History of Gears
Early examples of gears date from the 4th century BCE in China (Zhan Guo times – Late East Zhou dynasty), which have been preserved at the Luoyang Museum of Henan Province, China. The earliest gears in Europe were circa CE 50 by Hero of Alexandria, but they can be traced back to the Greek mechanics of the Alexandrian school in the 3rd century BCE and were greatly developed by the Greek polymath Archimedes (287–212 BCE). Further developments include:
• Ma Jun (c. 200–265 BCE) used gears as part of a south-pointing chariot.
• The Antikythera mechanism is an example of a very early and intricate geared device, designed to calculate astronomical positions. Its time of construction is now estimated between 150 and 100 BCE.
• The water-powered grain-mill, the water-powered saw mill, fulling mill, and other applications of watermill often used gears.
• The first mechanical clocks were built in CE 725.
• The 1386 Salisbury cathedral clock may be the world’s oldest working mechanical clock.