Inventions: A Visual EncyclopediaDK, Smithsonian
Find out about the greatest inventions, inventors, ideas, and discoveries from ancient history to the modern day.
From the humble wheel to electricity, computers to robots, Inventions: A Visual Encyclopedia covers a range of areas organized by theme: transportation (including cars and bicycles), communication (such as pens, TVs, phones, and cameras); home (from toilet paper to microwave ovens); work (the lathe and the microscope), health (including vaccinations and prosthetic limbs); and space (inventions that were made for astronauts and that are now used on Earth, such as smoke alarms and memory foam).
The book also includes galleries that contain a collection of related inventions on one spread, while profile spreads explore the lives of prolific inventors, such as Thomas Edison, or key inventive ages, from Ancient China to the Digital Revolution. This also helps young readers--the innovators and "disruptors" of tomorrow--to understand how a particular invention made an impact on society at a particular time and in the years after it was first put to use.
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Inventions a visual encyclopedia US_001_Half_Title.indd 1 16/03/18 3:41 PM US_002-003_Title.indd 2 08/03/18 3:09 PM s m i t h s o n i a n Inventions a visual encyclopedia US_002-003_Title.indd 3 16/03/18 3:41 PM Contents EARLY BREAKTHROUGHS 6 Early tools 8 Farming 10 Inventing the wheel 12 Traveling by road 14 Sailing the seas 16 Sailing ships 18 Archimedes 20 The beginnings of industry 22 Early mechanical devices 24 Designing the future 26 The power of gunpowder 28 Gunpowder weapons 30 The printing revolution 32 Writing and printing 34 Zhang Heng 36 MAKING THE MODERN WORLD 38 Tools 40 Tools workshop 42 Feeding the world 44 Working the land 46 Construction 48 Alfred Nobel 50 Industrialization 52 Smart production line 54 Powering up 56 Renewable energy 58 Nicola Tesla 60 Plastics 62 Man-made materials 64 Buying and selling 66 Money 68 Online superstore 70 At the office 72 3-D printing 74 Robots 76 Helpful robots 78 The robots are coming! 80 GET MOVING 82 Bicycle 84 Two wheels 86 Skating on air 88 Motorcycles 90 Cars for the masses 92 Cars, cars, cars 94 DK London Senior Editor Carron Brown Senior Art Editor Rachael Grady US Editor Megan Douglass US Executive Editor Lori Cates Hand Editorial team Ann Baggaley, Ashwin Khurana, Camilla Hallinan, Jessica Cawthra, Sarah Edwards Art Editors Chrissy Barnard, Louise Dick Jacket Designer Surabhi Wadhwa-Gandhi Jacket Editor Claire Gell Jacket Design Development Manager Sophia MTT Producer, Pre-production Gillian Reid Senior Producer Angela Graef Managing Editor Francesca Baines Managing Art Editor Philip Letsu Publisher Andrew Macintyre Associate Publishing Director Liz Wheeler Art Director Karen Self Design Director Phil Ormerod Publishing Director Jonathan Metcalf DK Delhi Senior Editor Sreshtha Bhattacharya Senior Art Editor Ira Sharma Project Editor Priyanka Kharbanda Editorial team Ankona Das, Neha Ruth Samuel, Rupa Rao, Vatsal Verma Art Editors Heena Sharma, Mansi Agrawal, Sachin Singh, Shailee Khurana Jacket Designer Juhi Sheth Jackets Editorial Coordinator Priyanka Sharma Senior DTP Designer Harish Aggarwal DTP Designers Sachin Gupta, Mohd Rizwan, Vikram Singh, Bimlesh Tiwary Picture Researchers Nishwan Rasool, Deepak Negi Managing Jackets Editor Saloni Singh Picture Research Manager Taiyaba Khatoon Pre-production Manager Balwant Singh Production Manager Pankaj Sharma Managing Editor Kingshuk Ghoshal Managing Art Editor Govind Mittal Written by John Farndon, Jacob Field, Joe Fullman, Andrew Humphreys, and Giles Sparrow Consultant: Roger Bridgman First American Edition, 2018 Published in the United States by DK Publishing 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 Copyright © 2018 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK, a Division of Penguin Random House LLC 18 19 20 21 22 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 001–308571–July/2018 All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Published in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley Limited A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress ISBN: 978-1-4654-5838-4 (Hardcover) ISBN: 978-1-4654-7369-1 (Paperback) DK books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. For details, contact: DK Publishing, Special Markets, 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 SpecialSales@dk.com Printed and bound in China A WORLD OF IDEAS: SEE ALL THERE IS TO KNOW www.dk.com Established in 1846, the Smithsonian—the world’s largest museum, education and research complex—includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. The total number of artifacts, works of art, and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection is estimated at 154 million. The Smithsonian is a renowned research center, dedicated to public education, national service, and scholarship in the arts, sciences and history. US_004-005_Contents.indd 4 16/03/18 3:43 PM Henry Ford 96 Pick a car! 98 Public transit 100 On the road 102 Sail power 104 On the water 106 Boats and ships 108 Navigating at sea 110 Going underwater 112 Floating carriers 114 Taking to the skies 116 The Wright brothers 118 Jets to solar planes 120 Other flying machines 122 Drone deliveries 124 Railroads 126 On the tracks 128 Flying train 130 The Stephensons 132 COMMUNICATION 134 The telegraph 136 Measuring time 138 Telling the time 140 The telephone 142 Taking a call 144 Smartphone 146 The supercomputer 148 Radio 150 Listen to the radio 152 Connecting continents 154 The camera 156 Snap away! 158 Cinema 160 Television 162 Big screens 164 Written communication 166 Bright lights 168 The computer 170 Home computers 172 World Wide Web 174 Ada Lovelace 176 AT HOME 178 The light bulb 180 Lighting up the world 182 Fish and solar power 184 Thomas Edison 186 High voltage 188 The battery 190 Washing 192 Kitchen devices 194 Keeping cool 196 A quick bite 198 Vacuum cleaners 200 James Dyson 202 Recorded music 204 Listen to the music 206 Games and pastimes 208 Video games 210 The flushing toilet 212 Keeping up appearances 214 Time to relax 216 In the closet 218 Fasteners 220 IN GOOD HEALTH 222 Looking inside 224 Marie Curie 226 Better diagnoses 228 Anesthetics 230 Medical marvels 232 Microscopes 234 War on germs 236 Developing treatments 238 Super mold 240 Vaccinations 242 Louis Pasteur 244 Dental health 246 New body parts 248 SPACE 250 Studying the stars 252 Telescopes 254 Atacama observatory 256 Galileo Galilei 258 Satellites 260 Watching over Earth 262 Communication 264 Space debris 266 Rockets 268 Rocket race 270 Manned spaceflight 272 Manned missions 274 Space stations 276 Living in space 278 Space agencies 280 Space technology for Earth 282 Robotic probes 284 Pushing the boundaries 286 Ingenious inventors 288 Glossary 292 Index 296 Acknowledgments 302 US_004-005_Contents.indd 5 08/03/18 3:17 PM EARLY BREAKTHROUGHS E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S US_006-007_Early_breakthroughs_Opener.indd 6 08/03/18 3:09 PM Simple stone tools were probably the first things invented by our ancestors. Other great ideas such as the wheel changed our lives forever. E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S US_006-007_Early_breakthroughs_Opener.indd 7 08/03/18 3:09 PM 8 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Early tools Our earliest human ancestors appeared in Africa more than two million years ago. Scientists gave them the Latin name Homo habilis, which means “handy man,” because they are believed to have made and used stone tools—the very first invention. As humans evolved, they developed increasingly complex tools for a variety of tasks. Fire was vital for cooking food as well as providing warmth and light. More than 6,000 years ago, probably in Egypt, prehistoric people invented the bow drill for lighting fires. The device was rotated to cause friction, which produced enough heat to burn small particles. MAKING FIRE STONE TOOLS Early people made tools by striking round pieces of stone, such as flint or quartz, with another hard stone. This shaped the stones into handheld tools that had a wide range of uses, including chopping, scraping, and engraving. The best-known early tool was the hand ax, which could be used to dig, kill prey, carve meat, and chop wood. Harpoon made of deer antler, c. 6500–4000 bce Flint arrowhead, c. 4000 bce Pipes send air from bellows into fire. Egyptian copper workers Hand ax from around 1.5 million years ago HUNTING FROM A DISTANCE Humans needed weapons for hunting. Among the first weapons invented were wooden spears tipped with sharp stones, developed more than 400,000 years ago. These allowed hunters to attack prey from a distance, which was safer than getting up close to large and dangerous animals. Around 60,000–70,000 years ago, the first bow and arrow weapons were invented, which had an even longer range. Ax was shaped by chipping flakes off a stone Drill held steady in one hand Bow moved backward and forward to turn the drill Bowstring holds drill upright Drill rotates against base Heat caused by friction burns particles of base. US_008-009_Early_tools_Main.indd 8 08/03/18 3:09 PM 9 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S MELTING AND MIXING Before metals can be made into anything, they have to be “smelted.” In this process, metal ores (rocks that naturally contain metal) are heated over a very hot fire to remove unwanted substances. Once people had found out how to extract metals, they went on to discover that mixed metals could create a stronger material, called an alloy. The first alloy invented was bronze, which was made by adding tin to copper. METAL TOOLS By around 3500 bce, people in Europe, Asia, and Africa were using metal. This was a far better material than stone because it was easier to shape and work with and kept a sharper edge. At first, metalworkers used copper and bronze, but from 1200 bce they started to use iron. Metal could be used to make many things, including weapons, armor, agricultural equipment, jewelry, nails, and cooking pots. The earliest stone tools, known as the “Oldowan toolkit,” are 2.6 million years old. They were found in the Olduvai Gorge in Africa. WOW! ▶ FARMING TOOLS While sickles were commonly used for harvesting cereal crops, axes were used to clear forested areas for farming. These three examples show copper, bronze, and iron tools. High heat beneath pan of ore separates out copper. Bellows Bronze Age sickle Iron Age sickle Prehistoric copper ax Bronze cutting edge Copper blade bound to a wooden shaft with leather strings This sickle would have been attached to a wooden handle. US_008-009_Early_tools_Main.indd 9 08/03/18 3:09 PM 10 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Farming For thousands of years, our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, constantly roaming the land to hunt animals and collect wild plants for food. Around 12,000 years ago, people in the Middle East began to live in settled farming communities. This settling-down process was known as the “Agricultural Revolution,” and it gave people a more certain supply of food. By 500 bce, agriculture had spread across most of the world. THE FERTILE CRESCENT The first farmers lived in the region of Mesopotamia in modern-day southern Iraq. This was located between two rivers—the Tigris and the Euphrates—where crops grew well in the rich soil and domesticated animals thrived. By 9000 bce, farming had spread across the Middle East in a crescent-shaped area that reached into Egypt. HARROW One of the first important farming inventions was the harrow. This rakelike tool was used after plowing to break up the soil and smooth out the surface. It made planting crops easier. The first harrows were made of wood, but later, iron was used. BETTER CROPS Ancient farmers found out that by planting only the largest and best wild species they could gradually improve their crops, a system known as domestication. In the Middle East, people grew wheat or barley developed from wild grasses. In the Americas, the most important crop was maize (corn), which was domesticated by 7000 bce. Mediterranean Sea INDIAN OCEAN Tigris N ile Red Sea MESOPOTAMIA Western Desert EGYPT ARABIAN PENINSULA Fertile Crescent ◀ PRIMITIVE TO MODERN The primitive type of corn (left) was