> Skip to content
  • Published: 15 April 2003
  • ISBN: 9780375718984
  • Imprint: Random House USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • RRP: $24.99
Categories:

Paperboy



Confessions of a Future Engineer

Anyone wondering what sort of experience prepares one for a future as an engineer may be surprised to learn that it includes delivering newspapers. But as Henry Petroski recounts his youth in 1950s Queens, New York–a borough of handball games and inexplicably numbered streets–he winningly shows how his after-school job amounted to a prep course in practical engineering.

Petroksi’s paper was The Long Island Press, whose headlines ran to COP SAVES OLD WOMAN FROM THUG and DiMAG SAYS BUMS CAN’T WIN SERIES. Folding it into a tube suitable for throwing was an exercise in post-Euclidean geometry. Maintaining a Schwinn revealed volumes about mechanics. Reading Paperboy, we also learn about the hazing rituals of its namesakes, the aesthetics of kitchen appliances, and the delicate art of penny-pitching. With gratifying reflections on these and other lessons of a bygone era–lessons about diligence, labor, and community-mindedness–Paperboy is a piece of Americana to cherish and reread.

  • Published: 15 April 2003
  • ISBN: 9780375718984
  • Imprint: Random House USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • RRP: $24.99
Categories:

About the author

Henry Petroski

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. He is the author of nine previous books.

Also by Henry Petroski

See all

Related titles