An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology (Routledge by Ian McNeil

By Ian McNeil

To be had for the 1st time in paperback, this quantity comprises twenty-two chapters via foreign specialists protecting the complete historical past of know-how from humankind's earliest use of stone instruments to the exploration of area. Written sincerely and with no pointless jargon, each one bankruptcy lines the improvement 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
* finished indexes of names and subjects
* crucial studying for lecturers and scholars within the background and Philosophy of technology and expertise, business background and Archaeology.

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It is interesting to note that the impulse to create and the ability to produce images of animals (including men and women) seems to date from late Palaeolithic times at least, that is before about 12,000 BC. Relief carving on cave walls, modelling in clay and powdered bone paste, and cave wall painting were all included in the artistic activities of the Gravettian and Magdelenian cultures that were established in the Dordogne region of France. Black oxide of manganese and the ochres or red and yellow oxides of iron, generally ground to a powder and mixed with some fatty medium, were the colours generally used and probably represent man’s first excursions into the world of chemistry as well as that of art.

In building, the Romans used cranes frequently fitted with a treadmill to turn the windlass, the rope running in pulleys. The most powerful of them were of about 6 tonnes’ lifting capacity. The stone blocks were lifted by means of a ‘lewis’, a dovetail cut by a mason in the upper surface into which a wedgeshaped metal anchor was fitted and locked in place by a parallel-sided metal key. The key of the lewis and the wedged anchor could be released when the stone had been positioned, even under water.

The popularity of the new process can be judged by its rapid spread. By 1500, only forty-six years after the first book was published by Gutenberg, there were 1050 printing presses in Europe. The first book printed in England was by William Caxton at his press in Westminster in 1474. THE FOURTH AGE: INTIMATIONS OF AUTOMATION Coinage—the first mass production Coinage originated long before Gutenberg, as early as the sixth century BC. Herodotus writes that King Croesus was the first to use gold and silver coins, in Lydia, now in the southern half of Turkey but from 546 BC a province of Persia.

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