester first learned of precision engineering.

Precision is integral to all aspects of life. But what exactly is precision and how did it become such a vital component to the modern world?

“In order to calibrate precision, you have to have something more precise. How do you measure that?” Graeme asks, perplexed by precision engineering.

 “There are many stories about people who changed our world opened the door through which we could make the world that we live”, Mr Winchester says.

Listen to the full interview with Simon Winchester above.

Weekend Variety Wireless with Graeme Hill, 8pm - midnight Saturdays and Sundays, on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the Rova app on Android and iPhone.