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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 by way of foreign specialists protecting the whole heritage of know-how from humankind's earliest use of stone instruments to the exploration of area. Written essentially and with out pointless jargon, each one bankruptcy strains the improvement of its topic from earliest occasions to the current day, stressing the social context and its position in medical thought.
* Usefully drawn with over a hundred and fifty tables, drawings and photographs
* complete indexes of names and subjects
* crucial studying for academics and scholars within the heritage and Philosophy of technology and know-how, commercial background and Archaeology.

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Water-power was sometimes applied to spinning as well as to the fulling of cloth. These developments came in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Between AD 1100 and 1400 universities were founded in many European cities, particularly in Italy, signalling the start of a period of higher learning for its own sake. Towards the end of this period, the technique of paper-making, originating in China about AD 100, reached Europe via the Middle East, North Africa and Spain where it had existed since 1100.

Many people ascribe the invention of the steam engine to James Watt, but this is far from the truth. Great though his contribution was, Watt was fundamentally an improver of the Newcomen engine which was his starting point. In 1757 he was appointed ‘Mathematical Instrument Maker to the University of Glasgow’, where he was allowed a small workshop. The Professor of Natural Philosophy, John Anderson, instructed Watt to put a model Newcomen engine into working order. He was not long in appreciating that the low efficiency of the engine, when he got it working, was due to the need to cool the cylinder at each stroke to condense the steam and so create the vacuum.

It was not the same in the textile industry in the second half of the eighteenth century. Until this time the spinning of thread and the weaving of it into cloth had been done by outworkers in their own cottages, the raw materials being delivered and the finished products often being collected by the work-masters, who also financed the entire operation. 1788) and Roberts’s Power Loom (1825)—they were all operated by a steam engine or, at least, a water wheel, either of which could be able to drive a number of machines: a factory (see also Chapter 17).

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