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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 2:34 pm    Post subject: pivotal engineering leaps in history         Reply with quote

Hi All,

I am working on the early stages of a TV show looking at making machines based on, (but not replicas of) pieces from the past that were in some way either pivotal as they were leaps forward or are just interesting in their own right.

For example the first fire cart, the first crane, a ballista (but in this case a later period Roman one)

We have looked at others that sort of fit the aims of the show but may fall down slightly for some nefarious TV reason, but are basically in the right direction, for example a trip hammer/waterwheel, steam cannon, very early plane.

The project needs to be big enough for a few guys to work on for a couple of days, but small enough that a few guys can make it in a couple of days and interesting enough that we want to watch it, and safe enough that we can build it. For example a pole lathe was clearly massively important, but is a little small in scope and I can honestly say I would struggle to get excited watching it turn out another bowl after I seen the first dozen.............

The period we are really looking for is likely to fall between about 600BC and 1750AD, but may well go outside of this if the project has the right elements.

Throw those ideas out here please - help would be welcome!

Thanks

Tod

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Tyler Keich




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to suggest the pocket watch. Being able to keep time and keep it while on the go seems like a pretty big leap in a civilized society.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Concrete

Composite materials

... and their combination: ferroconcrete!

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Firearm locks? Most notably Wheelocks,as a self igniting firearm first, and the snaplocks that made self igniting firearms viable for entire armies.
Also, they go boom. AND "Spiongg!", in the case of the wheelock.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Ohh fun!         Reply with quote

First thing that popped to mind was the trip hammer (how can that not be interesting) oh wait most folks elbows do not hurt :-)

Some ideas that occur to me, casting bronze or iron-bell or gun, forge welding, screw drive, steam engine or power, complex pulley ? not sure on date on that, coin press, printing press or siege tower...

I will try to come up with some more.

Best
Craig

PS ahh reread first post machines..

Crane, mine pump, belt drive, grinding wheel (solingen type) ...
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Tod,


Hmmmm....The dibble ( probably the first tool), the lever ( an outgrowth of the dibble), the bow ( the father of stringed musical instruments and a weapon) , sails, the compass, the wheel, the windmill, the waterwheel, the screw, the ox yoke, the horse collar,stirrups, the steam engine, the circular saw, gunpowder, smokeless powder, cartridges, rifling , the falling block, rockets, radio, radar, sonar. Well, if that doesn't keep you busy for a while there's something very, very wrong!
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Pondering         Reply with quote

Of course I am not getting stuff done because I am sitting here thinking through this way to much Happy

Some more possibilities

Loom
Complex locks (medieval money chests)
Clock work Machines ( lots of examples but some of the fun table decor or mystery types)
Water clock

Still thinking
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Eric W. Norenberg





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PostPosted: Tue 13 Mar, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Might be tough to find or create a place to build, but I've always wanted to build a tide mill. Something poetic about industry being so tied to that daily rhythm.
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 1:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi All,

Thanks for that lot.

As is the way with TV they will have to jump through multiple hoops.

What I really need to bear in mind is that 5 fully grown men need to move around a workshop, building something large enough that will be interesting for TV.

For example I read 'Water clock' above (re-presented as an early gravity clock) and immediately thought that would be great, its got a power source, its got gears, lots of parts for people to work on, some wood work, some forging, some tricky things to explain and draw pictures of, some pivotal mechanisms such as escapements and so on..............but we then have to test it in an exciting way that will grip the viewers attention and unfortunately this may be tricky. But still it would be a very interesting project.

A windmill would be great but then we have to rely on the wind and if it doesn't blow on filiming day............

There is always some reason to throw the idea out and just the very few get through - which is why I have thrown it out there to the great and the good of myArmoury - Keep 'em coming and thanks so far.

Tod

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David Lewis Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 3:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

some time a go there was a TV show that took man from discovering fire, inventing the wheel ect all the way through the modern age to a B-1 Bomber and the Atom bomb.
David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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Robert Rytel




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The condom!
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tod, I'm not suggesting you do this but I remember reading a book about the steam locomotive which said that the very first one to run on tracks was in Britain and they tried to stop it by stretching a raw cowhide between posts across the tracks like a big catcher's mitt! As long as no one got killed or injured recreating that event I think it would be hilariously funny!
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would a relatively small breech loading cannon do? People love things that go BOOM!!

You could take it to the channel and try to start another war with France!
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 9:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There could be something to do with the development of the ironbilled tilting plough, or comparasion of horse and ox-drawn ploughs. I seem to remember lots of old history books attributing lots of changes in society to improvements in agrcultural tools and practices.

The Waterwheel would be another favorite. To power trip hammer, millstone or frame-saw

The invention of the spinning wheel also marked a major breakthrough in textile production.

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Christian Borglum




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Tod,

Early animal/human powered construction cranes might make for a really cool build/program. There are also a myriad of animal powered water-lifting machines of varying complexity from antiquity which helped make large scale urban communities possible. Sounds like a fun show.

Christian Borglum
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Luke Kramer




PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would think the blast furnace would be a good one. It came around in ancient times and constantly changed, surviving into the present. There should be plenty of material for an episode there.
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Toke Krebs Niclasen




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sounds like a wheelbarrow would be the right size project, but perhaps not exiting enough for TV?
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Ralph Grinly





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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An early example of increasing human muscle powered projectile weapons..the atlatl or spear thrower, developed before the bow. Big Grin Or another pivotal invention / technique - the stone hand axe, and flint knapping Big Grin
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 7:16 pm    Post subject: Hmmmmmmm         Reply with quote

Boy Tod when you start to mash this down it does get a bit difficult doesn't it. A Machine that the shop can produce and entertain? Maybe one of the complex bell ringing systems would work.

In a way it comes down to what is a machine? Not easy when you put the show structure to it. A lever is a machine but five guys working on a stick for an hour to move a rock may not hold the audience Happy

Makes me wish I had paid more attention to some of the technology development aspects of history.

Time to go browse (first typed read but thats pretty heavy going) De Re Metalica again.

Brescian Bucket making! That might work. There is a video floating around out there of this. Basically treadle hammer but done stacked and such. Its interesting.

Still thinking
Craig
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James W




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Mar, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[url]Here would be my suggestions. I assume you are thinking mechanical engineering.

For weapons, the early hand-cannons (predecessor to rifles)
For transportation, the wheel and axle( made from large diameter tree trunk )
For industry; belt drive (gear) system ( industrialization)
Hand pump, many uses from home to industry[/url]
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