old ideas

Pont du Gard, France, Roman aqueduct circa 19 BC

Some old ideas were really good, but we forget about them and the engineers who were responsible for these ideas.

Here are some good “old” ideas.

  • Pont du Gard – an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge in southern France. It is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 31 mile-long structure that carried water to the fountains, baths and homes of the people of Nîmes.
  • step Pyramid of Djoser, columns into architecture
  • Antikythera mechanism (video 2:56) epicyclic gearing – Archimedes – The Antikythera Mechanism is the oldest known scientific computer, built in Greece at around 100 BCE. Lost for 2000 years, it was recovered from a shipwreck in 1901. But not until a century later was its purpose understood: an astronomical clock that determines the positions of celestial bodies with extraordinary precision. 

In 2010, we built a fully-functional replica out of Lego.
  • Leonardo DaVinci’s drawings of flying contraptions that would inspire generations of scientists after him.
  • first steam engine in 1698. But that idea literally didn’t go anywhere until around 200 years later.
  • first electric cell called the Volt.
  • bridges, dockyards, and the first major British railway, in addition to steamships and tunnels that revolutionized public transportation
  • first web search engine in 1990, bringing the rapid rise of computer technology

Steam engines (video 4:12) – Engine driver David Gates takes us through the workings of a steam engnine to explain how they powered early trains, sewing mills and sewage pumps as well their importance in industry today…

Engineering ideas

  • gears, columns, aerodynamics, architecture, steam engine, bridges, tunnels, railway, steamship, public transportation, resistance, computer science, internet

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