Machines That Made History: Landmarks in Mechanical by Jennifer M. Black

By Jennifer M. Black

Backed through the ASME background & background Committee With complete colour and black & white photographs, this hardcover, photographic publication highlights a hundred key landmarks within the heritage of mechanical engineering, units or ideas that experience formed the area. the goods of mechanical engineering maintain the very cloth of contemporary lifestyles. a few are noticeable, just like the vehicle; a few conceal at the back of casings, just like the disk drives of pcs. occasionally they're huge and visual, just like the rockets that took astronauts to the moon; occasionally they're all yet invisible to most of the people, just like the pumps that supply water to our towns or the generators that generate our electrical energy. This quantity presents short introductions to a hundred key landmarks within the background of mechanical engineering, units or ideas that experience formed the sphere and largely motivated smooth civilization. -- From the Foreword

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Extra info for Machines That Made History: Landmarks in Mechanical Engineering

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22/08/14 11:09 AM In 1791, English engineer John Barber patented the first design for a gas turbine, but for almost 150 years the idea lay dormant. The high-efficiency compressors and durable metal alloys needed to make a gas turbine simply did not exist. By the 1930s, however, these elements had begun to emerge. In Great Britain and in Germany, Frank Whittle and Hans von Ohain independently developed gas turbines for military aircraft. Meanwhile, Swiss engineer Adolf Meyer worked on an internal combustion turbine that would eliminate the bulky steam-generation equipment needed by steam turbines to generate electricity.

The Vulcan Street station was typical of many early electrical power plants; its crude equipment and lack of voltage regulators, voltmeters, ammeters, and fuse protection made the service irregular at best. Though the station initially operated only from dusk to dawn, electric lighting proved popular among Appleton residents, and by 1886, the Appleton Edison system served almost 100 residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Upgrades in the 1880s and 1890s brought fuses, regulation devices, customer meters, and around-the-clock service.

Robbins and Richard S. Lawrence erected a machine shop in Windsor, Vermont, to fulfill a government contract for small arms. Located on the Connecticut River (just 100 miles upstream from the US Armory at Springfield), the firm used a breast waterwheel for power, which was typical of mid-century New England. The engineering achievements of Robbins & Lawrence lay in the shop’s pioneering development of interchangeable parts. Company machinists systematically improved and refined standard and special-purpose machine tools which enabled the shop to achieve the high degree of precision required for interchangeability.

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