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
6
votes
1answer
940 views

Handheld music player in the 1890s?

Perusing this gallery of candid photos from 1890s Oslo, Norway, by Carl Størmer (1872-1957), again I found such a curious image, yet was unable to verify the existence of any portable music player ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What metallurgy advancement allowed the transition from mail hauberk to plate armor?

Why did it happen in the 14th century, when the blast furnace was invented much earlier? Can someone explain, how medieval blacksmiths figured it out? What discovery enabled them to create plate ...
5
votes
1answer
515 views

Where is (or was) the biggest medieval drawbridge?

A pretty straightforward question. I'm trying to find the largest drawbridge in medieval Europe, and it's more difficult than it seemed at first. At least I want to know if it would be possible to ...
3
votes
0answers
251 views

Why were the Europeans technologically advanced compared to the Native Americans? [duplicate]

First off, if this question has been asked elsewhere, I apologize. A search turned up nothing but this, which does not have the answer I seek. I'm curious as to why when Europeans started coming ...
0
votes
2answers
256 views

Is the concern about automation costing jobs a recent one only, or are there other examples from the past?

Jobs always have been replaced. Were people in the past concerned about how technology might deprive them of their jobs? To make the question less broad: Were people at the time of the industrial ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
197 views

How were back copies of newspapers viewed in England in 1923

I am writing a story set in London in 1923. One of my characters goes to a library to research old copies of newspapers (dating back to 1918). As microfiche was not invented until much later, does ...
2
votes
3answers
535 views

Which submarine was invented first?

In some books I saw the Ottomans invented Tahtelbahir in 1719. Is it true ?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

When was the last time when there was no electrical lighting switched on on the earth?

It's obvious that now, there is always an electric light 'burning' on earth somewhere. How far back do we have to go until that was not the case?
1
vote
1answer
171 views

How did the development of unbreakable and asymmetric encryption change warfare?

Modern encryption is generally considered mathematically impossible to break, unlike well-known historical instances like the Enigma. Additionally, asymmetric encryption negates the need to ensure ...
7
votes
4answers
972 views

Why was the US army slow to adopt the use of radar prior to Pearl Harbour?

According to Wikipedia, the US radar station SCR-270 picked up the Japanese approach and reported it, but this report was ignored as the duty officer believed it to be American bombers coming from ...
2
votes
4answers
337 views

Has there been talk of a post-work economy before?

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about the topic of a post-work economy. This includes conversations, news articles, and professional studies. Take for example this LA Times article, ...
33
votes
4answers
8k views

Did this “sledge rigged like a sloop” vehicle ever exist, or was it an invention of Jules Verne?

In Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, the main character Phileas Fogg misses his train in the American north and ends up hitching a ride on a curious invention, as described here: There ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How did life change for the average American as a result of the end of World War 1?

Every year, the Daughters of the American Revolution host an essay contest concerning American History. I'll disclose that I'm not a student seeking internet help with the essay, but rather just ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Earliest use of Renaissance Era innovations in Islamic countries & culture?

Though the title may be vaguely broad, I have two specific things in mind I wanted to ask about. While I was recently considering the cultural and technological advancements of Europeans in the ...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

What is the first example of a nation where the first railroad network system was somebody's master plan?

The background is that I try to understand how complex socioeconomic systems based on a technology mix came in place and how they evolve today. So I thought of an example, and picked railroads. If I ...
2
votes
2answers
793 views

Kurds and their relation to the start of civilization?

Is there a relationship between these folks and the start of civilization? Mehrdad Izady suggests that they started civilization via establishing the agricultural production. How can this be possible, ...
3
votes
1answer
337 views

Why did the Levee en Masse call for children to make lint?

The 1789 decree calling for general conscription begins, Henceforth, until the enemies have been driven from the territory of the republic, the French people are in permanent requisition for army ...
1
vote
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
466 views

Were Archimedes screws used in pre-modern times in the far east?

Screw pumps or Archimedes screws were used by the Romans in mine dewatering. They were possibly used in ancient Babylon (a few hundred years before Archimedes) to irrigate the famous hanging gardens. ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

When did the key advances in vehicle suspension happen?

Technologies called "suspensions" support the comfort of passengers in wheeled vehicles. In the era of draft animals, carriage suspensions apparently started with hanging the passenger compartment by ...
1
vote
0answers
102 views

How do I find out some information about a business in the early 1980s?

I live outside the USA, and I need to find information about a certain "LAMO-LEM Laboratories", I have an address: Box 2382, La Jolla, CA 92038. But that's all. The web has not been kind to me wrt to ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

When did Russian carriages start to have suspensions?

During the Imperial era, quality transport for Russian officials was riding in a horse-drawn open carriage called a droshky. The one pictured below has springs on each wheel, providing a much smoother ...
4
votes
0answers
160 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
401 views

What was the state of the art of salt production before the invention of graduation towers?

According to Wikipedia, A graduation tower (occasionally referred to as a thorn house) is a structure used in the production of salt which removes water from a saline solution by evaporation, ...
6
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
751 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Why was the Aeolipile not put to practical use in classical antiquity?

The Aeolipile was a simple mechanical device that generated kinetic energy from steam. Its invention is attributed to the Hero of Alexandria in the 1st century AD. Source: Aeolipile With the ...
10
votes
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
707 views

Which method of telephone calls was more popular: station-to-station or person-to-person?

My question is related to this question I asked earlier on the cost of a telephone call in the 1920s in the United States of America. Now, I am interested in the whole period from 1920 until 1960 and ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

When did spotlights begin to be used at lectures?

I am going to be performing as Mark Twain in 1896, and want it to be as authentic as possible, even to the technology used (I am willing to use a mic when and if necessary, but only if it can be ...
1
vote
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
votes
2answers
805 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
806 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there any evidence that Celts produced chain mail?

Since I started to interest myself in history of the northen Europe, and especially the history of Celtic people, I read a lot about their inventions, in terms of warfare. The quote from wiki ...
5
votes
0answers
92 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
votes
2answers
427 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 ...
83
votes
7answers
25k views

Did Bill Gates steal the GUI concept from Steve Jobs?

The Jobs movie alleged that Bill Gates swiped the idea of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) on a personal computer (PC) from Steve Jobs. Can anyone explain to me the exact story on what happened in a ...
2
votes
2answers
157 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
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

Why didn't the Incan Empire use iron?

They could mine copper and silver, but not iron. Was there a reason to not use such materials to build advanced mining tools to work with Iron? What was their main limitation? Couldn't they build ...
6
votes
1answer
264 views

Where can I get information used to make Soviet economic plans?

One kind of information used by Gosplan to create plans was a list of commodities and relationships between them, i.e. what things were required to produce other things. I managed to find higher ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

When and how did the West lose its dependency on the USSR for Titanium?

This question was prompted by another one. A long time ago, before I well-documented my internet research, I looked into the history of Titanium, its procurement, refinement, and work-ability. I ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
413 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?
1
vote
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
votes
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 ...
6
votes
5answers
839 views

How did 2nd century Romans decide where to build Hadrian's wall?

How did 2nd century Romans decide where to build Hadrian's wall? It is located exactly at the narrowest east-west section of the island. They had no laser theodolites, lenses, aerial observation ...