Technological achievements of the past that cannot be properly explained

Prague astronomical clock: Orloj

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You would think a device of such magnificence and importance would have been heavily depicted by painters, artists and photographers over the millennia, but it appears not at least form a quick internet search, perhaps it is depicted in books, etc not online. The clock was first installed in...

Weather Vanes vs. Air Travel, and may be Flags

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In my opinion the Weather Vanes mounted on top of the older, or "ancient" buildings had practical, rather than decorative purposes. To be exact, it was to show the direction of the wind to the pilots of the ancient airships. I understand that it probably sounds way too bananas crazy for some...

Pre-1872 Cerbere and Belier: what are these ships?

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I meant to start this thread as soon as I had a chance to observe these two ironclads docked in Cherbourg, France. This photo was allegedly taken in 1882, if we were to believe the backside of the photograph, which could actually be a postcard. It's hard to say if any rivets were used...

1873: Russian Round Armored Ships of Admiral Popov

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The existence of these two round Russian armored ships in 1873 does not appear to be a widely known fact. As we came to find out, information is not really hidden, for it is publicly available for research. Yet, certain things are simply not being disseminated. Personally, I found these round...

150 Foot tall "streetlights" Los Angeles 1800s

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I am new to SH and have not posted yet. I have enjoyed this forum and have been reading everything. My first post maybe should be in the introduction area but I ran across this streetlight dilemma and needed to share it. I will do my best at posting photos, descriptions and links. Most posts on...

What are minarets really for?

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Minarets are called manāra in Arabic, which comes from a word meaning fire, beacon, or light. This already gives us a clue to the purpose these towers once served: to collect and produce energy, perhaps emitting light from the top, or powering houses and buildings in the town around it. Minarets...

Flight - A Revised History

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Something is clearly up with the history of aeronautics we've been sold. At present, the current narrative suggests that the Montgolfier brothers balloon was the first craft to successfully take to the air. The first free (non tethered) human flight took place on November 21, 1783, by science...

Hindenburg: Was Zeppelin technology a threat to the 20th century?

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And that was the last time anyone ever saw commercial airship travel. No, seriously. It was over after this, after hundreds of successful flights and a track record for safety (pretty amazing that anyone survived that crash, they were clearly designed with safety in mind) airship travel was, on...

1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel: World's Columbian Exposition

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The Ferris Wheel made its debut at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893. It was, of course, a big hit with fair goers, who enjoyed their first taste of this amazing ride that would become a carnival staple ever after. I knew these basic facts, but didn't really pay attention to the...

Viktor Grebbenikov & The Cavernous Structure Effect (CSE)

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Recently, the work of a highly obscure Russian entomologist has become available to a much wider audience, a humble and quiet man by the name of Viktor Grebbinikov). His life work was the study of natural objects such as beetle wings, honeycombs, stalks of wheat, and flowers. Although he was a...

19th century Engineering Magazines

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Just like with any information, its comprehension depends on which angle you approach it from. If you are ready to accept that semi-naked Ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids using chisels and sleds, it will prevent you from considering other possibilities. Any attempts at visualization of the...

Was Jules Verne's Nautilus based on a real submarine?

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Here, M. Aronnax, are the several dimensions of the boat you are in. It is an elongated cylinder with conical ends. It is very like a cigar in shape, a shape already adopted in London in several constructions of the same sort. The length of this cylinder, from stem to stern, is exactly 232 feet...

Subterrene Vehicles Traveling Underground: Past and Present

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Subterrene is a vehicle that travels underground (through solid rock/soil) much as a submarine travels underwater, either by mechanical drilling, or by melting its way forward. Subterrenes existed first in fiction as mechanical drillers, with real-world thermal designs and examples following in...

19th century compressed air cars and street cars: gone and forgotten

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This is actually some fun stuff folks. 150 years ago people could have been getting around by driving compressed air powered personal cars, and were boarding compressed air powered modes of public transportation. We are so duped into our internal combustion engines, that it is both sad and...

Egyptian Electricians

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A fringe hypothesis suggests that the Dendera light depicts advanced electrical technology possessed by the ancient Egyptians; however, mainstream Egyptologists view the carvings as representing instead a typical set of symbolic images from Egyptian mythology. These depict a Djed Pillar and a...

Nuclear Weapons: do they exist or not?

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The Emperor Deterrence may have no clothes, but he is still Emperor. Despite his nakedness, this emperor continues to strut about, receiving deference he doesn’t deserve, while endangering the entire world. Nuclear deterrence is an idea that became a potentially lethal ideology, one that remains...

19th Century: Tunnel Boring Machines, Frederick Beaumont, Second Industrial Revolution

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Could the Second Industrial Revolution (1850-1914) be the process of legitimizing multiple pre-existing technological achievements? If you know an Officer serving in the Military Corps of Engineers, ask that Officer to design a machine similar to the one presented in this thread. If that Officer...

1936 Skype Video Telephone, Nazi Style

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I was looking at Gyro cars, trains and monowheels of the early 20th century, and saw the Duesenberg Coupé Simone. It got me thinking about German technology ahead of its time. Like, oh, I don't know, a German videophone: the world's first public video telephone service was developed by Dr. Georg...

1878-1884 Photography in Motion

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While looking for some other things today I ran across this and thought I'd share it in this thread. Since we are talking about blurry motion etc., and the quality of pictures. Wallace G. Levison photos are really fantastic. Photographs snapped amid the hustling crowds of Manhattan and the...

19th century Photo Business Advertisement

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Very often we hear that the reason for not having too many 19th, and early 20th centuries photographs lies within the novelty of the invention. It is often suggested that opportunities to have a photo taken were few and far between. I am not so sure about that, for the amount of the 19th century...

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