Download e-book for iPad: An Encyclopaedia of the History of Technology by Ian McNeil

By Ian McNeil

ISBN-10: 0415013062

ISBN-13: 9780415013062

* 22 sections conceal the complete box of the background of expertise and every part summarises the improvement of its topic from the earliest instances to the current day* Written with no pointless jargon* 2 wide indexes of Names and themes* Usefully illustrated with a hundred and fifty black & white images and line drawings to give an explanation for key advances`Contain[s] an enormous volume of trustworthy details over a truly vast box. it truly is definitely a piece of which I shall myself make common use ... it merits to discover a spot ... in each reference library.' - occasions larger schooling Supplement`The insurance is superb ... a Most worthy single-volume resource which for its comprehensiveness and straightforwardness of reference will earn its position in either professional and basic reference collections.' - Reference Reviews`Informative and entire, notable in its assurance ... covers each element of expertise from the Stone Age to the distance Age ... will unquestionably support readers to get a grip on and believe of an immense variety of matters ... a useful and sensible addition to most department bookshelves or libraries.' - New Civil Engineer`The authors represented during this booklet are to be congratulated for his or her readable and trustworthy surveys of the prior and current prestige of the main components the place mankind has harnessed technology for the creation of important items and processes.' - selection

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The surveyor’s quadrant is an instrument of particular importance, for it was the first to which Pierre Vernier’s scale was fixed so that an observer could read an angle to an accuracy of one minute of arc. The invention dates from 1631 and the earliest known example was made by Jacob Lusuerg of Rome in 1674. For linear rather than angular measurement the Vernier gauge has been a standard instrument in engineering workshops for many years. It seems that, once they had grasped the principle, the Lusuergs wanted to keep it in the family for it was Dominicus Lusuerg, who lived in Rome from 1694 to 1744, who manufactured a pair of gunner’s calipers with a Vernier scale for measuring the bores of cannon and the diameter of cannon balls.

The plough was a vital invention for a civilization that was becoming increasingly dependent on agriculture, and a great improvement on the hoe as an instrument for tilling (see Figure 3). An intermediate device, which survived in the Hebrides until the nineteenth century as the caschrom, was the lightweight man-plough and it was not until about 3000 BC that animals started to be harnessed to the plough or the cart. In warfare, horses were at first used to draw two-wheeled chariots: men did not learn to ride horses until about 2000 BC and the saddle is a much later invention which did not become 13 INTRODUCTION Figure 3: The plough.

Marco Polo, for instance, in his Travels, recorded by Rustichello of Pisa in 1298–9, records the glories of architecture, customs, weapons and armour, food, gemstones, crops, natural history, governments and rulers but rarely, if ever, records seeing a technological process in twenty years of wanderings in the Middle East, India and China. One practical invention of the Greeks was the horizontal waterwheel, the predecessor of the turbine, now known more commonly as the Norse mill. This was the first form of power of non-animal origin except, perhaps, the sailing ships used by the Egyptians as early as 2500 BC.

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An Encyclopaedia of the History of Technology by Ian McNeil


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