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The Lever of RichesTechnological Creativity and Economic Progress$
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Joel Mokyr

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195074772

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195074772.001.0001

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The Renaissance and Beyond: Technology 1500–1750

The Renaissance and Beyond: Technology 1500–1750

(p.57) Chapter Four The Renaissance and Beyond: Technology 1500–1750
The Lever of Riches

Joel Mokyr

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the Renaissance, the period from 1500–1750 that is better known for its scientific achievements than its technological breakthroughs. It notes that many scientists made their own instruments and contributed to the solution of practical problems associated with their manufacture. The chapter observes that Galileo built his own telescopes and supplemented his salary as a professor at the University of Padua by making and repairing instruments. It further notes that Robert Hooke, the brilliant and eccentric physicist and biologist in England, pioneered the use of balance springs for watches and invented the Hooke's joint, an elegant device used for power transmission. The chapter observes that the Renaissance and the baroque period also witnessed the beginning of the application of mathematics to engineering in a variety of areas, and that this was also found to be useful to all economic activity.

Keywords:   Renaissance, scientific achievements, technological breakthroughs, Galileo, Robert Hooke, baroque period, mathematics, engineering, economic activity

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