By Abbott Payson Usher
"The ebook 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 pupil explores the significance of technological innovation within the cultural and fiscal background of the West.
Following an introductory dialogue of where of know-how in monetary heritage, the writer bargains a penetrating ancient research of social switch. inside of this context he develops a idea of invention in response to Gestalt psychology and an idea of social evolution as non-stop improvement from antiquity to the current. Emphasis is put on the position of financial forces within the improvement of know-how, with medical thoughts additionally enjoying a tremendous function in bringing approximately change.
The latter a part of the e-book makes a speciality of the construction and regulate of strength ordinarily, and specifically on a couple of vital operative mechanisms. therefore we learn thought-provoking debts of the expertise of cloth manufacture from primitive instances, of water wheels and windmills, water clocks, and mechanical clocks, and the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci. the advance of printing is punctiliously studied, not just for its intrinsic curiosity, yet as a result of its significance for the historical past of technology. different issues contain the creation and alertness of strength (1500–1830), computer instruments and volume construction, the creation and distribution of strength for the reason that 1832, and the function of Asia Minor as a resource of innovations which ruled the center a while and the fashionable interval as well.
Thoroughly researched and cogently reasoned, A heritage of Mechanical Inventions belongs within the library of somebody attracted to the historical past of technological know-how and invention, in addition to the connection of expertise to monetary and social history.
"Throughout the e-book there's consistent facts of the author's huge studying and sundry highbrow interests." — The manhattan Times
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Extra info for A History of Mechanical Inventions
As the interests of the economic historian are merely those of the general reader, it is hoped that this study will be of interest to engineers and to the general public. No attempt has been made to point out the full economic consequences of the technical progress recorded, and though the general chronology of the development has been given much attention the importance of the conclusions for the interpretation of the so-called “Industrial Revolution” is not developed in the present essay. The significance of the history of the inventions is obvious in many individual instances; the larger results, however, call for such extensive revisions of common judgments that adequate critical discussion of the problems raised would run to great length, and have little interest for many readers.
The full compass of technical change is spread over longer periods than it is convenient to treat in economic or geographic analysis. The effects that are readily distinguishable seem to be sharp and sudden in their incidence, so that we are easily led to suppose that changes in technology are rare and exceptional occurrences, which can legitimately be treated as unusual events, exceptions to the prevailing conditions of rigid limitation. ” Such attitudes were fostered by inaccurate knowledge of the history of pure and applied science.
So we are led back to the intellectual processes themselves, and as we become more sophisticated we recognize that all thought is a kind of action. To make value judgments is to act, whatever level of abstraction may be the field of judgment. Fig. 3. Primary classes of systems of events: 1–4, concepts and practices associated with various systems of polytheism; 5, 6 archaic features of the Roman civil law; 7–9, basic concepts of praetorian law; 10, 11, basic concepts of the Euclidean geometry; 12, 13, primary features of the geocentric concept of the universe; 14–16, concepts and practices in various monotheistic religions; 17, heliocentric concept of the planetary system; 18, atomistic concepts in science; 19, the invention and diffusion of water wheels.
A History of Mechanical Inventions by Abbott Payson Usher