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How the nail, the spring, and other small inventions changed the world

The pump is one of seven small inventions crucial to modern innovation, according to engineer Roma Agrawal.
The pump is one of seven small inventions crucial to modern innovation, according to engineer Roma Agrawal.

Take a look at this list of items: the nail, the wheel, the spring, the lens, the magnet, the string, and the pump. What do they have in common?

According to structural engineer Roma Agrawal, together those basic items are the building blocks of today’s modern world. She calls them the seven small inventions that changed the world in her new book, “Nuts & Bolts.”

How were these seven small items invented and why are they so crucial to human progress? We talk to Roma Agrawal about her new book and her work as a structural engineer who helped create one of London’s most notable skyscrapers, the Shard.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Avery Jessa Chapnick
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