developed to become the much bigger modern corn (right). Euphrates Syrian Desert US_010-011_Farming_Main.indd 10 08/03/18 3:09 PM 11 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S PLOW The plow was developed in East Asia by 5000 bce. It was a blade attached to a wooden frame that prepared soil by cutting through the top layer, which brought nutrients to the surface. Plowing created trenches, called furrows, where seeds were planted. GRANARY In around 9000 bce, the first grain stores, or granaries, were built in what is modern- day Jordan. These buildings were designed to store dry grain and other crops, such as rice, so they wouldn’t spoil. People needed places to store crops that they didn’t want to eat or sell right away. Clay model of a granary, China, c. 150 bce Water is essential to farming. In dry regions, some kind of system is needed to bring water to agricultural areas. In the early first millennium, the Persians did this by building underground canals. Called qanats, these canals sloped gently, helping gravity move the water. A qanat was usually around 3 miles (5 km) long, but some measured more than 40 miles (65 km). PERSIAN QANATPulled by animals, often in pairs, the plow could quickly slice through hard soil. ▼ SOIL PREPARATION Farm implements, including the harrow, were usually hitched to oxen, like this one, or horses. Such animals were domesticated to help with farmwork and were used for food. Storing grain above ground level helps to keep it dry and at the right temperature. Second level could be reached by a staircase. Model of a Sumerian plow Shaft is used for maintenance. Qanat carries water for distribution. Watered area This well is the main source of water. Qanat outlet US_010-011_Farming_Main.indd 11 09/03/18 4:06 PM 12 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Inventing the wheel The wheel is one of the most important things ever invented, although no one knows who first thought of it. Originally, wheels helped potters to make perfectly round pots. Then, around 3500 bce, someone had the idea of using them to move people and materials around on land. The wheel completely changed everyday life, making it easier for people to travel, trade, and work. ROLLER AND SLEDGE Before the wheel, heavy objects were sometimes transported using the “roller and sledge” method. The sledge was a platform placed on top of a number of round logs. As people dragged the sledge along, others continually moved the last roller to the front. It was hard work, but the load shifted. Wooden peg keeps the axle in place. Wheel Crosspiece holds the planks together. Ancient Egyptian model of a potter Ancient Egyptian workers moving a load to build pyramids POTTER’S WHEEL The Mesopotamians, who lived in the region known today as Iraq, are believed to be the first people to make wheels, possibly as early as 5000 bce. These wheels were disks of stone or clay used in pottery making. Wet clay was placed on the wheel, which was then turned by hand while the potter shaped the clay into pots or other vessels. Rolling creates less friction (force created when two surfaces touch) than sliding. US_012-013_Inventing_the_wheel_Main.indd 12 08/03/18 3:09 PM 13 DISK WHEEL The earliest wheels to be used for transportation were solid disks made from wooden planks. They were attached to simple carts, wagons, and chariots that were pulled by horses or oxen. Travel on these vehicles would have been rough and bumpy. 3. The wheel rolls, so there is little friction. In most vehicles today, the wheels driven by the engine are attached to cylindrical shafts, or axles. When the vehicle moves, the shafts and wheels rotate together. The axles of the other wheels are attached to the vehicle and move with it. On the earliest vehicles, all the axles were attached to the wheels. 2. The wheel slides smoothly around the axle. PRAYER WHEELS Prayer wheels are an important part of Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions. These wheels are hollow metal cylinders containing a scroll printed with a mantra (a holy verse or phrase). Buddhists believe that spinning the wheel, or letting it turn in the wind, is the same as saying a prayer out loud. Handle used for pushing or pulling cart E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Model of wheel shaped from three wooden planks, c. 2000 bce WHEEL AND AXLE Chinese wheelbarrow WHEELBARROW The wheelbarrow may have been invented either in ancient Greece between the 6th–4th centuries bce or in China during the 2nd century ce. While the Greek wheelbarrow had a wheel toward the front, as many barrows do today, the Chinese placed the wheel in the middle. 1. The axle moves with the vehicle. US_012-013_Inventing_the_wheel_Main.indd 13 08/03/18 3:09 PM 14 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Traveling by road The use of wheeled vehicles for movement on land began more than 5,000 years ago. These vehicles were usually pulled by animals (although sometimes people did the hauling themselves). There were various types of early carts and wagons, some of which carried passengers and goods while others were designed for use in warfare. War wagon depicted on a decorated box from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur, c. 2500 bce Terra-cotta figurine from an ancient site in the Indus Valley (in Pakistan), c. 2400 bce ■■ What? Two-wheeled vehicle ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Mesopotamia, c. 3000 bce Among the earliest land vehicles were simple two-wheeled carts that were pulled by one or two large domesticated animals such as oxen or horses. They were developed in several different places, especially Mesopotamia (now mainly in Iraq), the Caucasus (a region between Europe and Asia), and Eastern Europe, at around the same time. Later, the use of wheeled carts spread further, reaching Africa and Asia. Early wheeled cart Cart pulled by oxen War wagon ■■ What? Sumerian battle chariot ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Mesopotamia, c. 2500 bce The Sumerians, people whose homeland is modern-day Iraq, invented a war wagon with four solid wooden disk wheels. It was pulled by onagers (Asian animals similar to donkeys) and used to carry important leaders into battle. The wagon also provided a platform on which soldiers armed with javelins could stand. US_014-015_Travelling_by_road_Main.indd 14 02/04/18 3:38 PM 15 ■■ What? Two-wheeled chariot ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Egypt, c. 1600 bce Chariots were the racing cars of the ancient world. These small, two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicles usually carried just two people. The Mesopotamians were the first to develop chariots, but the Egyptians made improvements by using spoked wheels instead of solid wooden ones. This reduced the vehicle’s weight and made it swifter and easier to drive. Egyptian chariot Carriage ■■ What? Covered wagon ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Eurasia, c. 2500 bce Four-wheeled wagons were common across Europe and Asia by 2500 bce. Hitched to teams of powerful animals, they could transport very heavy loads. Such wagons had a protective cover and were ideal for use by people trading goods or riding as passengers. Trade wagon E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S ■■ What? Stagecoach ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Europe, 17th century ce The stagecoach, which first appeared in Britain, provided regular services over set routes between stops like a modern-day Coach services bus. With their shock-absorbing springs, and traveling on improved roads, coaches offered a less bumpy ride than earlier vehicles. Stagecoaches remained an important form of transport until the mid-19th century, when they were replaced by the railways. Engraving of a stagecoach, 19th century Team of four horses A closed coach carries passengers or goods inside. The cover protected the goods or passengers. ■■ What? Raeda ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Rome, 2nd century bce The Romans built a road network across their empire. For traveling, they used the raeda, a four-wheeled vehicle pulled by up to 10 horses or mules. This could carry several passengers and their luggage, taking loads of around 750 lb (350 kg) and covering up to 15 miles (25 km) a day. Yoke pulled by two horses ▲ LIGHTWEIGHT WAR CHARIOT War chariots, built to be fast and highly steerable, provided a mobile platform that carried archers rapidly around the battlefield. Platform for driver and archer Light, spoked wheels allowed for greater speed. Model of a covered wagon, c. 2400–2300 bce US_014-015_Travelling_by_road_Main.indd 15 08/03/18 3:09 PM 16 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Sailing the seas People first started traveling by water more than 10,000 years ago. To begin with, their boats were simple canoes and rafts propelled with oars or poles. Over time, vessels became bigger and more complicated, fitted with sails of fabric or animal skin to capture the power of the wind. This made longer voyages possible, so people had to invent devices that told them where they were and in which direction they were heading. THE TRIREME A ship mainly powered by three rows of oars, the trireme also had one or two sails. It was developed by either the Greeks or Phoenicians in around 700 bce and it enabled both civilizations to travel and trade across the Mediterranean Sea. GUIDING LIGHT Lighthouses warn ships of dangers ahead and help guide them to safety. The first was built on Pharos, a small island near the Egyptian city of Alexandria, in 280 bce. Sometimes called the “Pharos of Alexandria,” it stood around 360 ft (110 m) high and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Model of the Lighthouse of Alexandria The three ranks of rowers were positioned so their oars did not strike each other. At the top, a mirror reflected sunlight by day, while at night a fire was lit. POLYNESIAN STICK CHART The Polynesian peoples navigated across the vast expanse of the South Pacific, sailing between islands that were hundreds of miles apart. They mapped the position of islands, atolls (rings of coral), and ocean currents using charts made of strips of dried coconut leaf, wood, and shell. US_016-017_Sailing_the_seas_Main.indd 16 08/03/18 3:09 PM 17 IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION The compass was invented in China in the 3rd century bce. Modern instruments have a magnetized needle at the center that works with Earth’s magnetic field, so it always points to the north. Early compasses pointed south. From the 11th century ce, sailors began to use the compass at sea. Chinese compass, mid-19th century E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S The compass’s needle works only if it can spin freely. ▼ MARINER’S ASTROLABE Invented in the 16th century ce, this device gave accurate readings on board ships at sea. Scale to measure the altitude of stars or planets above the horizon Rotating pointer fixed to the center The device is held by this ring. Heavy bottom to keep the device stable Viewing hole through which the stars were observed NAVIGATING SEAS Early mariners calculated their position at sea with a device called an astrolabe that measured the angle between objects in the sky, such as the moon, and the horizon. Ancient Greeks may have designed early astrolabes around 200 bce and they were definitely in use by the 7th century ce. The astrolabe was then improved by Muslim astronomers who used it to find the direction of Mecca, their holiest city. US_016-017_Sailing_the_seas_Main.indd 17 08/03/18 3:09 PM 18 ■■ What? Viking ship ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Norway, c. 9th century ce The Norse people, also called the Vikings, of Scandinavia developed the longship. Vessels of this type were narrow and light enough to navigate up rivers but strong enough for the open sea. They could also navigate shallow waters. A longship had one large central sail and wooden oars for when there was little wind to power the boat. Longship Sailing ships The first wooden sailing ships were built in Egypt around 5,000 years ago, but across the world, other civilizations produced similar vessels. Until the 19th century, ships on sea voyages were mainly powered by wind captured in cloth sails. The vessels were used for trade, exploration, and war. ■■ What? Chinese