Download e-book for iPad: French Inventions of the Eighteenth Century by Shelby T. McCloy

By Shelby T. McCloy

ISBN-10: 0813153867

ISBN-13: 9780813153865

The eighteenth century, age of France's management in Western civilization, was once additionally the main flourishing interval of French creative genius. in most cases obscured by way of England's nice commercial improvement are the contributions France made within the invention of the balloon, paper-making machines, the steamboat, the semaphore telegraph, gasoline illumination, the silk loom, the threshing computer, the fountain pen, or even the typical graphite pencil. Shelby T. McCloy believes that those and plenty of different innovations that have enormously encouraged technological growth made prerevolutionary France the rival, if now not the chief, of England.

In his ebook McCloy analyzes the criteria that resulted in France's artistic task within the eighteenth century. He additionally advances purposes for France's failure to learn from her creative prowess at a time whilst England's innovations have been being placed to instant and sensible use.

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39 37 Archives parlementaires, XLIII, 5. 38 Proces-verbaux du comite d'in- struction publique de la Convention nationale, ed. , Paris, 1891-1907), II, 284-85. The petitioner was evidently a son of Robert Paul Lamanon ( 1752-1787), naturalist and traveler killed by natives on the island of Maouna. See Biographie universelle, XXIII, 255-56. 39 Gustave Vauthier, "Un essai de ballon dirigeable en 1793," in Revue historique de la Revolution franfaise, VI (1915), 305-11. 26 EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH INVENTIONS Interestingly enough, more than one eighteenth-century visionary labored at the idea of flying by aeroplane.

Garnerin's first use of the parachute was in 1793, when he attempted to escape from an Austrian prison by means of one. It failed him, and he broke his leg in the fall. Jacques Godechot, "L'aerostation 20 EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY FRENCH INVENTIONS early date women assumed a role in aviation. The parachute used by Garnerin was a giant parasol of canvas, to which a basket was attached by numerous ropes. Other parachutes that came soon into use were more commonly pieces of silk sewn together in the form of an umbrella bound at the top to a circular piece of wood.

33 He was the author of three treatises on military engineering, but it is the steam truck that has immortalized his name. Even before Cugnot's death ( 1804) the British were performing wonders with his invention. William Murdock, Scottish assistant to James Watt, was inspired to pursue Cugnot's idea further and constructed a model steam cart ( 1784) fifteen inches high, which ran successfully on British roads at six to eight miles per hour. Richard Trevithick in turn was inspired by the success of Murdock, and in 1801 and afterward he built several full-sized locomotives.

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