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|SU SONG 1020 - 1101 AD (CHINA)|
V.Ryan © 2018
|A mechanical and architectural Engineer, as well as a Scientist. He designed the first mechanical clock, powered by water and having a chain drive mechanism. The clock was designed to predict astrological events for the Emperor, ensuring that the Emperor could be seen as being able to predict the future.
The scale of the tower can be seen in the image. At the top was a sphere, capable of accurate prediction of the position of the stars. The tower had ladders, to enable those operating it, to climb to the top. Water from 36 buckets were used to drive a water wheel, which in turn controlled gears and counterweights. Drive belts and the oldest recorded use of a chain drive, transmitted the power.
At the bottom of the tower were automata, which would appear at certain times of the day, accompanied by automatic bells and drums.
Su Song’s clock was destroyed during a war, but his chain drive system can still be seen today, in many mechanical devices including bicycles. It can be argued that the industrial revolution was possible, because of the application Su Song’s innovative combination of mechanisms and drive systems.
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