sailing ship ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? China, c. 2nd century ce Early sailing boats, including junks, were designed in China and are used across Asia even today. They had square sails, held in place by pieces of wood called “battens,” which allowed each sail to be pulled open or closed easily and quickly. Chinese junk Model of a Viking longship Modern Chinese junk The mast supports a big, square sail, which is made from wool or linen. Sails were usually made of woven textiles. E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S US_018-019_Sailing_ships_Gallery.indd 18 08/03/18 3:09 PM 19 ■■ What? Carrack ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Europe, 15th century ce By the 15th century, the most common type of ship in Europe was the carrack. It was a large vessel that could sail on rough seas and carry enough provisions for a long journey. The Italian explorer Christopher Columbus used a carrack in 1492 for his voyage to America. Long-distance European ship E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Treasure ship ■■ What? Cog ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Northern Europe, c. 10th century ce One of the most common sea vessels in medieval Europe was the “round ship.” A common round ship was the cog. This vessel had a design described as “clinker-built,” meaning that the planks that made up the hull overlapped one another. Cogs were mostly used for trading because they were sturdy, easy to build, and had lots of space for cargo. ■■ What? Chinese treasure ship ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? China, 15th century ce From 1405 to 1433, the Chinese admiral Zheng He led seven “treasure voyages” across Asia and East Africa. His fleet was made up of dozens of “treasure ships.” They had many sails and may have been around twice the size of European ships in use at the same time. These huge vessels carried treasures that displayed China’s wealth and clever technology. Round ship ■■ What? Korean turtle ship ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Korea, 15th century ce The Koreans were the first to cover a ship’s deck with armor plates to protect it from enemy missiles. Their so-called turtle ships were armed with many cannons. Some were mounted with a dragon’s head at the prow that belched out a foggy gas to hide the ship’s movements. Completely armored ship Sails were made of strips of bamboo. Model of Chinese explorer Zheng He’s treasure boat Replica of a medieval carrack Model of a Korean turtle ship Model of a cog Some cogs were converted into warships and had platforms added to their fore where sailors stood to fire arrows and cannons at enemies. Upper deck, covered in spiky iron plates Dragon’s head may have hidden a cannon. US_018-019_Sailing_ships_Gallery.indd 19 08/03/18 3:09 PM 20 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S LIFE STORY He is believed to go to Egypt to study. Archimedes writes a paper on geometry called On the Measurement of a Circle, and another about fluids called On Floating Bodies. Archimedes is born in Syracuse, Sicily, at the time a Greek city-state. His father was an astronomer and mathematician. Second Punic War begins between Carthage and Rome. Archimedes’ home, Syracuse, allies with Carthage. He writes two other important works: On Spirals and On the Sphere and the Cylinder. 218 bcec. 225 bcec. 250 bce287 bce Screw blades draw up water as they turn. Water source at lower level FIGHTING THE ROMANS When Rome attacked Syracuse in 214 bce, it is believed that two of Archimedes’ inventions were used to defend his home city. The first used mirrors to focus the sun’s rays on the Roman ships and set fire to them. The second, called the “iron hand” (below), was a crane with a giant grappling hook that could grab the ships and capsize them. ARCHIMEDES SCREW Developed in Egypt for watering land, this screw raised water from one level to another. Archimedes may not have been its inventor, but his use of the screw for pumping water out of ships made the device well known. The screw was like a corkscrew inside a hollow cylinder. As it turned, it drew water upward. Cutaway model of Archimedes screw being used for watering land Archimedes One of the greatest ancient inventors, Archimedes was also a brilliant mathematician and physicist. Born in the Greek city of Syracuse in Sicily in 287 bce, it is believed he was sent to Egypt to be educated. Archimedes invented many important mechanical devices, including a pulley system that could lift enormous weights. His scientific writings are still useful to scholars today. Italian painting showing Archimedes’ grappling hook as a huge hand, 1600 Water pours into a channel at a higher level. US_020-021_Archimedes_Inventor.indd 20 08/03/18 3:09 PM 21 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S TESTING GOLD FOR A KING The king of Syracuse suspected his new crown was not pure gold and wanted it tested. Archimedes put the crown into a tub of water, noting that it displaced a greater volume of water than a piece of gold of the same weight. This showed the crown contained other, less dense metals. Roman forces begin to lay siege to Syracuse. While visiting Sicily, the famous Roman writer Cicero finds that Archimedes’ elaborate tomb has fallen into disrepair, and he has it restored. 214 bce c. 212 bce 75 bce ▲ EUREKA—I’VE GOT IT! Archimedes was the first to discover that when an object is submerged, it loses weight equal to the amount of fluid it displaces. This insight is said to have come to him in his bath. A Roman attacks Archimedes The Romans capture and destroy Syracuse. They kill Archimedes, although they had been ordered not to harm him. US_020-021_Archimedes_Inventor.indd 21 08/03/18 3:09 PM 22 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S The beginnings of industry The invention of mechanical devices that took over much of the work of people or animals was an early step toward industrialization. The first machines were powered by water, wind, or the force of gravity, and did not need many people to operate them. Major industries would not develop until the opening of factories employing large workforces in the late 18th century. EARLY MACHINES From the 4th century bce, large wheels were invented to do work such as pumping water or driving machinery. It is uncertain where this first happened, but India, Greece, and Egypt are all possible. Some versions were powered by humans or animals. However, it was more efficient to turn the wheel using flowing water from a river or stream. These waterwheels were the first machines to turn a natural force into mechanical energy. Model of an ancient Greek water pump powered by animals Animals helped to turn the wheel. Bronze containers for holding water ▶ LARGEST IN THE WORLD The most famous noria were located in Hama, Syria. Seventeen can still be found there, including this one that is 72 ft (22 m) in diameter, the largest in the world. Treadmills turned by people or animals powered some early machines. Working on a treadmill could be used as a punishment for criminals. WOW! US_022-023_The_Begnining_of_industry_Main.indd 22 02/04/18 3:38 PM 23 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S TRIP HAMMER By the 1st century bce, the ancient Chinese were using massive pieces of equipment called trip hammers to process food, crush bamboo to make paper, or shape red-hot metal. Too heavy to be lifted by a single person, a trip hammer has to be raised by mechanical means. The earliest of these devices were powered by waterwheels. NORIA During the Middle Ages, Arab engineers invented a type of waterwheel known as the noria. A noria raised water from streams or lakes so that it could be carried into homes for drinking or washing, or to farmland for watering crops. As the wheel turned, hollow chambers around the rim scooped up the water and emptied it into a trough to be piped elsewhere. POWERING MILLS An important use of waterwheels was in the making of cloth. The power of the turning wheel drove machinery that could spin thread and weave and finish materials. Before the invention of coal-powered engines in the 18th century, cloth mills had to be located near running water. Trip hammer powered by a waterwheel Water-powered cloth mill, 17th-century print 1. Flowing water turns the wheel. 3. Lever mechanism attached to the shaft lifts up the trip hammer and brings it down onto molten metal. 2. Wheel turns a central shaft. HOW WATERWHEELS WORK Blades or buckets are positioned around the rim of a waterwheel. As falling or flowing water strikes them, it turns the wheel. The rotation turns an axle at the center of the wheel that is linked to machinery. Direction of wheel’s rotation Water strikes blades or paddles set on the rim, pushing the wheel around. Wheel partly submerged in running water Direction of flowing water US_022-023_The_Begnining_of_industry_Main.indd 23 08/03/18 3:09 PM 24 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S ■■ What? Weaving loom ■■ Who? Ancient Egyptians ■■ Where and when? Egypt, c. 5000 bce Cloth is made by intertwining lengths of thread placed at right angles to each other. The handloom was invented to make this process easier and quicker. Early looms were simple frames that held vertical threads (called the warp) firmly in position, while horizontal threads (called the weft) were woven through them. First handloom ■■ What? Pattern weaving loom ■■ Who? Ancient Chinese ■■ Where and when? China, c. 400 bce The drawloom, which allowed greater control over the threads than the handloom, was invented to weave highly patterned cloth, mainly silk. The key part was an arrangement called the “figure harness” that lifted individual warp threads. Drawlooms were large devices, often 13 ft (4 m) long, and required two people to operate them. First drawloom ■■ What? Hand mill for grinding grains ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Southern Europe, c. 600 bce Quern-stones grind cereal grains such as wheat into flour. The rotary quern consists of two circular stones, one placed on top of the other. The bottom one, called the “quern,” does not move. The top part, or “handstone,” has a handle attached so it can be rotated. As the quern turns, it crushes the grain that is fed in through a hole in the center. Rotary quern Early mechanical devices Once people had settled down in permanent towns and villages, they began to invent and build devices to help them with their everyday tasks, such as processing food. Many of the most important early devices were for producing materials that could be made into clothes. People mostly used them in their own homes or in small workshops. A woman in India turns a spinning wheel to produce thread Model of a handloom used by early European people, 800–600 bce Figure harness Wooden handle to turn handstone Hole for grain Rotary querns are still used in some parts of the world US_024-025_Early_mechanical_devices_Gallery.indd 24 08/03/18 3:09 PM ■■ What? Post mill ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Northern Europe, c. 1200 ce The most common use of windmills was to grind grain into flour, but they were also used for other purposes, such as pumping water. As the sails of a windmill turn in the wind, gears inside the mill use the rotational force to move mechanical parts. A post, or vertical-axis, mill had a large central shaft that allowed the sails to be moved to face the wind. Vertical-axis mill ■■ What? Foot-powered spinning wheel ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Germany, c. 1533 ce As the spinning wheel developed, a foot-operated board called the “treadle” was added. Pressed up and down by the operator’s feet, the treadle’s rocking motion drove the spinning wheel round. The raw fibers were held on a rod attached to the treadle wheel, leaving the operator’s hands free to guide the thread. Treadle wheel ■■ What? Hand-turned spinning wheel ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Probably India, c. 600 ce Before materials such as cotton or wool can be woven they need to be spun into threads. Early people used to do this by pulling out and twisting the fibers of the raw material between their fingers. This time-consuming task was greatly speeded up by the invention of the spinning wheel. The hand-turned wheel twists fibers into thread, which it winds around a stick called a “spindle.” First spinning wheel Wooden wheel Sail Central shaft is connected to a gear system. Foot treadle E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S ▼ WIND POWER These types of windmill could not be used for industry because they did not produce as much energy as coal-powered engines. Body of mill could be turned to face sails into the wind. An 18th-century wheel known as a “saxony” Long fibers of wool or flax US_024-025_Early_mechanical_devices_Gallery.indd 25 02/04/18 3:38 PM E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S US_026-027_Da_Vinci_DPS.indd 26 08/03/18 3:09 PM E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S DESIGNING THE FUTURE The Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) is famous not only for his paintings, but also for his numerous inventions. His many designs include a helicopter, a parachute, and an armored tank. Pictured here are his sketches and notes on the workings of water pumps, water wheels, and gears. US_026-027_Da_Vinci_DPS.indd 27 08/03/18 3:09 PM The power of gunpowder During the 9th century ce, scientists in China produced gunpowder—the first explosive material. Their invention must have come as a surprise because they were trying to make something quite different. However, the powerful force that they created was rapidly put to use for launching weapons, blowing things up, and creating spectacular displays of noise and color. FIREWORKS The first fireworks came from China. People simply threw gunpowder into a fire to enjoy bright sparks and loud bangs. The next step was to stuff gunpowder into a hollowed-out bamboo stick and light an attached fuse. When the burning fuse ignited the gunpowder, the tube shot into the air and exploded in the sky, just like firework rockets do today. THE INVENTION OF GUNPOWDER Medieval Chinese scientists invented gunpowder by accident when they were mixing chemicals together in the hope of finding a life-lengthening potion. The ingredients of the mixture were saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur. Within a few decades of its discovery, gunpowder was being used in weapons of war. Modern Chinese firecrackers Painting of Chinese families enjoying a celebration with fireworks E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S US_028-029_The_power_of_gunpowder_Main.indd 28 02/04/18 3:38 PM 29 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S FIRE-LANCES In around 950 ce, people began to understand the destructive power of gunpowder. One of the first weapons propelled by gunpowder was the fire-lance, which was an explosive charge attached to a pole. The charge was created by filling a bamboo cylinder with gunpowder. When lit with a fuse, the cylinder would explode in the direction of the enemy, sending flames shooting out. Fire-lances used in warfare, China, c. 1000 ce GREEK FIRE The Chinese led the medieval world with explosive weapons, but they were not the first to use chemicals in warfare. The Byzantine Empire (centered in the area of modern-day Turkey and Greece) invented a substance called Greek Fire in around 672 ce. It was a thick, flammable liquid that burned even on water, making it deadly in sea battles. Its secret recipe probably included oil, sulfur, and saltpeter. Chinese bronze hand cannon, 1424 Sometimes bits of metal or pottery were added to the explosive charge. A 12th-century manuscript showing Byzantine sailors using Greek Fire HAND CANNON The earliest version of the handgun was invented in China in the 13th century. Known as a hand cannon, it was loaded by dropping stone or iron balls down its barrel. Gunpowder was packed into a chamber at the back of the hand cannon, where there was a small hole to place a lit fuse. When the gunpowder was ignited, it exploded, blasting out the ammunition. Adding metals to the gunpowder in fireworks makes sparks of different colors: copper for blue, barium for green, calcium for orange. WOW! US_028-029_The_power_of_gunpowder_Main.indd 29 08/03/18 3:09 PM E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S 30 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Gunpowder weapons By the 13th century, knowledge of how to make gunpowder had spread beyond China to the rest of Asia and into Europe. People soon saw how this deadly invention could be used as a weapon. As armed forces began to use gunpowder in increasingly powerful and accurate firearms, warfare changed rapidly. German arquebus, c. 1500 ■■ What? Rocket launcher ■■ Who? Chinese ■■ Where and when? China, 14th century Although the Chinese were the first to invent simple rocket launchers, the Koreans developed a more powerful weapon called the hwacha, or fire chariot—a two-wheeled cart on which was mounted a rectangular wooden frame. This frame was loaded with singijeon, or fire arrows, each carrying a gunpowder charge timed to explode when an arrow struck its target. The largest hwacha could launch 200 fire arrows all at once, at a range of 330–1,475 ft (100–450 m). Fire chariot ■■ What? Hook gun ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Northern Europe, 15th century Arquebus The arquebus was the first gun to be fired from the chest or shoulder. It consists of a metal tube fitted to a wooden stock, or handle. Its name comes from an Old French word meaning “hook gun,” because many models had a hook on the barrel to hold the weapon steady against a support. The gun was fired with an S-shaped lever called a “serpentine” that lowered a lit match into a pan of gunpowder, creating a flash. Earliest known picture of a fireball from a 10th-century Chinese wall painting Reloading early firearms such as the musket took a long time: even the best-trained soldiers could fire no more than five times a minute. WOW! Matchlock musket, c. 1750s ■■ What? Arquebus with matchlock mechanism ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Northern Europe, c. 1475 The matchlock made firing weapons quicker. It was a trigger-controlled device that used a spring to move a lit match toward a gunpowder charge placed at the rear of the weapon. This set off a small explosion, which produced high-pressure gas that shot down the barrel, forcing out the ammunition. Matchlock firearm Serpentine was attached here. Flash pan carrying gunpowder ■■ What? Grenade ■■ Who? Medieval Chinese ■■ Where and when? China, 11th century A fireball, or grenade, is a small bomb that can be thrown by hand. Early fireballs, first developed in China, were hollow clay or metal vessels filled with gunpowder. Attached to the fireball was a paper fuse, which was lit and left to burn down until it ignited the gunpowder, causing the weapon to explode. First fireball Hwacha US_030-031_Gunpowder_weapons_Gallery.indd 30 08/03/18 6:37 PM E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S 31 German wheel lock handgun, 1590 ■■ What? Pistol ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Europe, 16th century During the early 16th century, smaller firearms were developed. Although not as accurate or powerful as longer-barreled weapons, their smaller size made them Handgun ■■ What? Musket with flintlock mechanism ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Northern Europe, c. 1550 The flintlock mechanism was used in a type of gun called a musket. When the trigger was pulled, it struck a flint against a piece of steel, creating a spark that ignited the gunpowder. Some muskets were “rifled,” which meant that grooves were marked on the inside of the barrel to make the bullet spin and travel toward its target with greater accuracy. Flintlock firearm ■■ What? Firearm with percussion cap ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? US/northern Europe, c. 1820 The percussion cap was a small metal cup filled with an explosive mixture of chemicals called “fulminate” and sealed with foil. When the trigger of the gun Percussion cap was pulled, it moved a part called the “hammer” that struck the percussion cap, sparking off the gunpowder charge and firing the ammunition. A piece of a mineral called pyrite created the sparks that fired the gun. easier to shoot with. Once loaded, handguns could be fired with one hand and also used while on horseback, but early models could fire only a single shot before they had to be reloaded. ▼ HOW IT WORKS A wheel lock works by rotating a steel wheel against a sparking material, causing friction and sparks that ignite the gunpowder. Percussion-cap mechanism ▼ FIRING AWAY Dressed as soldiers in the American Civil War of the 1860s, these riflemen are firing percussion-cap weapons. Baker rifle, a type of flintlock gun, 1802–1837 Flint Sling, which could be used to steady the aim Long barrel US_030-031_Gunpowder_weapons_Gallery.indd 31 08/03/18 6:37 PM 32 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S The printing revolution The invention of printing was one of the biggest leaps forward in human history. Before, when people made records or spread information and ideas, they had to write out every copy of a text by hand. Printing did the job much faster and produced a lot of copies more cheaply and accurately. The earliest known printing dates back to 3rd-century China. However, the first printing system using mass-produced type appeared in Europe in 1439. GUTENBERG PRESS The German Johannes Gutenberg set up the first European printing press in 1439. His most successful invention was a method of rapidly casting metal type molds in large quantities. Gutenberg could print 250 pages per hour. The first book he produced was a Bible. Printing spread across Europe, and books became cheaper to make and buy. Metal type Wooden frame holds paper ready for printing. In movable type, separate characters are moved around to make up the text that the person operating the press wants to reproduce. Lever tightens wooden plates together, bringing inked type into contact with paper. METAL MOVABLE TYPE Movable type is a system where molds of separate letters (or characters) are used to print text. The first-ever movable type was made in China in the 11th century ce, using clay or wooden character molds. Later, people found that metal was the best material for making type. Jikji, the oldest surviving book printed using metal movable type, Korea, 1377 US_032-033_The_printing_revolution_Main.indd 32 08/03/18 3:09 PM 33 ◀ HAND PRESS Gutenberg set up his press with metal type that could be arranged to print any page, and used a specially developed thick, sticky ink. A solid wood framework held the press steady during printing. When the image is printed, it appears in reverse on the paper. LITHOGRAPHY Invented by the German Alois Senefelder in the 1790s, lithography is based on the fact that oil and water do not mix. A greasy substance is used to draw an image onto limestone, which is then dampened with water. When ink is spread on the stone it sticks only to the grease, and the image is pressed onto paper. INTAGLIO PRINTING In 15th-century Germany a new type of printing called intaglio was invented. This process uses images cut into a metal plate often made of copper or zinc and covered in ink. The plate is pressed into paper, creating sunken areas that hold the ink. Copperplate printing press Lithography printing in a workshop Chiaroscuro print of a ceiling design with three angels E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H SCHIAROSCURO WOODCUT In this technique, invented in Germany around 1509, an image’s outline is carved into a wood block, and then further blocks are carved with additional details. The blocks are pressed in turn onto paper, each block overprinting the image made by the one before. The result is a picture with contrasting areas of light and shape that make an image look three-dimensional. Chiaroscuro is an Italian word meaning “light-dark”. US_032-033_The_printing_revolution_Main.indd 33 08/03/18 3:09 PM 34 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S Writing and printing Ancient peoples first invented writing to record information and thoughts through signs, symbols, or letters. Records could be kept, and people could communicate without meeting. The later invention of printing meant that multiple copies of a document with words and pictures could be reproduced much faster and more accurately. ■■ What? Earliest known Chinese writing ■■ Who? Ancient Chinese ■■ Where and when? China, 1200 bce In ancient China, people tried to foretell the future by carving