Questions tagged [technology]

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

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12
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8answers
2k views

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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
1
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1answer
90 views

When were the baskets invented in Australia and America?

Since the human migration to Australia and America took place way before the invention of the baskets and both the pre-colonized Aborigens and Native Americans were using baskets, that means they ...
12
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7answers
1k views

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 ...
49
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5answers
7k views

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 ...
4
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0answers
158 views

Around 1640s, at what time did people eat Christmas dinner?

To my knowledge, in the past, people used to go to bed earlier; usually at sunset. My question is, around 1640s, when candles were used to light the interiors of buildings, at what time of day did ...
6
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1answer
123 views

How important were reprints of scientific articles in scientific practice and communications before the the copier, the computer and the internet?

Reprints of articles from scientific journals seem to have been an important part of scientific practice before the copying machine and the internet. Authors of articles were given a number of those ...
30
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8answers
14k views

Did Heisenberg undermine the German atomic bomb by deliberately hiding his expertise from the Nazis?

Source. In his massive book Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb, Thomas Powers says that Heisenberg, who never became a Nazi and balked at the immorality of building a bomb for ...
10
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2answers
4k views

Are the pyramids too old?

In Robert Temple's 1 book "Egyptian Dawn", the author exposes a series of problems with Egyptology that he found while exploring Egyptian temples and ruins. When he applied a technique called surface ...
22
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1answer
731 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
147 views

When was the first documented mention of mechanically generated electricity? [closed]

Electricity seems to have become known and adapted widespread in the early 19th century. With people such as Nikola Tesla and Thomas Alva Edison it eventually entered our daily lives as a source of ...
11
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2answers
801 views

What was the other 99% that PARC didn't show to Apple?

I was reading this article and found this part: The irony was that when they left we still had shown the like only 1% of what PARC was doing but it was enough that they got really excited and ...
0
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3answers
301 views

What did the technologies of von Braun and other members of the Third Reich contribute to America's lead in the race to moon against Russia?

Wernher von Braun was lead constructor/technologist for the Apollo missions, and provided his knowledge about rocket science, which he used/learned during WW2 when constructing the V2 (along with some ...
5
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5answers
795 views

Evolution of destroyers

This is a question about evolution of weapons technology. Destroyer is a class of ships which exists already for more than a century. One of its main characteristics is speed (these are generally the ...
5
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0answers
91 views

What type and size of paper, and corresponding to which modern font, would have been used for typewriters in 1896?

I am going to be doing a first-person performance of an 1896 lecture; the subject being "impersonated" (Mark Twain) sometimes carried sheaves of paper onto the platform; some of these sheets contained ...
9
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2answers
417 views

How did lecturers magnify their voice in the days before amplification?

I am going to be portraying Mark Twain on the lecture circuit circa 1896. I want to make the performance as realistic as possible, so that the sufferers (audience) can adopt a "willing suspension of ...
2
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1answer
234 views

Harvard Architecture: How did Harvard Mark I separate data and instruction?

How did Harvard Mark I separate data and instruction? I have read the article in Wikipedia but I didn't understand how data and instruction was separated using a punched paper tape. It said "The ...
5
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2answers
600 views

Why weren't R-4 helicopters used in the European theatre in 1944-5?

Early helicopters it seems were deployed by the American military in WW2 in the Burma and China theatres, and in the South Pacific. Their principal use would appear to have been small scale rescue ...
2
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2answers
156 views

Was Karst (Kras) first region that was man-made reforested?

We know that for centuries trees from Karst were used as a foundations where Venice was build. So presumably, in 17th and 18th century, Karst was a stony desert. We also know that Karst or Kras (...
3
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2answers
199 views

Early Telegraph Systems

My understanding of telegraphs is that you can only send one message at a time over one cable, if that is not accurate then this question is pointless. I am curious how telegraph communication was ...
3
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3answers
1k views

What was the first major technological advancement that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Popular perception is that technology and science stopped advancing for quite some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. Is this true? Or were significant advances steadily made, just at a slower ...
12
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4answers
12k views

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. ...
3
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1answer
405 views

Did cakes exist before the discovery of sodium bicarbonate?

I recently learned that baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) was only discovered in the 19th century, which made me wonder - did cakes as we think of them exist before that?
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1answer
1k views

Native American Technology [closed]

I want to know about Native American history. I am young, so I have not learned a awful lot about them. I want to know what kind of things they used for technology, and for what. So my question is: ...
31
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1answer
4k views

How much were telegraphists in the 1950s paid?

I'm doing some research for a small project, and am having some difficulty finding information on telegraphists as a whole. The information I'm trying to find is rather specific, and I can't seem to ...
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1answer
2k views

What was the primary reason for the rise and success of the Roman republic / empire? [closed]

The Roman republic and its successor, the Roman empire, were extremely successful. The territory of the empire did encompass several times the size of the early republic. What was the primary cause ...
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2answers
660 views

What impact did the rocket inventions of the German rockeeters have on WW2? [closed]

I'm a fourth year student in secondary school, I'm currently writing an essay regarding the Second World War, and would love to hear your thoughts on the question "What impact did the rocket ...
7
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2answers
279 views

What was the output of a Bessemer Converter?

