By Abbott Payson Usher
"The booklet is with no peer in its field." — American Scientist
In this thoroughly revised and enlarged variation of a vintage paintings within the heritage of expertise, a famous student explores the significance of technological innovation within the cultural and fiscal historical past of the West.
Following an introductory dialogue of where of expertise in financial background, the writer deals a penetrating historic research of social swap. inside this context he develops a idea of invention in line with Gestalt psychology and an idea of social evolution as non-stop improvement from antiquity to the current. Emphasis is put on the function of monetary forces within the improvement of expertise, with medical thoughts additionally taking part in a big function in bringing approximately change.
The latter a part of the ebook makes a speciality of the construction and keep an eye on of strength more often than not, and specifically on a few very important operative mechanisms. hence we learn thought-provoking money owed of the expertise of fabric manufacture from primitive instances, of water wheels and windmills, water clocks, and mechanical clocks, and the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci. the improvement of printing is punctiliously studied, not just for its intrinsic curiosity, yet due to its value for the historical past of technological know-how. different themes contain the construction and alertness of strength (1500–1830), computer instruments and volume creation, the construction and distribution of strength in view that 1832, and the function of Asia Minor as a resource of thoughts which ruled the center a long time and the fashionable interval as well.
Thoroughly researched and cogently reasoned, A background of Mechanical Inventions belongs within the library of somebody drawn to the background of technological know-how and invention, in addition to the connection of know-how to fiscal and social history.
"Throughout the booklet there's consistent evidence of the author's broad studying and sundry highbrow interests." — The long island Times
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Extra resources for A History of Mechanical Inventions
The proposition must be formulated in much more specific terms: every event has its past. The principle of historical continuity does not warrant any presumption about the relations among events occurring at the same time. This assumption is very frequently made, but it will be readily seen that it is not warranted. Distance alone leaves many culture groups or societies sufficiently isolated to prevent any significant relations among them in many phases of social life and action. The scope of cultural contacts has been increasing, so that we might justly say that the process of social evolution consists in the building up of larger and larger systems of related events, and larger organic units for social action.
Such a point of view is valid for many purposes, but it is dangerous and unsound when we are concerned with the economic analysis of environmental factors. For purposes of economic and social activity, the geographic environment is not the totality of physical features, but only that part of the complex which we can conceivably use, immediately or ultimately. This effective geographic environment is determined by our skills in using it; it is, therefore, related to the development of technology.
Title. ” ROGERI BACON, Compendium Studii, cap. V. Preface to the Revised Edition The major changes in the present edition consist in four new introductory chapters; extensive revisions of the early history of clocks; new material on the history of the textile techniques in Syria and China at the beginning of the Christian era; and additional material on internal-combustion engines and gas turbines in the last chapter. The exposition has been improved at many points, and corrections and additions have been made throughout the text, but these changes are not extensive.
A History of Mechanical Inventions by Abbott Payson Usher