questions onto animal bones (usually ox) or turtle shell. These bones were heated until they cracked, and the patterns of the cracks were read as answers to the questions. The characters used on oracle bones represented words, not speech sounds, and are the first known example of Chinese writing. Oracle bone script ■■ What? Cuneiform ■■ Who? Sumerians ■■ Where and when? Mesopotamia, 3100 bce The ancient Sumerians were among the first people to live in organized towns and soon needed a system to keep track of the goods they traded, the animals they kept, and the taxes they paid. They invented a style of writing that used wedge- shaped marks made on clay tablets with a stylus. Today, this is known as cuneiform. Within 400 years, signs representing words were in use across Mesopotamia. The first writing ■■ What? Writing surface ■■ Who? Ancient Egyptians ■■ Where and when? Egypt, 3000 bce The ancient Egyptians developed a new writing surface. This was made from the inner stem of the papyrus plant. The plant was cut into strips, which were laid together to form sheets, moistened, and dried. They were written on with a reed pen and ink. Papyrus Ancient Egyptians used a pictorial script called hieroglyphs. Early cuneiform Script on turtle shell US_034-035_Writing_and_Printing_Gallery.indd 34 08/03/18 6:37 PM 35 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S ■■ What? Written alphabet ■■ Who? Phoenicians ■■ Where and when? Mediterranean, c. 1500 bce The first phonetic alphabet ■■ What? First paper ■■ Who? Probably Ts’ai Lun ■■ Where and when? China, 105 ce Before paper, people mainly wrote on materials such as wood, animal skins, or fabric. A Chinese court official called Ts’ai Lun is thought to have been the first to make paper. Using mashed plant fibers that were pressed and dried, he created a cheaper and lighter writing surface. Paper making ■■ What? Writing tool ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? Europe, c. 500 ce The feathers of large birds such as the goose and the swan were used as writing implements for hundreds of years, right up to the early 20th century. They were light to hold, and the trimmed and sharpened quill tip made writing easy. The hollow feather shaft held the ink. Quill pen ■■ What? First printing ■■ Who? Unknown ■■ Where and when? China, 600 ce In block printing, the mirror images of the text and pictures are carved into a piece of wood. The wood is inked and pressed onto paper, which prints the page the right way round. This technique was first mainly used to print Buddhist texts, and eventually entire books were made this way. Block printing Part of the Diamond Sutra, the earliest surviving printed book, produced in China in 868 ce Early Chinese paper Most writers stripped away the lower part of the feather to make it easy to hold. Phoenician inscription on a cylindrical base, c. 600–500 bce Sharpened point The Phoenicians were traders of the ancient Mediterranean. They invented an alphabet—a writing system simpler than cuneiform or Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Phoenician alphabet had 22 characters, which were the first written symbols to record speech sounds rather than words. US_034-035_Writing_and_Printing_Gallery.indd 35 08/03/18 3:09 PM 36 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S He leaves home to go to Luoyang, China’s capital at the time, to study at the Imperial Academy. Zhang Heng is born near Nanyang, a city in central China. His father died when Zhang was just 10 years old. Zhang Heng is summoned by the Emperor to work as an official at the imperial court in Luoyang. While working as a local official, he begins to publish papers about astronomy and mathematics. 112 ce108 ce95 ce78 ce Zhang Heng One of the greatest scientists in Chinese history, Zhang Heng combined being an inventor with a career as a government official. He rose to become China’s chief astronomer, as well as an important advisor to the Emperor. As if this was not enough, Zhang was also a famed mapmaker, poet, and artist. LIFE STORY NAVIGATIONAL CHARIOT Zhang may have also invented a device to indicate direction. This was a “chariot” with a figure on top that could be positioned to point in any direction. A complicated system of gears meant that no matter what path the chariot followed it continued to point in the same direction, similar to the way a compass does. WATER-POWERED ARMILLARY SPHERE An armillary sphere is a framework of rings that was used to understand how planets and stars move through the sky. Zhang’s big idea was to use a waterwheel to power the sphere’s machinery so that it turned automatically, making one rotation a year. Model of a navigational chariot from China, 2700–1100 bce ▼ EARTHQUAKE INDICATOR The most famous of Zhang’s inventions was his seismoscope, or “earthquake weather vane,” that could tell the direction in which an earthquake had occurred. Each dragon head faces a different direction. Bronze urn Figure always points to set direction. Replica of Zhang Heng’s armillary sphere, 1439 Pendulum inside drops a ball through the dragon’s head facing the direction of the quake. Rings were positioned to mirror the movement of objects in space. US_036-037_Zhang_Heng_Inventor.indd 36 08/03/18 3:09 PM 37 E A R LY B R E A K T H R O U G H S He describes his armillary sphere and helps to make a mechanical cart with an odometer, an instrument for calculating distances traveled. He publishes The Spiritual Constitution of the Universe. This includes his theory that Earth is at the center of the Universe. He retires from official duties and returns home to Nanyang for a short time. Zhang Heng is recalled by the Emperor to the capital, where he dies in 139 ce. Zhang Heng introduces one of his most famous inventions to the imperial court: the earthquake indicator. 138 ce132 ce125 ce120 ce MAN OF LEARNING Zhang Heng’s work on mechanical devices was much admired by many Chinese scholars and inventors who followed him in later centuries. Zhang was also highly thought of for his astronomical studies and observations. He made a catalog of 2,500 stars and more than 120 constellations. Zhang is pictured here with his earthquake indicator. US_036-037_Zhang_Heng_Inventor.indd 37 02/04/18 3:38 PM M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD MAKING THE MODERN WORLD US_038-039_308121_Making_Mod_World.indd 38 08/03/2018 17:16 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Ever since the Industrial Revolution, technology has progressed at a rapid pace. From the steam engine to robots, these inventions have changed how we live, work, and play. US_038-039_308121_Making_Mod_World.indd 39 08/03/2018 17:16 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Tools The onset of the Industrial Revolution in the 1760s required a new set of tools beyond the basic hammers and chisels of old. The scale and volume of production, using new materials including metals, now required more power, more speed, and more precision than a human alone could achieve. SCREW-CUTTING LATHE A lathe spins metal against a tool to give it a circular shape or cut a screw thread. This could be done by hand but, in the 1790s, the Englishman Henry Maudslay and American David Wilkinson invented lathes separately, in which the tool was driven by a screw geared to the lathe. CIRCULAR SAW Traditionally, logs were sawed by hand using a pit saw, with an up-down motion. This was slow and inefficient. In 1813, Tabitha Babbit, a member of a Shaker community in the US, introduced the first circular saw in a saw mill, which was powered by water. A lead screw moves the tool as the workpiece rotates. The headstock grips and rotates the workpiece. Timber is pushed through a circular saw that requires more power to operate than a hand saw, but cuts much faster. US_040-041_308121_Tools.indd 40 23/04/2018 12:34 41 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD STEAM HAMMER When English engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel started work on his ship SS Great Britain, he discovered that hammering out the giant shafts for its paddle wheels was beyond human ability. Scottish engineer James Nasmyth came up with the idea of a giant steam- driven hammer. He made the first in 1840 and patented it in 1842. ADJUSTABLE SPANNER An adjustable spanner has a movable jaw, which allows it to be used with different-sized nuts and bolts. The English agricultural engineer Richard Clyburn is credited with its invention in 1842, while he was working at an iron works in Gloucester, UK. ARC WELDING Since ancient times, blacksmiths have used concentrated heat to bond metals together. In 1881, French inventor Auguste de Méritens invented a way of using electricity to create enough heat to melt metals that would then be joined when cooled, in a process known as arc welding. SPIRIT LEVEL A bubble in a liquid always rises to the highest point. In an upward-curved level tube it will settle at the center. This was recognized by the French scientist Melchisédech Thévenot, who invented the first spirit level in 1661. Spirit levels have been used by builders ever since to ensure their work is perfectly horizontal or vertical. The jaw is adjusted by a rotating screw just under it. Modern spirit level giving vertical, horizontal, and angle readings The further from the nut the force is applied, the greater the torque. The metals are melted so they can be bonded together on cooling. Force is applied to the end of the spanner. When someone rotates a spanner, they apply a twisting force called torque. If force is applied further from the point of rotation, torque is greater and the spanner is easier to turn. SPANNER FORCES A yellow-colored liquid is used for easy reading. Workers feed a red-hot piece of iron into a steam hammer, which pounds the metal into shape. US_040-041_308121_Tools.indd 41 08/03/2018 17:16 42 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Typical tape measures have 25 ft (7.6 m) of tape. A locking button allows a length of tape to be held in position out of its case. Sliding the button makes a spring pull the tape back into its case and wind it around a coil so it can be stored conveniently. The measurement on the ruler is shown on an electronic display. The trigger allows the user to start and stop the drill.■■ What? Micrometer screw gauge ■■ Who? Jean Palmier ■■ Where and when? France, 1848 A caliper measures the distance between opposite sides of an object. In 1848, Jean Palmier received a patent for the micrometer screw gauge, a type of caliper that uses a screw to accurately measure very small objects. The object is placed between a fixed frame and a screw. Measuring the rotation of the screw as it moves toward the object shows how far it has moved forward much more precisely. Modern-day calipers show distances on a digital display. ■■ What? Drill driven by an electric motor ■■ Who? Arthur James Arnot and William Blanch Brain ■■ Where and when? Australia, 1889 Arthur James Arnot and William Blanch Brain invented the first drill to be powered by an electric motor, which was faster and more efficient than existing drills. This first electric drill wasn’t portable, but the portable handheld drill was invented just six years later, in 1895, by German brothers Wilhelm and Carl Fein. ■■ What? Retractable pocket tape measure ■■ Who? William H. Bangs ■■ Where and when? US, 1864 Retractable tape measures can fit into a pocket or toolkit, but contain enough tape to measure distances of several yards. Micrometer Electric drill Tape measure Tools workshop The 19th and 20th centuries saw the development of a wide variety of tools that help us work more quickly, accurately, and efficiently. These tools have revolutionized home improvements, allowing people to measure things precisely and fasten them together securely. In industry, the use of computer control and lasers paved the way for new and improved cutting tools. The drill bit rotates to cut a hole in a surface. Pocket tape measure Electric cordless hand drill Digital caliper US_042-043_308121_Tools_workshop.indd 42 08/03/2018 17:17 43 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD The cross-shaped tip fits securely into the screw, making it easy to turn. ■■ What? Hexagonal socket wrench ■■ Who? William G. Allen ■■ Where and when? US, 1910 Created by the Allen Manufacturing Company in 1910, the Allen wrench is used to drive