technology of Ancient China

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
I repeat what I asked of you before:
1) the definition of an escapement and the source of where I got the definition (Merriam Webster dictionary at the bottom of the post)
2) an explanation of how the chinese [Greek] escapement works
3) an explanation of why point #2 falls within the definition of escapement as described in point #1

I hope people can prove they know how the mechanism works by explaining both the mechanism and why it pertains to their definition of escapement (and seriously, if you need more than 30 seconds to find the 'right' definition, then chances are it's not the same definition that everybody else is using). This reveals much more of your knowledge and neutrality as opposed to tossing out cheap words with no explanation whatsoever.

You did not do points 1, 2, or 3. I on the other hand did do points 1, 2, or 3. Please try to match that.
Hovering over your personal insults , wich shows much of your personal hate and quality of answers.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary you are grasping to :

a device in a timepiece which controls the motion of the train of wheelwork and through which the energy of the power source is delivered to the pendulum or balance by means of impulses that permit a tooth to escape from a pallet at regular intervals
1 according to this definition only the medieval one is featuring an escapement. Not the Chineese even falls into this definition.
But , beeing generous and removing the reference to the Pendolum or balance then you get the definition to be applicable both to the washstand mechanism, and to any device that allows discrete fragmentation of the mechanical energy into impulses. This fits perfectly to the Philon mechanism and he also states that the washstand construction is similar to that of clocks as a well as the vitruvius description of how some alarm clocks worked.
2 in particular to the greek mechanism how it works had been already described to you several times, but you keep requesting over and over the description, for nonsense. but again here it is.

It is a washbasin whose construction resembles that of clocks. An arch is made, into which a door opens, whence a hand holding a ball comes out, and in the ball are pumice stones. One takes the pumice stones and sets the ball aside; The hand returns and the door is pushed back. Then the water comes out of the beak of a bird, and the hands are washed. There is enough water to rinse your hands and mouth. The flow ceases; Then the door reopens, and the hand comes out, holding another ball. We take what's inside and put it aside. The hand returns; The water still springs from the beak of the bird, and it is repeated till everybody has washed their hands. Then we close the tap; The water stops flowing, and all the action of the apparatus stops too.You take a box of the size you want, and you divide it into two halves. In the lower half, you place an axle on two trunnions with a spoon at one end and at the other end a counterweight that raises the spoon when it is empty. When it is a little full, it descends and its water flows into a vase of any shape placed at the bottom of the chest. In the upper half of the box, you have a very solid lead tank, built with the utmost care, so that the water does not leak. This reservoir is at the rear of the body and is provided with a pipe in the middle plane of the body, through which the water flows to pour into the middle of the spoon when it is empty. The width of this tank is one quarter of that of the body, and its length approaches the width of the body. Let us place on the front of this tank, in the free space which remains in front of the pipe, another axis on two fixed trunnions. At the extremities of this axis which is directed towards the exterior of the body is a hand stretched, and at the other end a lead counterweight. The hand is raised up when there is nothing in it. Its weight is such that, when the ball is added with what it contains, the hand leans; It will press a door with two leaves that opens, and the hand appears outside. When we take the ball of the hand, it comes back and returns. She then pulls the two wires attached to the two wings, and the two wings are closed. The axis is marked θ, the hand ι, the counterweight κ, the two wires λ, the two wings μ.Above the hand, a fairly inclined channel for the balls is placed under the roof of the box and descending towards the hand. The balls are placed there; At its extremity is a key which opens naturally, being heavy from below.To this key is attached a thread which passes over a small pulley, and the other extremity of which is fixed to the lower extremity of the axis, to the counterweight of the spoon. The key is marked ς and the pulley ρ. For the thread, it is written on it.When the counterweight of the spoon tilts down, it pulls the thread on the pulley, and the key closes. When the spoon is full and the thread is released, the key opens; Then the ball moves and comes to rest in the hand. This one bends, the doors open, and the hand comes out. There is a place near the water reservoir from which water is poured into the reservoir; This is outside the box. There is a funnel, equipped with a tap which is opened and from which the water pours into the reservoir that it fills up to the level of the funnel. Then the tap is left open. The water will drain in the spoon as long as the tap is open.We make this device as we said. The vase into which the spoon pours is similar to a spoon or similar to a basin; It is inside the box. At the bottom of this receptacle is a hole through which the water enters to exit in a long pipe going to the end of the box. The hose bends so that it flows to a suitable drainage location so that the water stays there for a long time. Under the hole of this bowl is another tank. The water enters first with the velocity of the cuvette hole in this tank, then comes out of the tank through a narrow pipe leading to the bent pipe. The cuvette is marked υ, the bottom tank φ the pipe ς '. In the upper part of the bowl is placed a kind of bulb, which receives a little water, which is first discharged by a conduit to the discharge orifice, to water the pumice stones, and to allow the rubbing of the Hands before the water arrives in abundance. The place from which the water flows on the hand is ο. Understand what we have described. When you want the appliance to stop working, close the funnel valve, and the water will no longer drain. That's what we wanted to explain.
Philon of Byzantium 31 Pneumatica

