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Cuneiform was used for accounting documents much more often than for books


It seems that the Phaistos Disc is the closest example of such a thing (see, although the inscription is pictographic/logographic rather than cuneiform.


Actually the printing press itself - which I think works similarly to to an ancient olive press or wine press - might not have been the key invention that made the printing press practical. I once read somewhere that Gutenberg & co. made a number of innovations. People used solid engraved blocks to print for centuries - for example printing paper money ...


Chinese crossbows that shot bullets or pellets (round stone or clay pellets) were primarily used for hunting small animals like birds and squirrels, and continued to be made until the 20th centuries, when they seem to have been banned by Mao as part of his crackdown on traditional Chinese culture. They seem to be used a lot like a sling shot, with the ...


There is a Chinese saying, "Zhong xue wei ti, xi xue wei yong" (also cited by Jan). It means "Chinese learning for the spirit, western learning for use." "Technology" was largely suspect in pre modern China. It was considered "useful" but relegated to the "foreigners," who would, presumably come bearing gifts ...


"Became common" is a tiny bit tricky. The light tubes themselves went into larger scale production in the 1880s. But: Electricity itself wasn't that penetrating until after WW2. Then of course "Europe" is a somewhat big but incredibly fragmented place. For cities —and with a focus on in Germany— we see: The new tube quickly spread all ...

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