These illustrations from an Arabic manuscript show us schematics for gears, pulleys and water power. Believed to be from sometime between the 16th and 19th century, these images of automated machines are housed at the Max Planck Digital Library.
The work harks back to designs by Al-Jazari – Badi’ al-Zaman Abu-‘l-‘Izz Ibn Isma’il Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari – an engineer who lived in Diyar-Bakir (Turkey) during the late 12th century and early 13th century. He described how the ruling classes use the astrolabe by day and the binkamat (water-clocks) by night. His work is marked in his book on mechanics, Al-Jami‘ bayn al-‘ilm wa ‘l-‘amal al-nafi‘ fi sina‘at al-hiyal (A Compendium on the Theory and Useful Practice of the Mechanical Arts).
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