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Who Invented Gears?

Who Invented Gears?
Who Invented Gears?

Now, that’s a hard question.

Asking who invented gears is like asking who discovered fire or who invented the wheel?

There are certain things that have no proper record in history and gears seem to be one of them. Well almost!

We do have some hints from the history of this question.

We will share them with you.

Around 50 AD Greek mathematician and engineer Hero of Alexandria referred to gears.

He followed Archimedes, Inventor of Archimedes screw and an odometer that used his screw driven by a cart’s wheels, to raise and drop balls to record distance.

Even more intricate geared devices meant to calculate astronomical movements show up between 150 and 100 BC. (source)

See we told you before that there are certain things which we are comfortable with now and use it in everyday life and no nothing about its historical significance.

The same is the case with gears. We use them every day and almost every one of us is being Benefited by them however we don’t know who invented one.


Main Gear Construction
Main Gear Construction

The above-mentioned quote is the only concrete clue that we have on its origins and history.

There are many instances in human history where gears have been popping up from time to time.

Since we don’t know who invented gears then we thought we will share some history of them with you.

May 17, 1902, The Antikythera Mechanism

On May 17, 1902, Greek archeologists found complex precision gear system Embedded in an ancient artifact made up of bronze and wood.

The device would then be called the Antikythera Mechanism.

One of the oldest known scientific equipment which used gears to function.

This 2000-year-old device was most probably used to calculate astronomical positions, Predict eclipses and forecast and plan the timings of the ancient Olympics.

The current scientific community hails this invention as the world’s first mechanical computer.

It contained more than 30 bronze gears which had the build quality and the precision of the modern-day clock or a Swiss wristwatch.

It was not until 1951 that the scientific community could begin to understand its complexity.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Straight Cut Gears

The reason was simple.

The time before 1951 did not have the equipment to correctly study the device without harming it.

Therefore, in 1951 with the advancement of the X Rays, british scientists started studying the device further.

Also, read – What are Main Components of Gear Box?

Physicist Derek J D Solla Price was the person who started using x-rays to understand the mechanism of the device.

He used the ancient Metonic cycle for studying the cycles Of the sun and moon to understand what this device did or for guessing the exact purpose of it.

Currently, with the development of 3D Modelling and digital aids the scientists are again studying the device.

They think the device would be as old as 140 BC and is technically more complex than any other thing that they have encountered for at least a millennia speaking strictly in terms of archaeology.

The language which was inscribed on the dials is now found to b Corinthian hence proving that the device is most probably from Greece.

Work is still going on, and we should see some more interesting facts coming in to picture soon.

Well, that’s all we have on gears for today.

I hope we have ignited a new scientific spark for our readers.

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