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On the Origin of Clockwork, Perpetual Motion Devices, and the Compass

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Published: 1959
Language: English
Wordcount: 17,353 / 61 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 39.9
LoC Categories: Q, TS
Downloads: 668
Added to site: 2009.09.16 25289
Genres: History, Post-1930

Ancestor of the mechanical clock has been thought by some to be the sundial. Actually these devices represent two different approaches to the problem of time-keeping. True ancestor of the clock is to be found among the highly complex astronomical machines which man has been building since Hellenic times to illustrate the relative motions of the heavenly bodies.This study—its findings will be used in preparing the Museum's new hall on the history of time-keeping—traces this ancestry back through 2,000 years of history on three continents.

Show Excerpt

e rising and setting of the Sun and the stars.

In the next stage, reached very soon after this, the rotation of the model was arranged to proceed automatically instead of by hand. This was done, we believe, by using a slowly revolving wheel powered by dripping water and turning the model through a reduction mechanism, probably involving gears or, more reasonably, a single large gear turned by a trip lever. It did not matter much that the time-keeping properties were poor in the long run; the model moved "by itself" and the great wonder was that it agreed with the observed heavens "like the two halves of a tally."

In the next, and essential, stage the turning of the water wheel was regulated by an "escapement" mechanism consisting of a weighbridge and trip levers so arranged that the wheel was held in check, scoop by scoop, while each scoop was filled by the dripping water, then released by the weighbridge and allowed to rotate until checked again by the trip-lever arrangement. Its action was sim



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Brian Blose
Brian Blose is a software developer and army veteran who enjoys reading and writing fiction that contains flawed heroes, unreliable narrators and moral dilemmas. His book, The Participants, is no exception and had readers glued to the story until the very last page. As our author of the day, Blose chats about the Heinsenberg uncertainty principle, how TV shows from the 90s inspired this book and gives us some behind-the-scenes insights in the creation of The Participants.
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