Read e-book online A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times PDF

By Donald R. Hill

ISBN-10: 131776157X

ISBN-13: 9781317761570

During this entire historical past, Donald Hill opens a window on medieval and classical engineering. The ebook makes a speciality of on Greece, Rome and medieval Western Europe, but additionally comprises attention-grabbing info on center japanese technology.

Documenting over 1800 years, Donald Hill illustrates how classical and medieval engineers designed early irrigation platforms, dams, bridges, clocks and the way they harnessed the facility of either water and wind. operating mostly and not using a quantified, clinical foundation for his or her designs, those early engineers studied the houses of fabrics and how within which fluids and solids behaved in definite stipulations. They then utilized this information to successfully clear up difficulties. This attention-grabbing research records over 1800 years of early engineering.

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Extra resources for A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times

Example text

A crosspiece that could slide up and down the spindle was attached by cords that wound and unwound about it. Thus a downward push on the crosspiece imparted a rotation to the spindle. A flywheel on the spindle kept the motion going, so that the cords rewound in reverse to raise the crosspiece as the drill slowed, and the next push down brought the spindle into rotation in the opposite direction. The basic auger originated in the Iron Age. It resembled a half pipe sharpened on the inside, along the edge, or both.

There have been enough failures in modern engineering to teach us a little humility. One might object, with some justice, that we approach the structural limits of materials much more closely than did the early engineers. So we should — with 4,000 years of their experience and almost two centuries of scientific analysis behind us! In general, the classical and medieval engineers did not have a quantified, scientific basis for their designs. An exception to this statement is the case of the five simple machines — lever, wheel, pulley, wedge and screw.

18 Water supply, as an engineering enterprise, is concerned mainly with urban communities. Since man needs at least one and a half pints of water a day simply to stay alive, efforts to obtain an adequate supply have always been part of human existence. Good drinking water occurs naturally in rivers, lakes, springs, oases and underground, and rainfall may also be collected in natural or artificial containers. The incidence of springs 63 in arid or desert lands is uncertain, yet even today primitive societies have an uncanny ability to locate sources of water and to plot their courses from one source to another.

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A History of Engineering in Classical and Medieval Times by Donald R. Hill

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