42

As noted, this type of castle was extremely common. Harburg (Horeburg/near Hamburg), the first castle at Danzig are perhaps the most famous of these. They were most often built along the Northern European plains on the South shore of the North sea and the Baltic Sea. But that is only indicating that a lot of wetlands can be found in those regions. They ...


21

Leather was probably the most common material. The most basic transportation technology of the medieval era was the foot ... Those who did not go barefoot ... wore simple shoes. These shoes were made from leather, including the flat sole. - Wigelsworth, Jeffrey R. Science and Technology in Medieval European Life. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. ...


15

There is an emerging trans-disciplinary field called cliodynamics which studies these ideas. There's an open access journal, Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution, a lab in England, and an institute in New Mexico. Cliometrics is somewhat related: it applies the ideas of economics to the study of history. It's been around ...


14

One kind of shoe not mentioned in the other answers are those using bast soles. "Bast" is fiber from tree bark. Bast shoes or lapti, were once worn by poorer members of Northern European cultures. These were usually made from birch or linden. They are woven like a basket, and so are quite distinct from the wooden clog or hard wooden-soled shoes mentioned in ...


13

Adding to the previous answers regarding the use of the hand to assess body temperature, there have been several works which are quite suited to answer this question, which I hope to summarise here. In essence, the answer to this question is in knowing when were thermometers first used to measure body temperature. As it is with this information that we can ...


10

From my knowledge as a theatre historian and speech coach, I would say, it is probably a combination of: Projection and annunciation. Not only speaking loudly, but speaking clearly and probably a bit slower than we are used to. Actor training at the time fell more under the rubric of "elocution" than what we would consider "Acting." Acoustics: most ...


10

Julius Caesar is alleged to have completed a 25 mile double circumvallation (11 miles inner, 14 miles outer) of Alesia in 30 days, with approximately 50,000 men - though at all times, of course, some of those had to be on guard duty. This circumvallation would have been a 8 foot or so ditch in front of a similar mound, on which a 12-15 foot wooden wall was ...


9

In Europe, different demands were placed on shoes based on different climates. People around the Mediterranean tended to wear sandals with wooden soles and leather thongs due to the warmer climate. If complete coverage was required, the entire foot might be encased in leather. In some places or situations, a clog would be worn, particularly if one was ...


9

Avicenna (980–1037) said that fever was the increased temperature of the heart (Canon I, part 4), so he checked the temperature by touching the chest over the heart with the hand. This system was used during the Middle Ages and the Reinassance in Europe. It also helped to check the pulse. Avicenna based his works on Galen and Hippocrates, perhaps they ...


8

The footnotes on this (and other editions of Josephus) seem to be referring to pages in A Collection of Authentick Records Belonging to the Old and New Testament by William Whiston. In this case, another online version offers this particular footnote with the reference thus: (11) The number of Adam’s children, as says the old tradition, was thirty three ...


7

Calvörde Castle in Saxony-Anhalt is an example of a rather common (to my great surprise) phenomena - the Marsh Castle. It guarded transportation routes between Brandenburg, Brunswick, and Magdeburg.


6

My grandfather was a antiquarian book store owner in 1920s, in Kiev (Ukraine), and he bound books (I possess some books bound by him). With all ingredients ready he was able to bind 2-3 books per day, alone, with no helper. This is based on what my father told me (sometimes my father helped). But he was not binding them full time: he had to attend the store....


5

Before electrical lighting, there was gas lighting. One type of gas operated light is the limelight, where a piece of quicklime is heated white hot in a flame of hydrogen burning with pure oxygen. Quoting wikipedia: Limelight was first used for indoor stage illumination in the Covent Garden Theatre in London in 1837 and enjoyed widespread use in theatres ...


5

Project with a full lung Filling your lungs forces the air out more effortlessly and with more volume The Amphitheater The Amphitheater was designed to create a natural amplification of voices on stage. The audience seating is a series of staggered parabolas with the stage as the focal point, and the material dampens the sound you don't want (audience ...


