The Roots of Progress

Dreams of Iron and Steel

Seven Wonders of the Modern Age, from the Building of the London Sewers to the Panama Canal

Deborah Cadbury

Episodic, with each chapter telling a standalone story. I read the one on Joseph Bazalgette and the London sewer system, which was good. For instance, I learned that steam engines were key to the system, pumping sewage from lower levels to higher ones so it can flow downhill. Also, Bazalgette used Portland cement instead of Roman cement, which was controversial at the time but worked out very well.

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