Agostino Ramelli was a 16th-century Italian military engineer of some note who designed many machines and other contributions used in the go-go Renaissance period, including cranes, grain mills, and water pumps. But his most compelling apparatus was a real mindbender - a revolving wooden wheel with angled shelves that allowed users to read multiple books at one time.
A recent visit to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, located in Dearborn, Michigan, helped remind this editor how different the manufacturing floor looked when the Ford Model-T was first being produced in the early 1900s.
Faithful readers of this space know we sometimes like to use Addendum to give relatively unknown 19th Century mechanical engineers/inventors their well-deserved props. Like, for example, William Brunton (1777-1851), who is credited - but generally unknown - with inventing the Steam Horse, also known as the Mechanical Traveler.
Having read about an automobile race in France, Kohlsaat
decided he'd host America's first auto race in Chicago. The year
was 1895 and automobiles were still a great curiosity. Kohlsaat,
owner/publisher of the Chicago Times Herald, planned to exploit
the growing interest in motoring by sponsoring a 54-mile race
from downtown Chicago to nearby suburb Evanston, Illinois,
and back. The match was open to all comers, foreign or domestic,
whether powered by gas, electricity, or steam. The top prize:
$2,000 (that's 50,000 2016 dollars).
Look at that picture right over there on the right.
That’s one of the Bronze Wheels of Peru. Looks like a gear, doesn’t
it? If you knew nothing about it or the culture it sprang from and
just happened to see it on the street, you’d probably label it as such. So many people have had that same thought, in fact, that the set has picked up another name: the Bronze Gears of Peru.
The name Gleason is practically synonymous with gear manufacturing. Since the company was founded in 1865, the technology of gear manufacturing has
been its focus, its core and its competitive advantage.