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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock and the Race to Unlock The Greatest Industrial Secret of the 19th Century

Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock and the Race to Unlock The Greatest Industrial Secret of the 19th Century

1 rating: 5.0
2003 non-fiction book by Charles Slack

Noble Obsession follows the life of Charles Goodyear, a single-minded genius who risked his own life and that of his family in a quest to unlock the secrets of rubber. In rich, historical detail, it chronicles the personal price Goodyear paid in pursuit … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Nonfiction, History, Industrialization
Author: Charles Slack
Genre: History of Technology
Publisher: Hyperion
Date Published: August 13, 2003
1 review about Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas...

One of the most significant discoveries of the 19th century!

  • Jan 9, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
 When rubber was first brought to the Western world the possibilites seemed endless.  However, there was just one little problem standing in the way:   rubber melted in the heat of summer rendering it practically useless unless.......   In " Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock and the Race to Unlock The Greatest Industrial Secret of the 19th Century " author Charles Slack takes us back to nineteenth century America and one man's obsession with an idea.  The man was Charles Goodyear and for eight excrutiating years he worked day and night trying to overcome the problem of rubber melting.  During those eight years Goodyear would suffer countless setbacks and incur a huge amount of personal debt.   Some of his friends and colleagues bought into his idea for a time and many of them lost a substantial amount of money in the process.  The overwhelming majority of people considered Goodyear a fool.  In the meantime a man named Thomas Hancock was working just as hard "across the pond" in England trying to perfect the process that would eventually come to be known as vulcanization. 
In "Noble Obsession" Charles Slack chronicles all of Goodyear's blood, sweat and tears in perfecting  the process of vulcanization.  You will learn what the secret ingredient was that finally turned the trick.  Then you will discover how all sorts of people came out of the woodwork to try to steal his invention.  Along with the eradication of such diseases as yellow fever and polio I would have to say that vulcanization ranks right up there as one of the greatest discoveries of the past 200 years .  It was a discovery that literally changed the world.   "Noble Obsession: Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock and the Race to Unlock The Greatest Industrial Secret of the 19th Century" grabbed my attention on page one and held it firmly all along the way.   This is a well-written, informative and highly entertaining book.   Very highly recommended!

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