“I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine”*…
From Harvard’s Houghton Library (where your correspondent is currently ensconced), a pair of plates (click here for larger) from Jean Errard‘s Instruments mathematiques mechaniques, 1584. Errard, who was a pioneering mathematician, engineer, and developer of military fortifications, is thought by some scholars to have based these drawings on thoughts from Archimedes. In any case, they’re a treat.
* Hugo Cabret (in Brian Seltznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret)
As we muse on mechanization, we might send well-suspended birthday greetings to John M. Mack; he was born on this date in 1864. At the turn of the 20th century, mack and his brother Augustus developed a successful gasoline-powered sightseeing bus; then in 1905, they joined with three other brothers to form the Mack Brothers Motor Car Company. They continued to build sightseeing buses, but shifted their focus increasingly to heavy-duty trucks; then, in 1909, they produced the first engine-driven fire truck in the United States. With financing from J.P. Morgan, the company grew into what we now know as the Mack Truck Company.