Henry Bessemer's Bessemer converter is generally understood to be the technology that created the concept of industrial-scale steelmaking, but what constitutes "industrial-scale"? The Wikipedia page ...
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1answer
161 views

Is there a historical reason for a pattern of worse technological standards beating out better ones? [closed]

Here are some examples of technological standards: • Dvorak versus Qwerty keyboards. Qwerty won despite yielding lower word-per-minute rates of average users. • Betamax vs VHS. VHS won despite the ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Did Ancient Rome use lead styli?

Is wikipedia correct to say: The original form of "lead pencil" was the leaden stylus used by the ancient Romans, who also used it to write on wood or papyrus by leaving dark streaks where the soft ...
19
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8answers
44k views

How do Tamahagane, Damascus, and Toledo Steel compare?

Has a comparison been made of the qualities of Samurai (Tamahagane), Damascus and Toledo steel (rather than the swords)? I've seen claims for each being better than the others. If it's on topic, I'm ...
4
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5answers
833 views

Why did email use develop in tandem with the internet, rather than other technologies?

During the 1980s, I envisioned a (primitive) version of email that would come off telex machines. That is, a person would sit down at a keyboard, create a document, store it on a cartridge, stick the ...
5
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5answers
563 views

How common is “decades ahead of his time” in real history?

The idea of a super-scientist who invents things that no contemporary is able to equal because he's just that smart is a common trope in works of fiction, especially of the sci-fi or superhero variety....
7
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2answers
305 views

Were new forms of communication and media usually condemned similar to how television/video games are now?

I'm sure anyone who is reading this has read at least an article, blog, or book condemning the consumption of television and video games as harmful to children, the behavior of teenagers, intelligence ...
11
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1answer
689 views

1850s steel technology advance before the Bessemer converter

The Bessemer converter is often cited as the critical invention causing a breakout in the production of cheap steel and enabling the industrial revolution. However, I just put together this chart ...
13
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4answers
4k views

Why was decimal time unsuccessful?

Under the metric system (and later SI), units of weight can be related to each other based on multiples of ten (e.g. 1 metric tonne = 1,000 kg = 1,000 × 1,000 g). Likewise with length (e.g. 1 ...
22
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2answers
3k views

What is the name of the theory that says an early discovery can stop technological development?

Some time ago I read a claim that an early discovery can lead to a great scientific stagnation. The example given was the Chinese porcelain, that resolved all the known problems, and stopped the ...
3
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1answer
192 views

Other possible inventors of the Transistor?

From Wikipedia's Article on the History of the Transistor: The Bell Labs work on the transistor emerged from war-time efforts to produce extremely pure germanium "crystal" mixer diodes, used in ...
13
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2answers
566 views

What kind of device is pictured on this Roman mosaic from Villa Tellaro, Sicily?

Based on numismatic evidence, this is dated in the second half of the fourth century CE
8
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1answer
144 views

Where would I find Graham Bell's kite experiment data?

I'm looking for experimental data (lift, drag, pull, etc...) of Graham Bell's tetrahedral kite. As he was a scientist and inventor I thought that he might have written some quantitative data down on ...
13
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3answers
666 views

The Purpose of Mystery Object 40.9.11

In the summer of 1915, a wireless telegraph station in Sayville, Long Island owned by the German company Telefunken was caught sending covert commands to U-Boats patrolling the Atlantic Ocean. The ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Was the German Empire responsible for the advancement of German technology?

After the creation of the German Empire in 18 January 1871, there was a boom of advancement in Germany. Especially in chemistry, motors and electricity. At the same time Germany quickly grew as an ...
3
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2answers
9k views

How was iron obtained in ancient times? [closed]

Today we have advanced machines to mine iron, but it was not so a millennium ago. How did our ancestors locate the presence of iron deposits, mine them and make weapons out of them? How did they ...
4
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1answer
230 views

Has anybody ever tried to use sea animals to pull a ship?

Given that many land animals throughout history were harnessed to pull land vehicles (horses, bulls, dogs, deer, elephants etc), I wonder whether anyone ever tried or suggested to use sea or river ...
0
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
12
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3answers
2k views

What Was the State of German Tank Design In Between the World Wars?

I am reading about the Spanish Civil War in a book by Antony Beevor entitled "The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939". According to Beevor while the nationalists were able to control ...
3
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1answer
929 views

Why did the Nazis invent videotelephony?

This claim that the Nazis invented two-way video telephony is astonishing and I almost thought it was a hoax. Except it's not, because it's copiously referenced to contemporary sources. So other than ...
5
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3answers
532 views

Printing - When did advertisements in colour became commonplace?

I wonder when colourful advertisements became commonplace in print (such as magazines or occasionally newspapers). I can imagine that colourful printing was far more expensive - so at what point did ...
0
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1answer
2k views

Who invented the Airplane? [closed]

When I was in first grade I was told it was the Wright brothers who invented the airplane and I still find their names on the first page of Google. But I have heard of an Indian who invented the ...
71
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3answers
17k views

When did bombs actually look like this?

I guess most are familiar with the cartoonish "bomb icon". It is used to warn of metaphorical or literal explosive danger and shows a deep black sphere with a smaller cylinder attached. That is where ...
0
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1answer
535 views

Did the ancient Chinese use an ink covered finger to sign documents?

I saw some film that in imperial China, Chinese who doesn't know read and write often push his/her finger in ink then apply it in the document instead of signing. Is that true in history? Because I ...