bolts and screws with hexagonal sockets in their heads. It is also known as a hex key. Allen wrenches drive screws right into the surface that they are fastening, keeping the surface smooth. ■■ What? Computer-controlled cutting machine ■■ Who? John T. Parsons ■■ Where and when? US, 1940s Milling is a process that uses a circular rotating cutter to cut into materials in several different directions, creating a variety of shapes. Milling machines have existed since the early 19th century, but in the 1940s, engineer John T. Parsons was the first person to consider using the earliest computers to control the milling process. CNC (computer numerical controlled) milling machines cut more precisely than manual machines. ■■ What? Laser level ■■ Who? Robert Genho ■■ Where and when? US, 1975 A laser level projects horizontal and vertical beams of light which can then be compared with a work surface. Laser levels are used in the construction industry so that builders can make sure they are working on perfectly horizontal surfaces or along straight lines. ■■ What? Carbon dioxide laser ■■ Who? Kumar Patel ■■ Where and when? US, 1964 The laser, which produces a narrow, highly concentrated beam of light, was invented in the early 1960s. In 1964, engineer Kumar Patel discovered that carbon dioxide gas could create a laser beam that was intense and hot enough to cut through metal. Carbon dioxide lasers are still widely used today in cutting and welding, and for delicate surgical procedures such as eye surgery. ■■ What? Cross-headed screwdriver ■■ Who? Henry F. Phillips and Thomas M. Fitzpatrick ■■ Where and when? US, 1936 In the 1930s, Henry F. Phillips and Thomas M. Fitzpatrick invented cross-headed screws Allen wrench CNC milling machine Laser levelLaser cutter Phillips screwdriver and screwdrivers. Cross-headed screws were particularly useful on automated car assembly lines, as they could take greater turning force and provided tighter fastening. With their cross-shaped tips, Phillips screwdrivers fit securely into screw heads. Metal laser-cutter Laser level on a building site Water-cooled CNC milling cutter Modern Phillips screwdrivers Allen wrenches in different sizes US_042-043_308121_Tools_workshop.indd 43 08/03/2018 17:17 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Feeding the world Every invention made, from hunting tools to computers, would be useless if we were not able to keep ourselves healthy enough to use them. Food is essential for survival, and as Earth’s population has grown, it has become even more vital that humans find effective ways of producing ever-greater quantities of nourishing food. THE SEED DRILL Growing crops used to be very hard work, with farmers laboriously scattering seeds in the field by hand. In 1701, Englishman Jethro Tull changed all that with his invention of the seed drill. Pulled along by a horse, this machine carved out neat furrows, then dropped seeds into them, which proved to be a very efficient way of growing crops. CANNED FOOD The ancient Romans preserved food in containers lined with rust-resistant tin. In 1810, the Frenchman Nicolas Appert developed tinned cans to preserve food for Napoleon’s army. In 1823, the tin can above, which contained roast veal, was made for a British voyage. This worker carefully transplants seedlings into empty pots at this modern-day hydroponic farm. Many farmers came to witness the Jethro seed drill in action. US_044-045_308121_Feeding_the_world.indd 44 08/03/2018 17:17 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD PEST CONTROL In 1939, Swiss chemist Paul Müller discovered that a chlorine-based chemical, commonly called DDT, killed insects but had little effect on warm-blooded animals. DDT was used widely in agriculture for years, but today it has been replaced by more effective and safer pesticides. GM CROPS In 1969, American biochemists discovered how to alter living things (to add more flavor, for example) by splicing the genes of one organism into another. The first genetically modified (GM) food approved for sale was the Flavr Savr tomato (above), produced by the US company Calgene in 1994. FERTILIZERS In 1909, German chemist Fritz Haber succeeded in capturing nitrogen from the air to form ammonia, which could be made into plant fertilizers. Another German chemist, Carl Bosch, developed this method for large-scale ammonia production in massive factories (above). Since then, this breakthrough has led to a huge increase in food production globally. HYDROPONICS In 1929, American researcher William Gericke grew tomato vines 25 ft (7.6 m) long using just high-nutrition minerals mixed with water. This way of growing plants without soil became known as hydroponics. In the 1930s, vegetables were grown this way on soilless Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean, to supply refueling passenger airliners. Today, NASA is experimenting with hydroponics for potential plant cultivation on Mars. Nearly 30 percent of the global population works in agriculture, making it the single largest industry in the world. WOW! A helicopter sprays potatoes with pesticide in the UK 45 US_044-045_308121_Feeding_the_world.indd 45 08/03/2018 17:17 46 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD ■ What? Steam-driven thresher ■ Who? Andrew Meikle ■ Where and when? UK, 1788 Farm laborers used to thresh wheat by hand, beating the harvested corn with sticks to separate the grain from the stalks and its outer covering, known as chaff. In 1788, Scottish millwright Andrew Meikle invented a machine that could do this quicker. It was powered by a separate steam engine. Threshing machine Working the land People have always been looking to come up with inventions that would make farming more efficient. If the greatest game-changer was the plow, then the second most significant innovation was the motor engine, which offered far more power than horses, and drove tractors, combine harvesters, and all manner of heavy farming machinery. ■ What? Horse-powered reaper ■ Who? Patrick Bell ■ Where and when? UK, 1827 ■ What? Mobile steam engine ■ Who? Charles Burrell ■ Where and when? UK, 1856 In the 1790s, stationary steam engines were used on farms to power threshing machines. A self-moving steam engine was exhibited in 1842, but Englishman Charles Burrell built the first practical steam-powered tractor that could cope with rough farm terrain in 1856. Mechanical reaping machine Steam-powered tractor 1908 Marshall traction engine 1860 thresher McCormick’s reaper at work Without mechanical help, harvesting requires many people. In 1826, Scottish farmer Patrick Bell invented a machine that could be pulled behind a horse to cut and gather crops. A few years later, in the US, Cyrus McCormick came up with a similar machine, which he patented in 1834 and sold in the thousands. Flywheel stores energy created by the engine. Funnel releases smoke. Large steel rear wheel US_046-047_308121_Working_the_land.indd 46 26/03/2018 10:55 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD ■ What? Barbed wire ■ Who? Joseph Glidden ■ Where and when? US, 1874 Barbed wire made large-scale cattle farming more practical by massively reducing the cost of enclosing land, because it was much cheaper and easier to erect than wooden fences. American Michael Kelly invented the ■ What? The Ivel ■ Who? Dan Albone ■ Where and when? UK, 1903 The Ivel was created by the English manufacturer and inventor Dan Albone, and is widely considered to be the first successful tractor designed to replace horses. It was described as a lightweight, gasoline-powered agricultural motor for general purpose. ■ What? Froelich tractor ■ Who? John Froelich ■ Where and when? US, 1892 In 1892, John Froelich invented a gasoline- powered farm vehicle. It was not a success, but his 1914 model was better received. Seeing its potential, the John Deere company bought Froelich’s business. ■ What? Self-propelled harvester ■ Who? Holt Manufacturing ■ Where and when? US, 1911 ■ What? New Holland baler ■ Who? Edwin Nolt ■ Where and when? US, 1937 Early machines compacted hay, but farmhands had to bind the bales manually. In 1937, American farmer Edwin Nolt built a self-tying hay baler. The idea was picked up by the New Holland Machine Company and put into production. Cattle-proof fencing Lightweight tractor Gasoline-powered tractor Combine harvester Self-tie baler ■ What? Agras MG-1 ■ Who? DJI ■ Where and when? China, 2015 Farmers have long used aircraft for spraying crops with pesticides, but it is expensive. “Dusting” by drone, however, is cheap and efficient. In 2015, Chinese drone company DJI exhibited a crop-spraying drone, called the Agras MG-1, which can fly for 12 minutes at a time, before needing to be refueled. Crop-spraying drone Froelich’s 1892 machine A tractor tows a modern baler basic design for barbed wire in 1868, but Joseph Glidden improved upon the idea, and patented it in 1874. He helped turn America’s Great Plains into profitable farming country. In 1836, in the US, Hiram Moore built and patented the first combine harvester—pulled by horses—capable of reaping, threshing, and winnowing grain. In 1911, the first self-propelled harvester was produced by the Holt Manufacturing Company in California. Sharp barbs keep cattle at bay. Modern combine harvester Crop-spraying drone in China, 2017 US_046-047_308121_Working_the_land.indd 47 26/03/2018 10:55 48 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Construction For most of human history, construction was largely about piling things on top of each other, whether brick or stone, to create a building. Wood was commonly used for roofing. New materials in the 19th century—first iron, then steel, concrete, and sheet glass—made new kinds of structures possible. Engineers were able to build lighter and more versatile buildings more quickly. Most significantly, they could build much, much higher. IRON BRIDGE In 1779, Englishman Abraham Darby built the world’s first iron bridge (above), to the design of English architect Thomas Pritchard. Iron was a material previously too expensive to use on a large scale, but new methods of production brought prices down. The bridge’s 100-ft (30.5 -m) arch spans the Severn River in Shropshire, England. It is still used today. Steel provides a much stronger framework than stone or brick, which allows for taller buildings. High-rise construction workers bolt together steel girders to form the supporting structure of the skyscraper. Rising to a massive 2,717 ft (828 m), the world’s tallest building is the 160-story Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. WOW! US_048-049_308121_Construction.indd 48 08/03/2018 17:17 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD STEEL STRUCTURES Steel is mostly iron combined with a little carbon—and is much stronger than pure iron. China and India had steel industries in ancient times, but this material took off in 1856 when Englishman Henry Bessemer invented a process to produce large amounts of it cheaply. This method was used to make ships, buildings, and armor up until the 1960s. THE CURTAIN WALL Early steel-frame buildings still supported heavy stone or brick walls. In 1918, however, walls made of lightweight steel and glass that hung from the frame were introduced—these were called curtain walls. GOING UP! The first escalator, invented by American engineer Jesse Reno, was just a sloping, moving walkway, but George Wheeler added folding steps. It was marketed by the Otis Elevator Company and by 1901 was appearing in some stores, as seen here in Boston. ▲ SCRAPING THE SKY The New York City skyline continues to rise, as workers put the finishing touches on the Empire State Building. This 102-story steel-frame skyscraper opened in 1931. It was much bigger than the world’s first steel skyscraper, a 10-story building constructed in Chicago in 1885. The Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany, uses curtain walls SAFETY ELEVATOR American Elisha Otis demonstrated the first passenger safety elevator in the 1850s in New York City. This invention removed one of the major drawbacks of building high—too many stairs. US_048-049_308121_Construction.indd 49 08/03/2018 17:17 50 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD EXPLOSIVE INTENTIONS This painting shows Nobel testing dynamite, by blowing up a ship. In 1875, Nobel invented another explosive called gelignite, which was more powerful than dynamite. In 1887, he also patented ballistite, which is still used today as a rocket propellant. MAN OF PEACE In 1888, a newspaper wrongly reported Nobel had died—it was actually one of his brothers. The obituary called him “the merchant of death” because of his dangerous inventions. Upset that he might be remembered this way, he made a will that set aside a large fortune to establish the Nobel Prize. LASTING LEGACY The Nobel Prize is awarded annually for achievements in physics, chemistry, and medicine, all reflecting Nobel’s scientific background. A fourth prize is for literature, and a fifth award is for a person or society that contributes to international peace. MAKING DYNAMITE In 1867, Nobel patented dynamite. Originally called “Nobel’s Safety Powder,” it was easier and safer to handle than previous explosives. One of the world’s major dynamite-producing factories was in Ardrossan, Scotland (above). He goes to work in Paris, France, where he meets the inventor of nitroglycerin, a highly unstable explosive. He is determined to improve it. Alfred Nobel is born in Stockholm, Sweden. He is one of eight children, although only four of them—all boys—survive into adulthood. Nobel continues with his experiments and, eventually, manufactures dynamite. He patents this invention in the US and UK. Tragically, five people, including Alfred’s younger brother Emil, are killed in an accident in a shed used for the preparation of nitroglycerin. 