From Galaxies to Turbines: Science, Technology and the Parsons Family looks at the way science and industry relate to each other, and at the way social attitudes affect this relationship. An expert on the Parsons Family, the author beautifully illustrates this by tracing the story of the remarkable endeavors of the Parsons family during the 125 years that embraced their lives in Ireland and Great Britain during the developing Industrial Revolution.
The father of the family, William Parsons, Earl of Rosse, discovered the Spiral Nebulae at his observatory in Ireland and displayed an unusual familiarity with engineering principles in the building of his two giant telescopes. His son, Charles, was at the forefront of the new age of technology among shipbuilders and engineers in the northeast coast of England.
Lavishly illustrated throughout, with a handy family tree and map of the River Tyne pin-pointing key historic events, this is a highly accessible and fascinating account for the general reader interested in the way scientific knowledge and industrial application have slowly emerged in recent history.
Table of Contents
The Inventions Exhibition in London 1885
An Elizabethan Settler Family
Interest in Astronomy
Engineering a Giant Telescope
The Family after the Death of the 3rd Earl
The Parsons Brothers Enter Manufacturing Industry
A Practical Steam Turbine
Clarke-Chapman and Parsons, Partners
A New Start
A Marine Prototype
Turbine Blades and Propellers
Competitors and Licensees
Heaton Works Comes of Age
Aftermath of War
Other Inventive Endeavors
Autumn of Life
"Scaife's book provides a popular and highly readable account of the contributions made by these two great Irishmen."
-Nature, vol. 407, no. 14, September 2000
"This book is, without doubt, the most extensive archival study of the science of the Rosse family."
-Allan Chapman, Astronomy Now
"…this is a highly accessible and fascinating account for the general reader interested in the way scientific knowledge and industrial application have slowly converged in recent history."
"…a real gold mine."
"From Galaxies to Turbines is a well-researched book, detailing the lives of the Parsons family until the early 20th century. Many of the trials and tribulations that William Parsons and Charles Parsons experienced are brought to life with excerpts from letters between members of the Parsons family … the book is beautifully illustrated throughout."
-Vincent Chan, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, October 2002