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By Ian McNeil

To be had for the 1st time in paperback, this quantity comprises twenty-two chapters by way of overseas specialists masking the full background of expertise from humankind's earliest use of stone instruments to the exploration of area. Written truly and with no pointless jargon, each one bankruptcy strains the improvement of its topic from earliest instances to the current day, stressing the social context and its position in medical thought.
* Usefully drawn with over one hundred fifty tables, drawings and photographs
* finished indexes of names and subjects
* crucial studying for lecturers and scholars within the background and Philosophy of technology and know-how, business heritage and Archaeology.

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Sample text

These developments came in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Between AD 1100 and 1400 universities were founded in many European cities, particularly in Italy, signalling the start of a period of higher learning for its own sake. Towards the end of this period, the technique of paper-making, originating in China about AD 100, reached Europe via the Middle East, North Africa and Spain where it had existed since 1100. By 1320 it had reached Germany, paving the way to the printing of books.

Metal workers were a class of specialists who needed specialist equipment and who depended for their sustenance on the labours of their fellow men, the farming community for whom they provided the tools. Many ancillary trades, too, were involved, in the quarrying or mining of the ores to be smelted. The construction of furnaces and the manufacture of crucibles were to become other objects of specialization. The human lungs and the blowpipe produced a very limited area of high temperature for smelting, so that the blowpipe was virtually restricted to goldsmiths.

Mechanical clocks, in the West, were made at first for monasteries and other religious houses where prayers had to be said at set hours of the day and night. At first, though weight-driven, they were relatively small alarms to wake the person whose job it was to sound the bell which would summon the monks to prayer. Larger monastic clocks, which sounded a bell that all should hear, still had no dials nor any hands. They originated in the early years of the fourteenth century. When municipal clocks began to be set up for the benefit of the whole population, the same custom prevailed, for the illiterate people would largely be unable to read the numbers on a dial but would easily recognize and count the number of strokes sounded on a bell.

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