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= Mechanical Advantage: =

Lever, Pulley, Cam, Cog and Turbine

The Mechanics of the Industrial Revolution

The full swing of applied mechanics, physics, science and economics that we call the 'Industrial Revolution' was really a culmination of earlier curiosity, innovation, creativity, and education the we should maybe call the 'Industrial Forge' some people have called it the 'First Industrial Revolution.' The fact is that many of the aspects of what we call the Industrial Revolution were either imported, discovered or developed centuries earlier in the European Middle Ages, but came to full flower later, in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The ordinary person in the 19th century, had a solid grasp of a number of mechanical principles that extended and compounded the strength and efficiency of muscle alone. These principles were responsible for a massive increase in the productive output of the individual and form the foundations of many of the great innovations of the Industrial Revolution. We will explore the physics behind these and test their practical application, finishing with a survey of many of the important inventions of the Industrial Revolution - with regard to how they depended on the application of these principles.

Mechanical Principles

  • Mechanical Advantage
    • The Lever
    • The Pulley
    • The Inclined Plane
  • Transmission of Force
    • Cam
    • Gears
    • Sprockets
    • Crank
    • Treadle
  • Regulation of Movement
    • Inertia - Flywheel
    • Centrifugal Governor
    • Mechanical Escapements

Program Outline

[ Seminar Format Ca. 45 minutes ]
[ Workshop Format Ca. 90 minutes ]
Workshop Format has more hands-on time for the participants

Ancient Greece

  • Aristotle mentions gears around 330 BC
  • Archimedes - Lever [Practical Demo]
  • Archimedes - Screw
  • Archimedes - Compound Pulley [Practical Demo]
  • Chain-Drive - the Polybolos 3rd century BC
  • The Crank - 5th century BC Celtiberian Spain
  • Roman Hierapolis sawmill from the 3rd century AD - Crank w/ Connecting Rod

Later Developments

  • Chain drive / Sprocket, Su Song's book of 1092AD
    • Da Vinci's Version [Practical Demo]
  • Flywheel - Theophilus Presbyter (ca. 1070–1125)
    • Da Vinci's - variable inertia flywheel [Practical Demo]

Putting it to use... The European Monastic Movement / The First Industrial Revolution

  • Watermill
  • Windmill
  • Millwork:
    • Grind Grain
    • Pulp Paper
    • Drain Marshes and Wetlands
    • Sawmill
    • Forge
    • Fulling Cloth
  • Turbine to rotate meat on fire

The Foot-Treadle: The Revolution Starts Here...

  • Spinning Wheels
  • Wood-Lathe
  • Sewing Machines

Summary of Development of Clock Mechanisms - Escapements [Practical Demo]

Page last modified on August 14, 2016, at 02:00 PM

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