The Everyday Workings of Machines: How machines work,...



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How does a train stay on the tracks? What’s going on inside a pogo stick? How do cranes work? And what happens when you flush a toilet?
These and many more important questions are answered in this fascinating book. From toasters and telephones to hovercrafts and robots – the inner workings of machines big and small are brought to light using a stunning mix of cross-sections, close-ups and cutaways. 

From the Publisher


A boy and his dog enjoying toast from a toaster.A boy and his dog enjoying toast from a toaster.


Most electrical wires are made from copper because it is a good conductor. This means electricity flows through the wires easily. But wires made from poor conductors are also useful. When electricity flows through them, they become hot. The wires in a toaster are usually made from nichrome, a poor conductor.


Your house is packed with machines! Arguably, two of the most important are the toaster, because toast is the best, and the toilet, because…well, you know why. But have you ever wondered how these household machines work? Let’s take a look at them in more detail.

Some small machines turn electricity into heat. This is how a toaster turns cold, soft bread into hot crunchy toast.

You slide a slice of bread in the toaster.You press the lever down. This lowers the bread down and also completes a circuit that allows electricity to flow through the wires. These wires are in rows on either side of the bread.The electricity does not flow through the wires very easily, so they turn red hot. They cook the bread until it turns brown.The toaster is on a timer. When the toast has cooked for the right amount of time, the lever is released, breaking the circuit. The toast pops up, ready for a topping of your choice.


Steam trainSteam train


Trains get to their destinations by following a track. The wheels move along steel rails that are fastened on top of wooden blocks known as sleepers—together they form the track. The rails need to be exactly the same distance apart as the train’s wheels. This distance is called the gauge. When the train needs to move onto another line, switches are used.

Steam train

Trains get their energy in different ways. In the past, they used steam power, but nowadays, most trains run on electricity.

The first steam trains were invented in the 1800s. They changed the way we moved materials and people from place to place. These trains Could travel at up to 60 mph—the fastest humans had ever gone before. And they were all powered by steam!

Choo choo! A steam train is like a giant kettle on wheels. To get it chugging along, coal or sometimes wood is shoveled into a fire to keep it burning. This fire heats a huge tank of water.The boiling water gives off steam, which pushes a piston inside a cylinder.The piston is joined to a crankshaft that turns the wheels. Full steam ahead!

Publisher‏:‎Ivy Kids (October 20, 2020)
Hardcover‏:‎48 pages
Reading age‏:‎7 – 10 years
Grade level‏:‎2 – 5
Item Weight‏:‎1.55 pounds
Dimensions‏:‎10.2 x 0.6 x 11.95 inches



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