The Industrial Revolution inspires more academic theories than absorbing narratives. Rosen, however, crafts one from subplots that connect with primitive industrialism's premier symbol: the steam engine. Ardent about historical technology, Rosen modulates his mechanical zeal with contexts underscoring that Thomas Newcomen and James Watt did not operate in a social vacuum. Fixing on patents as one prerequisite to their inventions, Rosen describes intellectual property's English legal and philosophical origins as he segues to Newcomen's and Watt's backgrounds. A degree of social mobility in eighteenth-century Britain enabled their rise, but it was the specific economic situations in mining and textiles to which they responded that ensured it. These business matters provide Rosen with storytelling opportunities that feature capital investors, scientists studying heat, and over time, innovators who improved the steam engine from a stationary to a mobile power source: Rocket, the famous railroad engine built in 1829. Readers who like enthused authors will like Rosen, and fans of his Roman history Justinian's Flea (2007) augment their number.