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Engineering the Bicycle

Iowa is known for many things: the butter cow, John Wayne, ethanol, and the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). On July 20th, 8,500 riders will mount their two-wheeled pedal machines to cover more than 400 miles in one week. Would this have been possible without the engineering feats of light-weight carbon fiber materials, multiple-speed performance gears, durable traction wheels and brakes, and ergonomically adjustable handle bars and seat posts?

original pedal-driven bicycle

The original pedal-driven bicycle (velocipede) as it appears in Pierre Lallement’s U.S. Patent No. 59,915 of 1866.

The earliest sketch of a bicycle-like machine was drawn in 1493 by a student of Leonardo da Vinci. However, the earliest claim to a two-wheel “running machine” was called the Draisine, named for its inventor, Karl von Drais. who patented his wood-built, steerable design in 1818. Soon after, Denis Johnson of London patented a similar version called the “velocipede” or “pedestrian curricle.” The rider walked or ran on top of the two-wheel machine. It commonly was referred to as the “hobby-horse” since it was an alternative to riding a horse as a means of transportation.

In 1863, a French metalworker, Pierre Lallement, introduced the first crank and pedal-operated serpentine-frame velocipede. His 1866 U.S. patented design became the basis for the first popular and commercially successful “bicycle.” By the 1890s, continued improvements had been made to the steering, safety, comfort and speed of the bicycle design, as well as the addition of the chain-drive from the front wheel hub to the rear.

By the start of the 20th century, cycling had become a viable and popular means of transportation. Mass production increased its affordability and recreational riding clubs formed. Susan B. Anthony coined the phrase “freedom machine” because the bicycle gave women unprecedented mobility. It also reshaped the women’s fashion industry since corsets and angle-length skirts encumbered riding.

REFERENCES

Books:

Bicycle Design book coverBicycle design : an illustrated history / Tony Hadland and Hans-Erhard Lessing ; with contributions from Nick Clayton and Gary W. Sanderson. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2014] (eLibrary)

Bicycle Design by Mike BurrowsBicycle design : the search for the perfect machine / Mike Burrows with Tony Hadland. London : Snowbooks Ltd., 2008. (Engineering Library TL410 .B8 2008)

Bike, Scooter and Chopper Projects book cover

Bike, scooter, and chopper projects for the evil genius / Brad Graham, Kathy McGowan.  New York : McGraw-Hill, c2008. (Engineering Library TL400 .G689 2008)

TThe Racing Bicycle book coverhe racing bicycle : design, function, speed / foreword by Robert Penn ; general editors, Richard Moore, Daniel Benson. New York : Universe, 2013. (Engineering Library TL437.5 .R63 2013)

Racing Bicycles book coverRacing bicycles : 100 years of steel / David Rapley ; [photography by Susie Latham]. Mulgrave, Vic. : Images Publishing Group Pty, 2012. (Engineering Library TL410 .R37 2012)

Cyclepedia book cover

Cyclepedia :
a century of iconic bicycle design
 /
Michael Embacher ; foreword by Paul Smith ; photographs by Bernard Angerer.  San Francisco : Chronicle Books, 2011. (Engineering Library FOLIO Tl410 .E43 2011)

 

Article:
LaFrance, Adrienne. “How the Bicycle Paved the Way for Women’s Rights.” The Atlantic [serial online], June 26 2014.

Patent:
Lallement, Piekre. Improvement in velocipedes. U.S. Patent 59, 915, November 20, 1866 (Google Patents)

Standards:
Cycles — Safety requirements for bicycles –

Part 1: Terms and definitions — First Edition, ISO 4210-1 July 1, 2014 (14 pages)

Part 2: Requirements for city and trekking, young adult, mountain and racing bicycles — First Edition, ISO 4210-2 July 1, 2014 (42 pages)

Part 3: Common test methods — First Edition, ISO 4210-3 July 1, 2104 (16 pages)

Part 4: Braking test methods — First Edition, ISO 4210-4 March 20, 2014 (36 pages)

Part 5: Steering test methods — First Edition, ISO 4210-5 July 1, 2014 (20 pages)

Part 6: Frame and fork test methods — First Edition, ISO 4210-6 July 1, 2014 (32 pages)

Part 7: Wheels and rims test methods — First Edition, ISO 4210-7 March 20, 2014 (14 pages)

Part 8: Pedal and drive system test methods — First Edition, ISO 4210-8 July 1 2014 (16 pages)

Part 9: Saddles and seat-post test methods — First Edition, ISO 4210-9 March 20, 2014 (14 pages)

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Summer Reading: The Best American Science And Nature Writing 2012

The Best American Science 

And Nature Writing 2012

 

Edited by Dan Ariely

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company c2012

Engineering PN6071. S3 B46 2012

 

The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume’s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected — and most popular — of its kind.

