Early Technology

The industrial revolution did not come out of nowhere. It came from a lot of dreaming, talking and tinkering, and most of all, sharing of ideas. It is surprising how old much of our so –called new technology is.
This is from Lisa Nocks book, The Robot The Life Story of a Technology: I am amazed that machines are older than the wheel. Also interesting how long the Japanese have been making robots.

C4000-3000 BC The first simple machines came nto use in Mesopotamia
C3500 BC Water raising lever systems in use in Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, and India; wheels for pottery and transportation in use in Mesopotamia, India, China
C800-700 BC Homeric oral epic The Iliad written down; mentions robot-like machines
C700-600 BC Automatic theatres with water effects built in Nineveh, Assyria
C422 BC The clepsydra (water clock) used for the first time
C400 BC Archytus constructs pully-driven wooden dove automaton powered by compressed air
300 –c200BcArchimedes of Syracuse, Sicily calculates pi, articulateds the mathemiatical principles of the lever, and develops the principles of hydrostatics
Ctesibius improves the clepsydra and produces automata powered by compressed air
1st centuryAD Hero(n) of Alexandria produces On Automatic Theatres, Mechanics and Pneumatics, produces a kind of steam engine, Antikythera mechanism (astronomical calculator
c800 Abdullah al-Ma’mun, Caliph of Baghdad, commissions the Book of Ingenious Devices
1206 Treatise of al-Jazan on automata
1300s Jaquemarts (quarter jacks) incorporated into tower clocks
1497 da Vinci draws schematic for a robot knight
1515 da Vinci demonstrates a lion automaton to King Francis I of Francis [some doubt if this was made, but a modern version was recently built
1600-1867 Japanese Edo Period: hundreds of automata are built, including tea carrying dolls
1642 aged 19, Blaise Pascal designs an adding and subtracting calculator, sells 50 of them.
1672 Gottfried Wilhelm Liebnitz designs a calculator that adds, subtracts, multiplies, divides and finds square roots.
1719 A silk mill in England considered to be the first modern factory
1726 Gulliver’s Travels describes an automatic book-writing machine
1750s Friedrich von Knauss produced the first known writing automata
1764 James Hargreaves invents a spinning jenny
1796 In Japan, Yorinao Hosokawa published 3 volume manual, Sketches of Automata


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