Thursday, July 13, 2006

wake up with a jolt

More from the Century of Inventions.

I suspect this one didn't catch on due to hazard!

[A most conceited Tinder-box.] The following note from "Humane Industry," 1661, appears highly suggestive of such an instrument,although the Marquis's invention is more elaborate. " Andrew Alciat the great Civilian of France, had a kind of Clock in his chamber, that should awake him at any hour of the night that he determined, and when it struck the determined hour, it struck fire likewise out of a flint, which fell among tinder, to light him a candle: it was the invention of one Caravagio of Sienna in Italy."

Jo :)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Torpedo War, and Sub-marine Explosions,

That's the title of a book by American, Robert Fulton.

Date of publication? 1804

It's not such a huge surprise, because a submarine vessel was demonstrated for King James 1 (early 17th century) and the Americans tried out an armed submarine during the Revolution.

Still, it startles, because we could imagine Torpedo War and Sub-marine Explosions rolling off any press today.

This is from the wonderful Century of Inventions, by the Marquess of Worcester, written in the 17th century.

And what about this?
"Pepys, in his Diary, under date the 14th of March, 1662, says: " This afternoon came the German, Dr. Knuffler, to discourse with us about his engine to blow up ships. We doubted not the matter of fact, it being tried in Cromwell's time, but the safety of carrying them in ships; but he do tell us, that when he comes to tell the King his secret, for none but the Kings, successively, and their heirs must know it, it will appear to be of no danger at all."_Pepys' Diary, ed. 1858, vol. i. p. 264."

I wonder what became of that?

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Best wishes,