 

From Booklist

There is so much we don’t know, which leads us to make so many irrational decisions that we need scientists and science writers to share their inquiries and discoveries in welcoming and lucid prose. Stellar examples of just this sort of cogent and compelling writing sustains this invaluable and exciting series. This year’s guest editor, Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics and author of The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty (2012), kicks things off with a provocative introductory essay about how we can and should use science to improve our lives. His commanding and eye-opening selections run the gamut from the micro (gut biota) to the macro (global air pollution) and steadily ramp up our sense of awe and concern. His engaging contributors write of food allergies (Jerome Groopman), the evolution of feathers (Carl Zimmer), the extraction of DNA from Neanderthal bones (Elizabeth Kolbert), and crowd disasters (John Seabrook). In the most intimate essay, Sy Montgomery describes her unexpectedly emotional encounters with Athena, a very smart and expressive giant Pacific octopus. How wondrous and complicated life is. –Donna Seaman

About the Author

Dan Ariely, author of The Upside of Irrationality and Predictably Irrational, is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer Reading: It looked Good on Paper

It Looked Good On Paper (Book Cover)It Looked Good on Paper: Bizarre Inventions, Design Disasters, and Engineering Follies

Edited by Bill Fawcett
New York : Harper, c2009

Engineering TA174 .I83 2009

It Looked Good on Paper is a remarkable compendium of wild schemes, mad plans, crazy inventions, and truly glorious disasters. Every phenomenally bad idea seemed like a good idea to someone.  How else can you explain the Ford Edsel or the sword pistol—absolutely absurd creations that should have never made it off the drawing board? It Looked Good on Paper gathers together the most flawed plans, half-baked ideas, and downright ridiculous machines throughout history that some second-rate Einstein decided to foist on an unsuspecting populace with the best and most optimistic intentions. Some failed spectacularly. Others fizzled after great expense. One even crashed on Mars. But every one of them at one time must have looked good on paper, including:

  • The lead water pipes of Rome
  • The Tacoma Narrows Bridge—built to collapse
  • The Hubble telescope—the $2 billion scientific marvel that couldn’t see
  • The Spruce Goose—Howard Hughes’s airborne atrocity: big, expensive, slow, unstable, and made of wood
  • With more than thirty-five chapters full of incredibly insipid inventions, both infamous and obscure, It Looked Good on Paper is a mind-boggling, endlessly entertaining collection of fascinating failures.

Bill Fawcett is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including You Did What?  It Seemed Like a Good Idea . . . How to Lose a Battle, and You Said What? He lives in Illinois.

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Summer Reading You Might Enjoy! Why Don’t Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings?

Why Don’t Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings?Why don't jumbo jets flap their wings (Book Cover)
By David E. Alexander
New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2009

Engineering Library TL546.7 .A44 2009

Why don’t jumbo jets flap their wings? offers a fascinating explanation of how nature and human engineers each arrived at powered flight. What emerges is a highly readable account of two very different approaches to solving the same fundamental problems of moving through the air, including lift, thrust, turning, and landing. The book traces the evolutionary process of animal flight-in birds, bats, and insects-over millions of years and compares it to the directed efforts of human beings to create the aircraft over the course of a single century.

From Publishers Weekly:
This book is for everyone who’s ever wondered how something gets into the air, stays there and lands safely. A close look at the aerodynamics of wings introduces the basic concepts of lift, thrust, drag and weight, the basic forces that affect flight. While the principles don’t differ between animals and machines, design and purpose do. Bird and insect wings have evolved to provide lift and maneuverability, ward off predators and attract mates. Manmade flyers, on the other hand—even sailplanes—require a separate means of thrust to create lift. Alexander, who teaches biology at the University of Kansas and studies biomechanics, explains how birds and machines hover; how rotary plane and jet engines work; what keeps airplanes, with their rigid wings, stable in the air; and how various tools help pilots fly blind. Sections on flying predators and aerial combat, as well as human-powered flight, are especially interesting. Extensive references, a glossary and suggested reading should give even novices a good understanding of flight and how it works.

