By Abbott Payson Usher
"The booklet is with out peer in its field." — American Scientist
In this thoroughly revised and enlarged version of a vintage paintings within the heritage of know-how, a famous student explores the significance of technological innovation within the cultural and financial heritage of the West.
Following an introductory dialogue of where of expertise in financial heritage, the writer bargains a penetrating ancient research of social switch. inside this context he develops a concept of invention in accordance with 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 expertise, with clinical innovations additionally enjoying a massive function in bringing approximately change.
The latter a part of the booklet specializes in the creation and keep watch over of strength as a rule, and specifically on a few vital operative mechanisms. therefore we learn thought-provoking bills 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 thoroughly studied, not just for its intrinsic curiosity, yet as a result of its value for the historical past of technology. different subject matters contain the creation and alertness of energy (1500–1830), computing device instruments and volume construction, the construction and distribution of energy due to the fact that 1832, and the position of Asia Minor as a resource of ideas which ruled the center a while and the trendy interval as well.
Thoroughly researched and cogently reasoned, A background of Mechanical Inventions belongs within the library of someone attracted to the historical past of technology and invention, in addition to the connection of know-how to monetary and social history.
"Throughout the ebook there's consistent evidence of the author's extensive studying and sundry highbrow interests." — The long island Times
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Additional resources for A History of Mechanical Inventions
The religious beliefs of the Hindus have certainly obstructed the economic development of the Hindu community over a long period in the past. Social mobility was reduced far below any level consistent with desirable changes in economic activity. Food habits were profoundly affected by the veneration of the cow, and by the attitude toward animal life. Business activity was certainly inhibited by ascetic ideals and by religious and social discrimination against trade. Specific religious beliefs undoubtedly led to less successful use of resources than would be possible under the influence of other patterns of religious thought and observance.
We ought not to say that the present is derived from the past and the future from the present. 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.
Philosophy is frequently in sharp conflict with religious beliefs and practices. Technology and organized scientific work are commonly somewhat set apart from aesthetic, religious, and ethical fields of action. The most fundamental discontinuities are to be found among systems of events that are related differently to past, present, and future. In the total array of systems of events, as we find them at any given moment, many systems have persisted from a remote past, and have lost all significant contact with current patterns of behavior.