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TECHNOLOGY OF THE MIDDLE AGES
Technology effects us everyday and is always making changes to the way we live. Believe it or not there was technology in the
middle ages and it also effected their lives in many ways.
THE PRINTING PRESS
The printing press impacted the middle ages the same way the internet has impacted our society today. Before the priting press books would have been written by hand and would take a very long time two write. Only the very rich could afford them. This is the reason so many people could not read or write. With the invention of the printing press people in the middle ages were able to communicate with each other over large distances and many generations.
The printed pages were made using a machine called a screw press. Each letter or punctuation was made of individual blocks of wood or lead. The blocks of letters and punctuation were arranged to spell the words of each page. Ink was spread over the letters then paper was pressed down on the ink covered letters creating a printed page.
THE HEAVY PLOW
The heavy plow may not seem like an important technological advancement but without it is unlikley that the people of the middle ages would have had time to invent other technologies because so much of their time was spent gathering food. A well fed population had more time and energy to spend thinking of ways to improve their standard of living. It also provided food for livestock like chickens pigs and cows. The population became healthier and people lived longer. They survived the winter with stored grain and livestock. Winter famine was greatly reduced
Water mills were powered by moving water from streams or ocean tides. The moving water moved the water wheel attached to an axle. The axle was attached to a series of gears, which turned the millstone. The millstone ground the grain into flour for baking.
Wind mills used sails to capture the energy from wind. The sails of the windmill would turn in the wind which then turned the axles and gears which would turn the millstone to grind the grain to flour.
The loom allowed for cloth to be woven on a long rectangular wooden frame. The horizontal loom was built horizontally so the operator could sit down while working. Foot pedals freed both hands and helped to move loom parts so the operator could work quickly. T
his allowed cloth to be produced faster and in greater amounts. More cloth meant increased profits for the people who owned the looms and decreased prices for the people buying the cloth.
As the development of tools to cut and shape the wood to form ships hulls improved so did hull design and construction. A larger hull had increased capacity and could carry more crew wich were needed to row the ship to push the sails. A larger hull could withstand bigger waves and was safer for the crew. Carrying more crew made it possible to travel farther with room in the hull for more new technololgy like navigation technology such as quadrant and compass. This allowed the ship's crew to navigate the open sea leading to more and more new discoveries.
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