978-1-85227-805-2 / 9781852278052

Norris Mcwhirter's Book Of Millennium Records





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About the book:

First things first. This is not The Guinness Book of World Records. The Book of Millennium Records is not nearly as comprehensive as that ultimate chronicle of bizarre and curious achievement. Both books, however, are creations of Norris McWhirter, a man who has spent 40 years researching firsts, biggests, and mosts. With this book, McWhirter seeks to honor a privilege afforded only to one generation in 35--the chance to welcome a new millennium. The focus here is on those events that show great achievement and change, and how far humanity has progressed in the last 2,000 years. Chapters are devoted to a variety of categories, including everyday life (lighting, money, marriage, and relationships), the arts, science, politics, and government, building and engineering, transportation, war, and sports. Along the way, photos, charts, drawings, and short paragraphs make this an extremely browsable book. Flip through the section devoted to business and trade and you will learn that the earliest approximation to a business school was established in central China around 400 B.C. Life insurance started in Rome around 50 B.C. with a plan that paid heirs triple the amount of the joining fee. Customs and excise taxes were started at the Port of London in the mid-7th to early 9th centuries. The first patent was issued by King Henry VI in 1449 for the design of the stained-glass windows of Eaton College. The cash register was first patented in 1879 by a saloon owner combating employee theft. Bar-code scanners were introduced 25 years ago. And the book notes that, at the close of the 20th century, Internet shopping is rapidly changing the world of retail sales. By looking backward, taking today's pulse, and, in some cases, venturing to predict what life will be like in 3000, readers are reminded that no matter how advanced we think we are, we need only look back 1,000 years, to a time when the abacus had not yet reached its zenith, to realize that, 1,000 years from now, our ways and accomplishments may seem quite primitive. --John Russell

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