5

First of all, swords are made from steel and casting steel is an advanced technology not available in the 17th century. Swords and all other steel tools are forged, which means that the steel ingot is hammered into shape. The rapier was original to Toledo and at one time that city exported swords to all parts of Europe. Later, of course, their work was ...


5

Since times immemorial, most all types of swords were made by forging rather than casting. Casting a sword is visually appealing, which is why you see that in the movies, but was not used in practice for multiple reasons, foremost of which were metallurgical concerns. Casting steel requires significantly higher temperatures than forging (~1400°C vs. ~800°C)...


5

A) The earliest documentation I've found regarding the use of sharkskin as sandpaper goes back to the British Empire in the mid 18th century. Sharkskin was apparently only used to finish very fine work: Cabinet makers would use the more accurate honed edges of planes to get a smooth surface, and the finest work was finished by burnishing with a cow's ...


5

The standard way to check it is to touch one's forehead with your hand or better with your lips. You immediately detect whether the temperature of the patient is higher or lower than your own. This method is still practiced when termometer is not available. You can detect deviations of the patient's temperature from your own temperature within 0.2 of degree ...


5

You may find the field of "big history" relevant to your interests. David Christian's book Maps of Time is an excellent introduction. This work isn't as quantitatively oriented as what you are looking for, but you may still find it useful. (As an aside, I can't resist echoing the warning tweeted by Neil DeGrass Tyson: "In science, when human behavior enters ...


5

As your typing speed increases, you require a typewriter that does not jam as you type. The IBM Selectric met this need, and thus was widely adopted by any business or government agency which could afford it. The IBM Selectric was introduced in 1961; also see here. For everything you ever wanted to know about the IBM Selectric typewriter, such as how it ...


4

Yes, such keyholes are still the most common locks in some parts of the world: e.g my front door in the UK. More recent houses tend not to have this kind of lock, but it used to be the standard for house exterior doors.


4

As others have mentioned, leather has been to preferred choice of material for the soles of footwear for thousands of years. An interesting fact is that one of the technologies that gave the Romans such an advantage was their hardened leather sandals which allowed them to march 20 miles a day, every day. Untreated leather and animal skins would wear out ...


4

From The World of Jewish Desserts by Gil Marks: "The earliest cakes consisted of fried patties of mashed legumes or grain flavored with honey. After yeast breads developed, bakers added honey and other enriching ingredients to create lighter, more versatile cakes. Middle eastern baking became further refined with the popularization of sugar, first grown in ...


3

To answer the question in the title, apparently the leaf spring was invented in 1804 by Obadiah Elliott, a carriage builder in London, who was granted a patent for his leaf-spring-suspension vehicle on 11 May 1805. The following extract from Leaf springs, their characteristics and methods of specification; a hand-book of useful information relating to ...


3

Leaf spring was first adapted to the horse drawn carriage in the 14th or 15th century. It didn't see widespread use until it's production became more practical in the 18th century. It cannot be said when "every" modern smithy was capable of producing Leaf Spring as each had it's own specialization as it were. I highly doubt you could walk into any smithy and ...


3

According to the Brief Outline of the History of Stage Lighting, the electric spotlight wasn't invented until 1904. However, during the 1890's they did have carbon arc spotlights, so you track down one of those or use an electric one and hope that no one in the audience is too hot on the exact history of the lamps.


3

One big reason was - IBM held the patents on the Selectric design. Yes, ball heads in general had been in use before then, but it took IBM to come up with a ball head that was both consistent and reliable, and allowed for multiple balls with different typefaces and spacing. IBM didn't even patent all of the design, so they wouldn't give away some of their ...


2

Leather for sure. My boots are all leather except for a piece of rubber at the bottom of the heel. "Tough, firm, resistant to wear" exactly describes traditional leather use. The soles and any other parts are replaced as needed; my "cheap" boots as a teen lasted 10 years, and my current Ostrich ropers are 15 years old and "like new". Nylon/rubber/synthetic ...


2

The practice goes back at least to the early centuries of the common era, since the Mishna (Kelim 16:1) mentions "rubbing with fish skin" as the typical way of finishing wooden utensils. Doesn't say anything about whether it was sharkskin or some other type, though.


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