Get An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology (Routledge PDF

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By Ian McNeil

On hand for the 1st time in paperback, this quantity comprises twenty-two chapters by way of overseas specialists masking the complete heritage of expertise from humankind's earliest use of stone instruments to the exploration of area. Written sincerely and with no pointless jargon, every one bankruptcy lines the advance of its topic from earliest instances to the current day, stressing the social context and its position in clinical thought.
* Usefully drawn with over a hundred and fifty tables, drawings and photographs
* entire indexes of names and subjects
* crucial studying for lecturers and scholars within the heritage and Philosophy of technology and know-how, commercial heritage and Archaeology.

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This originated in the first century under the Romans. Gearing We know little more of when and where gear wheels originated than we do of the invention of the wheel. Aristotle (c. 384 BC) recorded seeing a train of friction wheels set in motion, that is a series of contiguous wheels with smooth peripheries but without teeth. Ctesibius of Alexandria is said, by Vitruvius, to have constructed a water-clock with gears about 150 BC. In this, a primitive rack was mounted on a floating drum and meshed with a circular drum so as to rotate it.

The shaduf for irrigation and the balance beam for weighing were applications of the lever. It was, as we have already said, at about this time that written records started with the Sumerian invention of cuneiform script usually inscribed on clay tablets. The same period saw the first attempts at standardization of weights and of linear measures, the span, the palm, the pace, the inch and the cubit all being based on parts of the human body by the Egyptians. The Egyptians were also the first large-scale builders, largely using huge quantities of slave labour rather than mechanization, or craftsmen working off their tax dues or debts.

Though it was a Roman invention, its use did not become at all common until the seventeenth century. Stained glass, of course, was of earlier date, its use at Augsburg cathedral dating from 1065. THE THIRD AGE: THE FIRST MACHINE AGE Timekeeping The history of timekeeping, at least by mechanical means, is very much the history of scientific instrument making (see also Chapter 15). Although scientists may have conceived the instruments they needed for astronomical observation, a separate trade of craftsmen with the necessary skills in brass and iron working, in grinding optical lenses, in dividing and gear-gutting and many other operations grew up.

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