To be more specific application to alarm and mechanical clockworks from Vitruvius description:

the water flowing through the hole equably, raises an inverted bowl, called by the workmen phellos, or the tympanum, with which are connected a rule and revolving drum wheels with perfectly equal teeth, which teeth, acting on one another, produce revolutions and measured motion. There are other rules and other wheels, toothed in a similar manner, which acted upon by the same force in their revolutions, produce different species of motion, by which figures are made to move, cones are turned round, stones or oviform bodies are ejected, trumpets sounded, and similar conceits effected.
Vitruvius De Architectura Liber IX Chapter 8 paragraph 5

I think its sufficient description to the mechanical function of those mechanisms.
3 As said the Merriam deifinition rules out anything that is not a fullymechanical clock , technically speaking , but considering water powered ones and without use of pendulums then it fits the description of escapement devices used in the greek clocks as well as the chineese ones.
but for future reference I sugest you to consider more precise specific engeneering and scientific texts rather than pick only definition on personal convenience.
A more precise and scientific definition :

The escapement is a mechanism that allows the discretization of motion in a rotational impulse,in particular the escapement is usually part of a chain of gears induced to rotate by a motor, which can be a spring or a weight which tends to unroll from a cylinder, in the absence of which the gears simply would rotate quickly up to download the engine, causes a step-by-step advancement of those, periodically freeing the teeth This is advancement in step to produce the classic ticking clocks.
 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
i'm not fully sure where this leads. (I have to wonder about whether you mean "stimulus diffusion" is just impossible from china to the western direction)
the importance(for a "west" world) of arab is that they kept some ancient knowledge, also with their own development.
again, the point is that the west is not an integrated group.(otherwise we could forget arab) and so called roman and greek invetions, can be categorized into inventions happened in western *region*. but it should not be the basement of sentiment of arguements to put an "enormous" title for JN.
When I refer to west I mostly refer to anything west of China actually , as for stimulus diffusion is an arguable stretched supposition . May be something might have happened , as it happened for gunpoweder and paper probably , but on other elements it more improbable and actually the reverse could have happened with muslims or merchants.
 
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HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,553
How does my last post "insult" you? How do the definition escapement by merriam webster not fit with the definition of Su Song's escapement?:

a device in a timepiece which controls the motion of the train of wheelwork and through which the energy of the power source is delivered to the pendulum or balance by means of impulses that permit a tooth to escape from a pallet at regular intervals

It is NOT generous if an escapement don't have a pendulum, the definition says an escapement could have a pendulum OR balance. Su Song's clock have both a balance AND the wheelwork. The definition REQUIRES the wheelwork for the escapement to act upon. Philo's washstand lacks one. Otherwise, please point to just where Philo's washstand have a wheelwork, using the letters in the picture:



And yet again your definition for Vitruvius' clockwork mentions no escapement.

Quote:
the water flowing through the hole equably, raises an inverted bowl, called by the workmen phellos, or the tympanum, with which are connected a rule and revolving drum wheels with perfectly equal teeth, which teeth, acting on one another, produce revolutions and measured motion. There are other rules and other wheels, toothed in a similar manner, which acted upon by the same force in their revolutions, produce different species of motion, by which figures are made to move, cones are turned round, stones or oviform bodies are ejected, trumpets sounded, and similar conceits effected.
I think its sufficient description to the mechanical function of those mechanisms.
3 As said the Merriam deifinition rules out anything that is not a fullymechanical clock , technically speaking , but considering water powered ones and without use of pendulums then it fits the description of escapement devices used in the greek clocks as well as the chineese ones.
Very few gears have unequal teeth. That doesn't mean every gear is an escapement..... Again, please point in the picture I provided to just where the escapement in Vitruvius's clock is.
 
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heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,626
China
When I refer to west I mostly refer to anything west of China actually , as for stimulus diffusion is an arguable stretched supposition . May be something might have happened , as it happened for gunpoweder and paper probably , but on other elements it more improbable and actually the reverse could have muslims or merchants.
i would have to call this selective believe, which has no actual basement.
i'm not saying stimulus diffusion must be one way from china to others. but this "impossible stimulus diffusion" itself sounds rather incorrect. because of that it helps nothing on what is a real escapement or what kind of inventions ancient china and/or ancient west had.




whatever you guys arguing on, i only thank to the translator who managed to describe the "catching and releasing" mechanism in chinese for the escapement.
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
i would have to call this selective believe, which has no actual basement.
i'm not saying stimulus diffusion must be one way from china to others. but this "impossible stimulus diffusion" itself sounds rather incorrect. because of that it helps nothing on what is a real escapement or what kind of inventions ancient china and/or ancient west had.




whatever you guys arguing on, i only thank to the translator who managed to describe the "catching and releasing" mechanism in chinese for the escapement.
I didn't say "impossible" , if I did I must correct with the word "improbable", wich is more fitting to what I mean.
@HackneyedScribe Seriously , you first insulted, then probably you realized and edited, but I quoted your post. As I said I "hovered" on those insults , that though show how your attitude toward a logic debate are compromised.
I then explained pretty much into details what is like the escapement mechanism used in greek washstand, and how that "Discrete break of a continuous flow" is used also in clocks, The description is selfesplicative even in the Vitruvius quote. But if you are waiting for a HD picture of those devices from 2000 years ago I think you will be disappointed.
IF you cannot understand my english perhaps is my fault, but to constantly neglecting facts, not even stated by me but by every scientist around as quoted several times,(those are not even my affirmations) by continuously requesting proves, that even when brought up to you, you just ignore or negate, proves me only your unwillingness to have an open mind and use criticism on your own convinctions becouse they do not fit your ideas. Sorry, but on that we can't help.
 
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heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,626
China
I didn't say "impossible" , if I did I must correct to improbable, wich is what I mean.
you didn't. i write that. plz forgive me if you want to elaborate how different it actually was for the ancient communications
but that means almost one thing without quantitation

i want to again state i believe in a definition of escapement of someting capble of controlling "catching" and "releasing" cycles, a primitive and general description; which appear to be close to HackneyedScribe, though he is used more references and appears to be more formal. i'm not sure the difference there(with him). but i don't think washstands have escapement in my way.
 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
you didn't. i write that. plz forgive me if you want to elaborate how different it actually was for the ancient communications
but that means almost one thing without quantitation
Yes , we are going a little far , but what I mean is that the Islamic world , especially the one where most of the inventions and innovations took place like the Andalusian spain was much more close and in constant contact with the Christian one than it was with China in general.

Sure there were contacts, embassies, etc, but the europeans had a constant contact status with the muslims from wars, raids, exchanges, commerce and simply by bordering. Plus the first areas were Islam expanded were just the old Roman borders and Persian ones after those they expanded eastward as well.


What I am saying is that the heavy influence is not "impossible" but much less probable due to the minor ways of contact. The more a civilization is in contact with another the more the probability increases. And according to their expansion the Chinese contact is still very minor to the European one.

i want to again state i believe in a definition of escapement of someting capble of controlling "catching" and "releasing" cycles, a primitive and general description; which appear to be close to HackneyedScribe, though he is used more references and appears to be more formal. i'm not sure the difference there(with him). but i don't think washstands have escapement in my way.
The washstand is the "earliest" description of an escapement mechanism , wich is by formal definition the device to break a continuous flow into discrete intervals. This is what it is, then it states this mechanism was similar to the one used in other clocks, also the Vitruvius description states how rotational gears and different ones are used to "break" the motion into discrete intervals for purpouses of time counting or alarm activations . Its very simple and its what every historian and scientist on the planet is talking about when describing an escapement mechanism. For beeing honest , the definitions vary a little from dictionary to dictionary , so only a scientific definition is more precise , that said the mechanisms described by VItruvius are directly applied to clocks and fit just in all descriptions apart from having a pendulum. To be more precise the first "Mechanical" escapement is only the one from France in middle ages.
 
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HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,553
I didn't say "impossible" , if I did I must correct with the word "improbable", wich is more fitting to what I mean.
@HackneyedScribe Seriously , you first insulted, then probably you realized and edited, but I quoted your post. As I said I "hovered" on those insults , that though show how your attitude toward a logic debate are compromised.
I then explained pretty much into details what is like the escapement mechanism used in greek washstand, and how that "Discrete break of a continuous flow" is used also in clocks, The description is selfesplicative even in the Vitruvius quote. But if you are waiting for a HD picture of those devices from 2000 years ago I think you will be disappointed.
IF you cannot understand my english perhaps is my fault, but to constantly neglecting facts, not even stated by me but by every scientist around as quoted several times,(those are not even my affirmations) by continuously requesting proves, that even when brought up to you, you just ignore or negate, proves me only your unwillingness to have an open mind and use criticism on your own convinctions becouse they do not fit your ideas. Sorry, but on that we can't help.
I did not insult, the only edits I made where to add my old post describing su song's clock. Again, where did I insult you? Is this the level you are going to fall back on Naima? Claim I insulted you and then edit it out? I know certain users who do that, but I'm not one of them, sorry to disappoint. If the mod can look at old edits, you can ask one of them.

Now I pinpointed just where the escapement is in Su Song's clock. Said picture is not anymore descriptive than the Greek pictures, yet you have not been able to pinpoint where the escapement is in the Greek pictures, nor even the wheelwork in Philo's washstand. And no, you only showed vitruvius's clock used gears, that does not mean they revolve in a discrete manner, nor does it show that they use an escapement. So far you have had plenty of chances to pinpoint just where the escapement is, I have even provided pictures to help you. If you are an engineer as you claim, and if you still can't pinpoint it, the that's probably because the escapement doesn't exist. Otherwise, please explain why it is so difficult to pinpoint on the picture where the escapement is.

I have debunked what you said with logic, I pinpointed each statement you made and explained how it is wrong. I did not resort to vague attacks like what you are doing now, accusing me of things without explaining where and how.
 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
I did not insult, the only edits I made where to add my old post describing su song's clock. Again, where did I insult you? Is this the level you are going to fall back on Naima? Claim I insulted you and then edit it out? I know certain users who do that, but I'm not one of them, sorry to disappoint. If the mod can look at old edits, you can ask one of them.

Now I pinpointed just where the escapement is in Su Song's clock. Said picture is not anymore descriptive than the Greek pictures, yet you have not been able to pinpoint where the escapement is in the Greek pictures, nor even the wheelwork in Philo's washstand. And no, you only showed vitruvius's clock used gears, that does not mean they revolve in a discrete manner, nor does it show that they use an escapement. So far you have had plenty of chances to pinpoint just where the escapement is, I have even provided pictures to help you. If you are an engineer as you claim, and if you still can't pinpoint it, the that's probably because the escapement doesn't exist. Otherwise, please explain why it is so difficult to pinpoint on the picture where the escapement is.
Hack , read my post quote of yours and your last comment on the person rather thanthe argument.
Again I have given you the quotes , description and proves, please try to read and understand them instead than continuously repeat the same things. The escapement is described clearly in the picture and easily recognizeable. Its in the spoon mechanism connected to the hand action and the way it works at discrete intervals breaking the continuous flow, it rotates over a pin and simply is not mounted on a wheel as it doesn't need one. Then , again its explained how it works in plenty of details so that you could even reconstruct one yourself and if this was not enough for you you can have a more fitting description to clockworks in the vitruvius quote that describes just the escapement device in action. No you won't find the "word" "escapement" or better "échappement" since its a French original word for wich reason you can guess. But so you do not have such a word in the chinese machine as well, but only a description of the mechanisms.
You are free to think that Chinese invented all that Needham claims if that is what you prefer , but you can't rewrite history according to preferences.
 
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heylouis

Ad Honorem
Apr 2013
6,626
China
Yes , we are going a little far , but what I mean is that the Islamic world , especially the one where most of the inventions and innovations took place like the Andalusian spain was much more close and in constant contact with the Christian one than it was with China in general.

Sure there were contacts, embassies, etc, but the europeans had a constant contact status with the muslims from wars, raids, exchanges, commerce and simply by bordering. Plus the first areas were Islam expanded were just the old Roman borders and Persian ones after those they expanded eastward as well.


What I am saying is that the heavy influence is not "impossible" but much less probable due to the minor ways of contact. The more a civilization is in contact with another the more the probability increases. And according to their expansion the Chinese contact is still very minor to the European one.
i still believe you have this concern because you want to set something arguement on the "diffusions"
since i do not personally think the western clocks have the same origin with chinese ones. i don't want to discuss this more. if there is the diffusion, it must be very indirect.
however, for the so called "contacts" itself:
the hostile relationship between arabs and europeans made the such bordering effect rather weak, for a very long time.
The washstand is the "earliest" description of an escapement mechanism , wich is by formal definition the device to break a continuous flow into discrete intervals. This is what it is, then it states this mechanism was similar to the one used in other clocks, also the Vitruvius description states how rotational gears and different ones are used to "break" the motion into discrete intervals for purpouses of time counting or alarm activations . Its very simple and its what every historian and scientist on the planet is talking about when describing an escapement mechanism. For beeing honest , the definitions vary a little from dictionary to dictionary , so only a scientific definition is more precise , that said the mechanisms described by VItruvius are directly applied to clocks and fit just in all descriptions apart from having a pendulum. To be more precise the first "Mechanical" escapement is only the one from France in middle ages.
if one would just realize the spherical objects are just auxiliary in washstands, one understand the washstands is so different from those in other machines(i'm not sure if we are limit it to clocks). the spoon does not fulfill a discrete movement, if it can stop at a desired rotation degree, i'd stand on your side.
 
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