Chronologically, the text is divided into two parts, the first telling
the story up to ca. A.D. 1750 - the beginning of the Industrial
Revolution in Britain - and the second continuing it up to 1900.
The book begins with a general historical survey of ancient civilizations,
then goes on to consider such topics as food production, metalworking,
building construction, early sources of power, and the beginning
of the chemical industry. The second and lengthier portion of the
text focuses on the development of the steam engine, machine tools,
modern transport, mining coal and metals, the rise of the modern
chemical industry, textiles, the internal combustion engine, electricity,
and more. Profusely illustrated and brimming with factual data,
this is a reprint of the Oxford University Press, 1961 edition.