 

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.  

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Clocks and stocks and socks…oh, my! Gifts for the engineer

Are grandparents, aunts & uncles and friends stumped as to what to purchase for your graduation gift? Let an engineering librarian research and suggest a few ideas including wall-frame patent art, stylish pens & pencils and interesting magazines and books.

Mechanical Pencil Patent Art Print

Mechanical Pencil Patent Art Print OccupationGifts.com

Books by Henry Petroski

Henry Petroski is a professor both of civil engineering and history at Duke University as well as a published author. ComputerGear.com

Irrational Numbers Wall Clock

Irrational Numbers Wall Clock Signals.com

Engineer's Triangular Scale Tape

Engineer’s Triangular Scale Tape EngineerSupply.com

Automatic Drafting Pencil set

Automatic Drafting Pencil set Amazon

The Givenchy Pi Collection for Him Macy's

The Givenchy Pi Collection for Him Macy’s

Cufflinks by Jewelry Mountain

Cufflinks by Jewelry Mountain Amazon

Culinary Gift Set

Throw in a few BBQ tools to complete the gift. CafePress.com

engineering iPhone case

How about an iPhone, too? Zazzle.com

iRobot framed stock

Choose stocks from iRobot, Boeing, John Deere & more. GiveAShare

Binary tie

For the fashionable engineer Zazzle.com

Jewelry for Her

Jewelry for Her ComputerGear.com

Design Engineer Tape Kit

Duct tape fixes everything. Amazon

The Neil Armstrong Gift package

“I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer…” – Neil Armstrong

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Free Coffee and Lemonade Starting Monday May 12, 2014–Friday May 16th

Free Coffee and Lemonade

Mon, May 12 – Thurs, May 15: 8:30am – Midnight

Fri, May 16: 8:30am – 5pm

Until supplies last

 

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OPEN ’til MIDNIGHT! FINAL WEEK HOURS

Open ’til Midnight FINAL WEEK HOURS

Sun, May 11: 2pm—Midnight Mon, May 12 —Thursday, May 15: 8:30 am–Midnight

Friday, May 16: 8:30 am — 5 pm

May 17 & 18: CLOSED

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Xpress Class Wednesday April 30th–Endnote Basic at 2:30pm

April 30th – Endnote Basic (30 minutes)  

Introduction to an online citation management system that is free for everyone at the University of Iowa.   It helps you to manage all your references for a paper (or many papers) as well as create the incite citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of formatting styles.  Taught by Amy Blevins (Clinical Education Librarian, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences)

The web version of Endnote Basic will be taught not the full client version!

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Happy Earth Day!

images

Happy Earth Day!  Today, April 22, Earth Day celebrations are occurring throughout the United States as well as around the world.  This year’s theme, Green Cities, focuses on sustainable communities.  Denis Hayes was the first coordinator of Earth Day, an environmental “teach-in” held on April 22, 1970.  In the first Earth Day participants from two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States “brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform.”  He founded the Earth Day Network in Washington, DC and expanded it to 192 countries.  Time Magazine named him “Hero of the planet” in 1999.  His mentor, former US Senator from Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson, originated the idea 44 years ago, in 1970, to promote and support responsible protection of our environment, the Earth. Gaylord Nelson hired Denis Hayes, a student attending the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University to organize the first Earth Day. In 1995, Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his work.

The first to propose an international day to honor the Earth was peace activist John McConnell. His vision, formed at a UNESCO conference on the environment in 1969, included a celebration to be held on the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere: March 21, McConnell’s proposal led to a proclamation signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations in 1971, initiating an annual Earth Day on April 22nd.  McConnell later founded the Earth Society in 1976 with anthropologist Margaret Mead.

