Water Treatment Technology Through History

Water Treatment Technology Through History   Civilization has changed in uncountable ways over the course of human history, but one factor remains the same: the need for clean drinking water. Every significant ancient civilization was established near a water source, but the quality of the water from these sources was often suspect. Evidence shows that Read More…

Pull Up A Seat for A Brief History of the Chair

If you’re sitting right now, chances are pretty dang good you’re sitting on a chair. It seems like one of the most basic inventions there could ever be—a surface to sit on, and something to hold that surface up. Heck, it might not even really seem like “technology” at all. But it is. And there’s Read More…

Mechanical Television is Mechanical

Prior to Philo Farnsworth’s technological breakthroughs that created the all-electronic version we still use, more or less, today, early televisions were mechanical (often called “electromechanical”) devices. Sometimes referred to as televisors, after the most commercially successful model, the Baird Televisor, mechanical televisions were in use from roughly 1926 until 1939. The Nipkow Disk As the Read More…

Parachutes: Not Just Stylish ‘80s Pants

The parachute is designed to slow the motion of an object by creating drag. It is most commonly used to slow descent through the atmosphere—someone jumping from an airplane, for example; it can also be used to slow forward motion, as in the drag chutes deployed from the back end of drag racing automobiles. Renaissance Read More…

Glassblowing: Art & Science in One

The aptly named art/science of glassblowing is a glass forming method that involves blowing molten glass into a bubble (using a blowpipe). From this bubble form, the glass can be further worked into a vast spectrum of different shapes, encompassing everything from artistic works to functional devices. Inflation & Material Refinement Glassblowing was first developed Read More…

The Catapult: OG Ballistics

Invented by those wacky ancient Greeks, the catapult is perhaps the most famous and widely-used projectile weapon launcher in history. Some scholars maintain that the catapult was not originally devised as a weapon, but it’s rather hard to imagine for what other purpose it might conceivably be used. And, despite what your jerk of an Read More…

Ancient China’s Four Great Inventions

Compass. Gunpowder. Papermaking. Printing. Together, these are the Four Great Inventions of ancient China, still celebrated in Chinese culture today for their historical significance to world civilization as a whole. The Four Great Inventions were popularized by Joseph Needham, a British biochemist, historian,  and noted expert on the science and civilization of ancient China. Origins Read More…

Stone Tools: Mankind’s First Technology

Stone tools are the first and most basic form of technology that humans ever invented. It is from their initial creation that the period of prehistory known as the Stone Age derives its name, though there are still some stone tool-dependent cultures in existence today. Thank You, Ancient Tanzanian Flintknappers Stone tools take many forms: Read More…

Archimedes’ Screw: Hey, This is A Family Site!

Archimedes’ screw is a hand-operated machine used by the Ancient Greeks (and other cultures since their time) to raise water from low-lying bodies to higher elevations, usually for the purposes of irrigation. Also known as a screw pump, Archimedes’ screw is a simple yet effective device, modern variations of which can still be found in Read More…

A Modern History of Perpetual Motion Technology

The theory of perpetual motion has existed since at least Medieval times, and scientists and inventors have been trying—and failing—to produce perpetual motion machines since that time. Science proved decades ago that creating a true perpetual motion device is, in fact, impossible. However, this has not stopped people from trying. Here, we’ll look at relatively Read More…

The Watt Steam Engine

Developed between 1763 and 1775, the Watt steam engine was an extension and improvement of the Newcomen engine. The Watt was the first steam engine to drive its piston via pressurized steam and a partial vacuum. James Watt’s design is considered a key step in the evolution of modern mechanical engines. Improving the Newcomen Engine Read More…