1867186418501833 Alfred Nobel A Swedish chemist and engineer, Alfred Nobel is best known as the inventor of dynamite, as well as other more powerful and destructive explosives. To this day, his inventions have helped to blast open mines and build canals, railways, and roads. His name lives on in the prestigious Nobel Prize, awarded annually in a number of categories, including peace. LIFE STORY US_050-051_308121_Alfred_Nobel.indd 50 08/03/2018 17:17 51 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Ludvig, another one of Alfred’s brothers, dies. Newspapers mistakenly run an obituary of Alfred, calling him “the merchant of death.” Nobel invents gelignite, a moldable explosive that is safer to handle and store than dynamite. It is also more powerful than dynamite. Dynamite sticks with long fuses to light them Aged 63, Nobel dies in San Remo, Italy, from heart failure. He leaves his vast wealth to fund awards that would become known as the Nobel Prize. 189618881875 AT HIS DESK Posing next to the tools of his trade, Nobel was both a chemist and an industrialist. After inventing dynamite, he amassed a great fortune from the manufacture and sale of explosives. US_050-051_308121_Alfred_Nobel.indd 51 08/03/2018 17:17 52 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Industrialization Between about 1750 and 1850, Britain transformed itself from an agricultural nation into the world’s top industrial power. Cloth making was its most profitable enterprise. At this time, many workers moved from farms into the new factories, where new machines were powered by steam—a period known as the Industrial Revolution. THE STEAM ENGINE Steam was the world’s first great power source. In 1711, English engineer Thomas Newcomen built the first steam engine (see p.56), which was based on an earlier steam pump by Thomas Savery. Newcomen’s machine, however, was inefficient, and it was not until Scotsman James Watt made improvements and patented his own engine in 1769 (right) that steam engines were made to power machinery. SPINNING JENNY Traditionally, workers operated spinning wheels, which could spin only one thread at a time. James Hargreaves’s Spinning Jenny of 1764 could spin several threads at once. Along with the steam engine, it helped to kickstart the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The hand wheel is turned quickly with the spinner’s right hand, making the spindles rotate. Thread is spun with the spinner’s left hand as the spindles rotate. Piston rod Not everyone welcomed the Industrial Revolution: Luddites were workers who destroyed machinery to protest change. WOW! Spindles Steam in the cylinder pushes up the piston connected to the end of the beam by the piston rod. US_052-053_308121_Industrialisation.indd 52 08/03/2018 17:17 53 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD POWER LOOM The designer of the first power loom, Edmund Cartwright, was an English clergyman. He realized that the process of cloth making could be transformed using powered spinning machines. His first loom, built in 1785, was very crude but by 1787 he had improved it enough to start a weaving factory in Doncaster, UK. This engraving shows a busy factory in the 1830s. HYDRAULIC PRESS Joseph Bramah was an inventor who made locks and enhanced the design of the toilet before turning his attention to improving the manufacturing process. His hydraulic press of 1795 operates by transferring pressure through liquids. It remains one of the most useful factory tools to this day, from making metal sheets to molding tablets for medical use. BOTTLE-MAKING MACHINERY American Michael Owens left school at 10 to became a glassblower. In 1903, he founded his own company to develop a bottle-making machine. His machines enabled standardized bottles to be mass-produced for the first time, supplying companies like Coca Cola. The beam transfers the motion of the piston to the flywheel. The finished cloth is wound onto a roller. A steam-powered belt drives the loom. The flywheel stores energy so the engine can run smoothly. Modern bottle-making factory Hand-powered hydraulic press US_052-053_308121_Industrialisation.indd 53 08/03/2018 17:17 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD US_054-055_308121_Production_line.indd 54 08/03/2018 17:17 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD SMART PRODUCTION LINE Some industrial plants, such as this Mini car factory in Cowley, UK, use intelligent robots that can run unsupervised for weeks at a time. Welding together the chassis and other car body parts was once done by humans. Today, machines do this work, communicating with each other and regulating their own workflow. US_054-055_308121_Production_line.indd 55 08/03/2018 17:17 56 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Powering up Since the Industrial Revolution, engineers and industrialists have tried to generate power using different materials and machines. In turn, steam, gas, oil, and electricity have paved the way for many inventions. Indeed, breakthroughs in transportation, lighting, heat, and construction would have been impossible without these sources of power. STEAM ENGINE It is unlikely that English engineer Thomas Newcomen knew how important the steam engine would be when he invented it in 1710. His device was used for pumping water out of mines, and was later modified by James Watt (see pp.52–53), which led to steam locomotives. Steam powered the Industrial Revolution and changed the world. CRUDE OIL Ancient peoples burned oil to generate light, but it was not until the mid-19th century that several individuals discovered how to extract oil from deep underground. Polish inventor Ignacy Łukasiewicz pioneered the oil industry as we know it when, in 1856, he created the world’s first industrial oil refinery. GAS POWER The Scottish engineer William Murdoch worked in the mining area of Cornwall, UK, servicing steam engines. A by- product of heating coal is gas, and Murdoch figured out a way of capturing this gas in a tank (above) and igniting it. In 1792, Murdoch became the first person to light up a house (his own) using gas. ▼ DRILLING FOR OIL This oil-pumping unit is called a “nodding donkey” because of the way its driving beam swings up and down. It is in an oil field in Kazakhstan, Central Asia. The blue beam is attached to a red, curved end that looks like a bit like donkey’s head. Steam condenses in the cylinder and air pressure pushes the piston down. Water is heated in the boiler and steam pushes a piston up. Model of Newcomen’s engine US_056-057_308121_Power.indd 56 08/03/2018 17:17 57 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD POWER STATION Sebastian de Ferranti was a British engineer and a pioneer in the field of electricity. In 1887, he was hired by the newly formed London Electric Supply Corporation for whom he designed the world’s first modern power station, in Deptford, London. PUBLIC ELECTRICITY SUPPLY In 1882, the American inventor Thomas Edison launched the first steam-powered electricity-generating station in London. He supplied the surrounding streets and businesses with electric light for a period of three months. Later that year, he opened the Pearl Street Power Station in New York City. NUCLEAR POWER In 1923, scientists discovered that “splitting” atoms unleashed tremendous power. In 1951 in the US, a nuclear reactor was used for the first time to generate electricity. In 1954 in Russia, a nuclear power plant became the first to generate electricity for a power grid. The plunger moves inside the well and brings oil to the surface. 4. The generator turns the turbine’s rotational energy into electricity. 3. The turbine spins as steam flows over it. The steam condenses back into water and the process repeats. 5. Electricity is carried away by wires and pylons, ending up in homes and businesses. Workers test electric cables before laying them in the ground. 1. When coal burns, it releases heat. Early power stations were powered by vast amounts of coal. Lumps of this fuel were fed into huge furnaces to produce the heat required to turn water into steam, which drove the turbines. In turn, this generated electricity. Later, oil replaced coal as this was less polluting. GENERATING ELECTRICITY Deptford Power Station, 1890 New York City, 1882 Coal 2. Water boils due to the heat, creating steam that flows around the furnace. Brokdorf Nuclear Power Plant, Germany US_056-057_308121_Power.indd 57 08/03/2018 17:17 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD ■ What? Hydroelectricity ■ Who? William Armstrong ■ Where and when? UK, 1878 While fishing in the UK, William Armstrong was watching a waterwheel and it occurred to him that it harnessed only a small amount of power from the water. Armstrong dammed a nearby river to create a lake, making his house the first in the world to be powered by a hydroelectric generator. ■ What? Wind-powered electric generator ■ Who? James Blyth ■ Where and when? Scotland, 1887 After constructing a windmill, James Blyth attached to it an electric motor to light his ■ What? Solar-powered electricity ■ Who? Augustin Mouchot ■ Where and when? France, 1869 Math teacher Augustin Mouchot was convinced that coal would eventually run out. In 1860, he began experimenting with capturing the heat from the sun. In 1869 he displayed a “solar steam engine” in Paris. Unfortunately, coal remained cheap and plentiful and Mouchot’s work was ignored. Water power Wind power ■ What? Geothermal electric generator ■ Who? Piero Ginori Conti ■ Where and when? Italy, 1904 The Romans used hot springs to heat their buildings, as people have in Boise, Idaho, since 1892. However, Piero Ginori Conti was the first person to demonstrate a geothermal power generator, in 1904 in Larderello, Italy. The first commercial geothermal power station was built there in 1911. Electricity from hot springs Solar power Renewable energy Fossil fuels such as oil and gas power our world, but these resources are not unlimited. Their continued use also comes with serious environmental problems, including air pollution. As a result, we are increasingly turning to wind, water, and the sun in search of more sustainable and less destructive sources of energy. Blyth’s electricity- generating windmill Modern solar- powered streetlight Hoover Dam, built in 1936, is a source of hydroelectric power Blyth’s windmill had horizontal sails rather than vertical. cottage. He offered to light his village’s main street, but locals thought the strange light was the work of the devil. He did, however, build a larger wind generator to provide electricity for a hospital in a nearby town. Geothermal plant, Iceland US_058-059_308121_Renewable_energy.indd 58 26/03/2018 11:01 59 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD ■ What? Electricity-generating wind farm ■ Who? US Windpower ■ Where and when? US, 1980 Since 1927, the Jacobs company in the US has been creating wind turbines for generating electricity. However, these were individual units used on remote farms. It was not until 1980 that US Windpower installed 20 wind turbines on a site at Crotched Mountain, New Hampshire, making it the world’s first wind farm. ■ What? Masdar City ■ Who? Abu Dhabi government ■ Where and when? UAE, 2030 Currently under construction just outside Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Masdar City is planned to be the first city in Wind farm ■ What? Tidal power station ■ Who? Électricité de France ■ Where and when? France, 1966 Tide mills have existed since medieval times. Barriers let the rising tide through, then close when the tide starts going down. The captured water is then let out to power a tidal turbine. In 1996, the world’s first large-scale tidal power station went into operation in France. It uses a 2,461 ft (750 m) barrage across the Rance River. Tidal energy Zero-carbon city Modern-day wind farm AK1000 turbine unveiling, Scotland the world to use only renewable energy. It will be car-free, with driverless electric shuttles to move people between buildings that incorporate the latest in smart, sustainable technologies. The project began in 2006 and is expected to continue until 2030. When put underwater, the massive blades on this turbine will rotate to generate electricity. US_058-059_308121_Renewable_energy.indd 59 26/03/2018 11:01 60 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD While living in Paris, France, Tesla works for the Continental Edison Company, set up by famed American inventor Thomas Edison. Nikola Tesla is born in the village of Smiljan, in what is now the country of Croatia. He claimed a lightning storm was raging as he was born. He develops the AC induction motor as an alternative to DC. It would soon become the most widely used type of electric motor. Tesla immigrates to the US, arriving with just four cents in his pocket, some of his favorite poems, and calculations for a flying machine. 1887188418821856 ▲ DEEP IN THOUGHT Seen here in his laboratory, Tesla was clearly a man of science. However, he also claimed that he could speak eight languages. LIFE STORY US_060-061_308121_Tesla_Biog.indd 60 08/03/2018 17:17 61 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Tesla coil, 1895 UNLUCKY GENIUS Tesla claimed he had a photographic memory and that many of his ideas came to him fully formed. However, he was not a canny businessman. After moving to New York City, Thomas Edison hired the young Tesla, and offered to pay him $50,000 for an improved design of a motor. When Tesla presented a solution and asked for the money, Edison replied that he was only joking. INDUCTION MOTOR In 1887, Tesla developed an induction motor (below) that ran on alternating current (AC)—a power system that performed better than the existing direct current (DC) in long-distance, high-voltage transmission. This device led to the adoption of AC as the standard for electricity supplies. LIGHTING UP Tesla and his financial backer Westinghouse were in a “war of currents” with Thomas Edison to promote their rival systems. In 1893, Tesla won the bid to light that year’s World’s Columbian Exhibition (left). His success was key to proving the reliability of AC electrical power. He invents the Tesla coil, which would be widely used in radio technology. Tesla dies in New York City, aged 86. The AC system that he developed remains the global standard for power transmission. At New York’s Madison Square Garden, Tesla gives a public demonstration of a boat guided by remote control that uses radio signals. 194318981891 Nikola Tesla The gifted inventor Nikola Tesla produced the first motor that ran efficiently on an alternating current, experimented with X-rays, and demonstrated a radio-controlled boat. During his life, he held about 300 patents, but ended up virtually penniless. Rotor Stator generates rotating magnetic field that turns the rotor. US_060-061_308121_Tesla_Biog.indd 61 08/03/2018 17:17 62 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Plastics The first plastic, made in 1856 by the British inventor Alexander Parkes, was formed using a plant-based material called Parkesine, later named cellulose. In the 1920s, chemists developed plastics from substances in oil. This led to the creation of a variety of plastics, such as polythene. Unfortunately, plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose, resulting in huge waste in landfills and in oceans. CELLULOID In the 1860s, a cellulose-based plastic called celluloid was developed by Alexander Parkes. Clear, flexible, and very easy to mold, it was used for many things, from photographic film to kitchen utensils. However, it proved to be extremely flammable and caused many accidents, so it is rarely used today. The first purpose of celluloid was to make pool balls, however they are made from a different, safer type of plastic today. ■■ Plastic bags were first introduced in supermarkets in 1977. Today, there are approximately 160,000 plastic bags bought globally every second. ■■ Plastic items, such as water bottles, can take between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose. ■■ About 10 percent of total global waste is made up of plastic-based items. FAST FACTS US_062-063_308121_Plastics.indd 62 09/03/2018 12:11 63 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD POLYSTYRENE Although the history of polystyrene goes back to the 1830s, it was first developed for commercial use in the 1930s. It comes in two forms: hard, and a lightweight foam, called expanded polystyrene or styrofoam. The hard form is used for items such as yogurt cartons; the lightweight type makes good packaging, especially egg boxes (left). SQUEEZABLE KETCHUP BOTTLE This handy bottle for ketchup was created by Stanley Mason, a prolific American inventor who also holds patents on such essentials of modern life as disposable diapers and dental- floss dispensers. In 1983, his bottle was first manufactured for home use by the food company Heinz. BAKELITE In 1907, Leo Baekeland—a Belgian-born chemist working in the US—made a plastic from chemicals found in coal tar. His plastic, which he called Bakelite, was different from earlier plastics because heat made it set hard, rather than melt. PLASTIC BOTTLES In 1947, plastic bottles were first used commercially. However, they remained uncommon until developments in plastics in the 1960s reduced costs. Soon after, plastic bottles became popular due to their light weight and the fact that, unlike glass, they don’t break. WALLACE CAROTHERS American chemist Wallace Carothers produced a plastic called nylon in 1934. This revolutionary new material could be woven into a fine cloth or twined to create rope as strong as steel cable. Thin and durable, nylon is used to create many items, from hosiery to guitar strings. Bakelite-made rotary dial telephone, 1940s ▶ PRACTICAL PLASTIC Today’s plastic bottles come in all shapes and sizes, and can carry anything from water to fizzy drinks. US_062-063_308121_Plastics.indd 63 08/03/2018 17:17 64 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD ■■ What? Linoleum ■■ Who? Frederick Walton ■■ Where and when? UK, 1860s Linoleum was invented by the British rubber manufacturer Frederick Walton as a smooth, resilient floor covering. He made it originally by coating cloth with layers of a substance containing linseed oil and other ingredients. This slowly reacted with air to form a thick, tough coating. Linoleum was plain until the 1930s, when decorative designs were added. ■■ What? Viscose rayon ■■ Who? Charles Cross, Edward Bevan, and Clayton Beadle ■■ Where and when? UK, 1892 Using their experience in soap- and paper-making, three British scientists— ■■ What? Triplex ■■ Who? Édouard Bénédictus ■■ Where and when? France, 1903 In his lab, French chemist and artist Édouard Bénédictus knocked a glass flask to the floor. It shattered but, to his surprise, the glass hung together in the same rough shape. He discovered that some cellulose nitrate (liquid plastic) in the flask had left a thin film, and this was holding the glass together. Further experiments led him to invent the world’s first piece of safety glass. Hardy floor covering Synthetic fibers Laminated glass Man-made materials Since ancient times, we have made items—used for hunting or cooking, for example—from natural materials such as stone, clay, and wood. In the modern era, advances in chemistry and engineering have enabled us to produce man-made, or synthetic, materials, including rayon, fiberglass, and kevlar. In turn, these materials have led to inventions that benefit from a material’s unique quality, from strength to elasticity. Charles Cross, Edward Bevan, and Clayton Beadle—invented the viscose process. This took cellulose (an organic compound from green plants) and, through chemical treatments, turned it into a synthetic fiber that resembled silk but cost less to produce. Kitchen tiles Rayon production, US, 1950s Making laminated, shatter- proof car windscreens US_064-065_Man-made_materials.indd 64 08/03/2018 17:17 65 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD ■■ What? Spandex ■■ Who? Joseph Shivers ■■ Where and when? US, 1958 While working at the DuPont company, the American chemist Joseph Shivers was looking for a light, synthetic material to use in women’s clothing. In the 1950s, he found it—an elastic-like fiber that was named spandex, an anagram of “expands.” It was patented in 1958 and marketed as Lycra. ■■ What? Flexible electronic screens ■■ Who? Plastic Logic ■■ Where and when? Germany, 2004 German scientists have discovered a way to make light, thin, and flexible screens that can carry digital information. At present, this technology is used in signage, wristwatches, and other wearable devices, but we might soon have flexible computer screens (left). ■■ What? Kevlar ■■ Who? Stephanie Kwolek and Paul Morgan ■■ Where and when? US, 1965 Kevlar is a plastic that is five times stronger than steel. It was developed by chemists working for DuPont in the US. It is related to another man-made material called nylon, but with an extra chemical to add strength and stiffness. It was first used in racing tires, and is also used in golf clubs and flame-proof clothing. Elastic sportswear Flexible electronics Tough, protective plastic ■■ What? Fiberglass ■■ Who? Games Slayter ■■ Where and when? US, 1932 At the Owens-Illinois glass company, Games Slayter discovered a way of mass-producing glass wool, known today as fibreglass. The material traps air, making it ideal for insulation. In 1936, glass wool was combined with a plastic resin to create a strong, lightweight material, useful in the construction industry. Glass-based insulator Elastic attire made from spandex is ideal for flexible gymnasts. Kevlar bulletproof vests are very strong and light. ■■ Man-made materials are typically much more durable than their natural counterparts. Once an advantage, this is now seen as an environmental problem, as they do not degrade. ■■ Chinese material scientists have created the world’s lightest material called graphene aerogel, which is almost entirely made out of air. FAST FACTS Fiberglass- coated canoe Kevlar vests such as this have been used by the US military since the 1980s US_064-065_Man-made_materials.indd 65 09/03/2018 12:11 66 M A K IN G T H E M O D E R N W O R LD Buying and selling The world’s economy relies upon people buying and selling goods and services. Countless inventions have made it easier for us to do this, from cash registers to trolleys. In the digital age, shopping continues to change dramatically— we can now shop with just the click of a mouse or the tap of a smartphone. CASH REGISTER The first cash register was patented by American bartender James Ritty, in 1879. It recorded sales and helped stop workers from pocketing money. The idea was improved upon and marketed by coal merchant John Patterson in 1884. EARLY CALCULATING MACHINE French insurance agent Thomas de Colmar created the first practical adding machine, or “arithmometer,” in 1820. It could add, subtract, divide, and multiply. SHOPPING CART In 1936, American shop-owner Sylvan Goldman saw that shoppers bought only as much as they could carry. So, he welded baskets to a folding chair and added wheels—the shopping cart was born. Arithmometer, c. 1870 Late 19th- century cash register from Germ