By Abbott Payson Usher
"The publication is with out peer in its field." — American Scientist
In this thoroughly revised and enlarged version of a vintage paintings within the background of expertise, a famous student explores the significance of technological innovation within the cultural and fiscal heritage of the West.
Following an introductory dialogue of where of know-how in financial background, the writer bargains a penetrating historic research of social swap. inside this context he develops a thought of invention according 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 clinical thoughts additionally taking part in an incredible position in bringing approximately change.
The latter a part of the publication makes a speciality of the creation and keep an eye on of strength regularly, and particularly on a few vital operative mechanisms. therefore we learn thought-provoking debts 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 heritage of technological know-how. different subject matters comprise the creation and alertness of strength (1500–1830), computer instruments and volume construction, the creation and distribution of strength in view that 1832, and the position of Asia Minor as a resource of ideas which ruled the center a long time and the trendy interval as well.
Thoroughly researched and cogently reasoned, A historical past of Mechanical Inventions belongs within the library of an individual attracted to the background of technology and invention, in addition to the connection of know-how to financial and social history.
"Throughout the e-book there's consistent facts of the author's extensive studying and sundry highbrow interests." — The manhattan Times
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Extra resources for A History of Mechanical Inventions
We are constantly faced with the need of describing the resources effectively available to a given society over an appreciable period of time—the remote future no less than the most immediate present. The quantitative analysis of economic activities requires study of the processes and accomplishments of the system of production in physical units as well as in value units. Economic history is therefore intimately concerned with the explicit geographic environment, and with the techniques by which resources are utilized at any given moment.
It is, therefore, a valuable guide and saves much sterile controversy over attempts to give undue importance to the invention of particular items. The narrative chapters are not specifically committed to a particular version of a theory of invention. These chapters demonstrate the complexities of a cumulative process involving long sequences in time and many individual items of novelty. But many details of the formal theory are left open. For these reasons, it has seemed especially important to make a careful statement of the general theory that can now be formulated in terms of current philosophical and psychological analysis.
9 Such a curve represents a process of change at rates that increase progressively up to the point of inflection and decrease progressively after the point of inflection is passed. It is, therefore, a description of growth taking place under the combined influence of factors that produce acceleration and of limiting factors that prevent any continuous or constant acceleration. The general framework of the curve is certainly expressive of some such organic relation between technology and resources as we can establish by general empirical analysis.