Sources:

April 22 Is Earth Day: What it Means, (2014) from http://usparks.about.com/od/conservationpreservation/a/earth_day.htm

Brosnan, Kathleen A.  Encyclopedia of American Environmental History Volume II.  New York: Facts on File, Inc.  An imprint of Infobase Publishing, 2011.  Engineering Library Folio GE 150 .E53 2011 V.2 http://infohawk.uiowa.edu/F/?func=find-b&find_code=SYS&local_base=UIOWA&request=005765304

Earth Day Extravaganza Sheds Its Humble Roots (April 22, 1990) from http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/22/us/earth-day-extravaganza-sheds-its-humble-roots.html?scp=2&sq=%22earth+day%22&st=nyt

Earth Day History:  The History of Earth Day (2014) from http://environment.about.com/od/environmentalevents/a/twoearthdays.htm

Gorman, Hugh S. The Story of N:  A Social History of the Nitrogen Cycle and the Challenge of Sustainability.  N.J.  : Rutgers University Press, 2013.  Engineering Library TD196.N55 G67 2013.  http://infohawk.uiowa.edu/F/?func=find-b&find_code=SYS&local_base=UIOWA&request=007232308

Khale, Lynn R, and Eda Gurel-Atay, editors.  Communicating Sustainability for the Green Economy. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2014.  Engineering Library HC79. E5.C61236 2014. http://infohawk.uiowa.edu/F/?func=find-b&find_code=SYS&local_base=UIOWA&request=007444474

Taback, H.J. Environmental Ethics and Sustainability: A Casebook for Environmental Professionals. Florida, Boca Raton: CRC Press 2014. Engineering Library GE42. T33 2014. http://infohawk.uiowa.edu/F/?func=find-b&find_code=SYS&local_base=UIOWA&request=007366984

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (2014) from https://unfccc.int/2860.php

Who Invented Earth Day? ( 2014)  from http://environment.about.com/od/earthday/f/who-invented-earth-day.htm

 

 

 

 

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April 15th is Eraser Day!

ERASER 3

April 15th is National Rubber Eraser Day!

When  celebrating the invention of the eraser, the names and stories of several European scientists intertwine: Frenchman Charles Marie de la Condamine, Portuguese Jean Hyacinthe de Magellan, and Englishmen Edward Nairne and Joseph Priestley are collectively responsible for its discovery and use.

Condamine was sent to South America in 1735 by the French Academy of Science to calculate the diameter of the Earth at the equator.  In his travels through Peru, Ecuador, and Brazil, he was fascinated by caoutchouc, a milky white elastic substance produced under the bark of a tropical tree.  He returned with samples in 1745.  By 1752, Jean Hyacinthe de Magellan, a Portuguese scientist who corresponded with internationally known scientists of his day, is thought to have been the person responsible for suggesting that caoutchouc be used as an eraser in the Proceedings of the French Academy.  Until that time, pieces of bread had been used to eliminate marks on paper. According to Inventors and Inventions, Sir John Priestly noted the erasing properties of vegetable gum:  “I have seen a substance excellently adapted to the purpose of wiping from paper the mark of black pencil lead.” By 1778, Priestley suggested that caoutchouc be called “rubber” for its properties. A decade later, by 1790, the word “eraser” was in use and referred to the object used to remove pencil marks.

In 1839, American Charles Goodyear developed and patented a process to keep the rubber material from rotting.  The process, vulcanization which is named after the Roman god of fire, cured and stabilized the rubber.  Today, erasers are made from synthetic rubber or vinyl.  The engineering and production process involved can be seen in a short You Tube video by the Staedtler Corporation http://youtu.be/FocX6Fews6k or in the article Eraser:  Raw Materials and Manufacturing Process are described in detail at a site called: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Eraser.html

ERASER 5      ERASER 6

Sources:

Hyacinthe Magellan (2014) retrieved from  http://www.amphilsoc.org/exhibits/magellan/magellan.htm

Innovateus, Edward Nairne (2006-2013) retrieved from  http://www.innovateus.net/inventor/edward-nairne

Online Etymology Dictionary (2001-2014) retrieved from http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=eraser&searchmode=none

Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett, Charles Marie De La Condamine (1999) http://www.phfawcettsweb.org/condam.htm

Patents:

Combination of Lead-pencil and eraser (US 19783A) https://www.google.com/patents/US19783?dq=eraser&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_GVNU4qLL4KE2wXRhIHQAg&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA