On the superb BibliOdyssey blog, one of my absolute internet favorites, there's a fascinating post today with scans from 'De Naturae Simia', by Robert Fludd, an English Rosicrucian, Paracelsian physicist, astrologer, and mystic. The BibliOdyssey post includes some really awesome images of 17th century war technology and perpetual motion machines. Snip:
This book forms part of the encyclopaedic series issued over 9 years to 1626 called 'Utriusque Cosmi Maioris Scilicet et Minores Metaphysica, Physica Atque Technica Historia'.Link to the full post, which includes lots more info and images related to Fludd's work and early perpetual motion machines.
(...) Fludd is credited with one theoretical concept (...) that, to an extent supports the notion that he contributed his own ideas, rather than merely extracting material from older sources. He described a perpetual motion system in which a water source would turn a wheel which in turn would be able to both grind grain and also drive an Archimedes screw pump to return the water to its origin, able to fall again and continue to power the process.
It's completely fanciful of course but this was an era when there was no knowledge of the laws of thermodynamics and speculative entrepreneurs even attempted to obtain patents on aspects of Fludd's design up to the 19th century.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.