Questions tagged [technology]

Tag for questions on the application of theoretical or scientific knowledge for a practical objective, including methodologies, techniques, or processes.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
53 votes
5 answers

What are the factors that caused the new world civilizations to be less technologically advanced than the old world?

Assuming they started at the same point (maybe the split of the continents or the migration of what became the first "Native Americans" to the American continent), why did the Old World end up ...
Louis Rhys's user avatar
  • 6,865
37 votes
7 answers

To what extent did Native American cultures develop metalworking for tools and weapons?

When Europeans started showing up in the New World, the native cultures were technologically far behind. Many still used stone tools: North American tribes used flint, while some Mesoamerican cultures ...
Travis Christian's user avatar
85 votes
8 answers

How accurate or supported is Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel"?

Jared Diamond wrote a fascinating book that purports to explain, in a very broad way, the development of civilization. It has several explanations for the development of Eurasian civilization rather ...
David Thornley's user avatar
52 votes
14 answers

When were swords last used in European warfare?

Specifically, I'm interested in the last documented occurrence of swords (of any sort) being used as a primary weapon by infantrymen or cavalrymen in Western warfare. That is, when did any European or ...
Noldorin's user avatar
  • 5,132
13 votes
1 answer

Did France & Italy continue to develop and manufacture sophisticated military hardware once under German control?

Both France and Italy were designing and building advanced vehicle engines, motorcyles, aero engines and airframes through the 1930s and early 1940s. In the case of those advanced economies of ...
Tea Drinker's user avatar
  • 11.7k
55 votes
9 answers

History of scientific regression [closed]

Throughout history, humans have made many subtle and many substantial scientific advancements. Humans have explored, examined, learned, applied and at times seemingly "forgotten" and/or were unable ...
E1Suave's user avatar
  • 3,830
44 votes
10 answers

Are there any examples of technologies have been lost over time? [closed]

I've read before about various technologies being lost over time, either due to war or famine or just time. I'm interested in knowing more about what sorts of things have been lost, and how. I've ...
millerbr's user avatar
  • 573
28 votes
2 answers

What evidence is there of the vision aids people used before the invention of eyeglasses in about 1286?

The Wikipedia article on glasses says ‘scattered evidence exists for use of vision aid devices in Greek and Roman times’ but only cites the example of Nero’s emerald. This article on Magnifying ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers

Why didn't the Persians make and use ballistas and other kinds of artillery?

In 1980 E.P.Thompson published an interesting paper called *Barbarian Invaders and Roman Collaborators *. Among other subjects he consdiers there the leakage from Rome to its enemies of technical ...
Felix Goldberg's user avatar
13 votes
8 answers

What went wrong with India's scientific development as a society?

India had been among the "leaders" in scientific research spanning Mathematics, Medicine, Chemistry and others.
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer

Why was Europe so technologically and culturally advanced? [closed]

In history, why were European populations so advanced, if compared to other populations, such as native Americans? What's the reason why Europeans were so good in technology and science? Why did ...
hey hey's user avatar
  • 111
33 votes
5 answers

Why did the grip-centered viking shield fall out of use relative to the kite shields?

Did Normans have battle advantage with strapped kite shields over Saxons and Vikings with their grip-centered shield style of fighting? What often comes to my mind are battles like Hastings (1066). ...
Jotunn's user avatar
  • 671
32 votes
2 answers

When and where did socks become common?

To be clear, I mean the socks you wear on your feet, to insulate you form your shoes/boots/other footwear. By common, I mean easily available to the masses, rather than just to the rich.
Carmi's user avatar
  • 3,302
30 votes
2 answers

Why did Persia adopt the movable-type printing so late?

According to Iranica, the first books in Persian characters were published in Leiden in 1639, almost 200 years after Gutenberg's invention, and in Asia it was used even before that. Given that Persia ...
Yulia V's user avatar
  • 1,571
25 votes
2 answers

Is there an accepted explanation for multiple independent "cradles of civilization"?

Human history begins with millions of years of hunter-gathering and lithic technology: The Paleolithic ... is ... distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools ... and covers ...
Arnon Weinberg's user avatar
25 votes
2 answers

Why did the Mongols destroy the library during the siege of Baghdad in 1258?

For all what we know the Mongolian Empire was not simply a collection of brainless brutes, but they had intense knowledge of their opponents: descriptions, maps, information about the technology, ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 5,166
22 votes
4 answers

Is there any evidence to support the claim that the US Strategic Defense Initiative played any significant role in undermining the USSR?

I have been reading Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson, and one of the things that stuck me was a quote by Soviet hydrogen bomb creator Andrei Sakharov who was released from political imprisonment ...
BrotherJack's user avatar
  • 5,785
13 votes
7 answers

The Needham Question: What stunted China's technological and proto-scientific advancement?

According to Joseph Needham Why did modern science, the mathematization of hypotheses about Nature, with all its implications for advanced technology, take its meteoric rise only in the West at the ...
Opcode's user avatar
  • 231
12 votes
6 answers

Who were the Wright brothers' competitors?

I heard that there was a person who was sponsored by the government to make the first flying airplane. The Wright brothers beat him to it and this made him really depressed and he gave up his career. ...
user avatar
9 votes
4 answers

When did leaf springs appear in vehicles?

Passenger vehicles require suspensions for ride comfort. Most today use helical springs, but leaf springs were at one time a major advance over chain or leather strap suspensions, and are still used ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
8 votes
1 answer

What alloy was used in early steam turbines? (1900 - 1930)

Steam turbines use externally created steam to drive the blades. There's no internal combustion. They've been used in marine propulsion since at least 1894 on the Turbinia. After this, Parsons-type ...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 17.3k
8 votes
3 answers

How much did a telephone call cost in the USA around 1920?

I am looking for data on historic telephone call prices in the US between 1920 and 1930. What did it cost to make a call? I know that, back then different rates were charged based on the distance of ...
eigenvector's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers

How was Euclid's Elements likely written?

How was Euclid's Elements written? I mean, what type of paper, ink and pen did Euclid likely use? As I guess there is no definite answer on this, you can also answer: How did people in 300 BC write ...
Martin Thoma's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

How were state-level suspects identified prior to photography?

From the point of view of identifying people quickly, with the full, historical coercion level of highly organized states, up to, but not including, development of photographic imaging and telegraphs, ...
Italian Philosophers 4 Monica's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers

Why only in the last few hundred year has science and technology progressed like it has [closed]

Man has been on the Earth for millions of years. But in only the last few hundred years, science has made major advances: the average life expectancy expanded, electronics, transistors, ...
user3333072's user avatar