By Abbott Payson Usher
"The publication is with no peer in its field." — American Scientist
In this thoroughly revised and enlarged variation of a vintage paintings within the background of expertise, a famous student explores the significance of technological innovation within the cultural and financial historical past of the West.
Following an introductory dialogue of where of expertise in fiscal heritage, the writer deals a penetrating ancient research of social switch. inside this context he develops a thought 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 function of financial forces within the improvement of know-how, with clinical strategies additionally taking part in a huge position in bringing approximately change.
The latter a part of the publication specializes in the construction and regulate of energy usually, and specifically on a few very important operative mechanisms. hence we learn thought-provoking bills 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 thoroughly studied, not just for its intrinsic curiosity, yet due to its significance 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 construction and distribution of energy for the reason that 1832, and the function of Asia Minor as a resource of ideas which ruled the center a while and the fashionable interval as well.
Thoroughly researched and cogently reasoned, A heritage of Mechanical Inventions belongs within the library of somebody drawn to the heritage of technological know-how and invention, in addition to the connection of expertise to monetary and social history.
"Throughout the booklet there's consistent evidence of the author's huge studying and sundry highbrow interests." — The big apple Times
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Additional info for A History of Mechanical Inventions
Land ceased for a long period to be a limiting factor in the spread of the sugar culture. The purely objective descriptions of climate or of the soil-climate complex afford no determinate definition of agricultural resources for two reasons: first, boundaries of the various patterns of land use in agriculture do not coincide with the boundaries of the objective classifications of climate; second, the use of important soil types depends upon accessibility to markets, either because the best product is too specialized to enter largely into general farming or because there is too much land of the given type to be fully used.
The simpler explanation of differences in the rate and character of economic development is to be found in the geographic conditions that fostered the growth of the maritime industries and the textile specialties of the northern countries. Pluralism at least affords a basis for operational analysis with the least possible intrusion of speculative philosophy. Monistic idealisms of any type are likely to obscure important problems of analysis. If one is willing to accept recent developments of empirical philosophy and of symbolic logic, it is possible to present a systematic and integrated interpretation of the philosophy of nature and of man’s place in nature.
The distinctive feature of human evolution lies in this fact. Human societies not only select an environment, they make their environment. The processes by which “man makes himself” include those procedures by which men transform their environment. Human evolution is doubly dynamic; man and the geographic environment react upon each other, and both terms are transformed. Broadly conceived, technology is an important part of the central core in the evolutionary process. It is an essential aspect of the accumulation of knowledge and the development of skills.
A History of Mechanical Inventions by Abbott Payson Usher