Sunday, May 19, 2019

Historical Technology Books: A practical course in horology (1944) by Harold Caleb Kelly - 17 in a series

Technology isn't just computers, networks and phones. Technology has always been part of the human experience. All of our ancestors have looked for ways to help them survive and do less work for more gain. has a host of old technology books (from mid-19th to mid-20th Century) available in many formats and on a host of topics. Many of the technologies discussed within these books are being put to use again these days in the back to the land" and homesteading movements. You might even find something that could address one of your own garden or farm issues but has been lost to time and history. Enjoy! --Douglas

Historical Technology Books: A practical course in horology (1944)  by Harold Caleb Kelly - 17 in a series
It is difficult to even imagine what life was like before the invention of the clock and — some might say — the invention of time itself. Life changed dramatically when our days became measured in hours and minutes instead of sunrises to sunsets. Our ability to safely travel the globe relied on accurate time keeping — which wasn’t truly available until the 1800’s. Timekeeping is on the level and scale of other, major, life-changing, technologies like the steam engine, railroad and the external combustion engine.   — Douglas


The art of horology unquestionably ranks among the most wonderful of the mechanical arts. One can only marvel at the diminutive size of the modern wrist watch and the accuracy of the machines by which the duplicate parts are made.

Production and improved manufacturing methods have also changed the repairman's approach to horology. Duplicate parts are available, so the horologist is seldom called upon to make a part. However, since the sizes of watches have been reduced, new tools and improved methods are essential to good workmanship. One must develop a greater skill in fitting staffs to small, uncut balance wheels, in adjusting small escapements, and in handling the new, alloyed balance springs.

The purpose of this book is to present the fundamentals of horology, both in theory and practice. Part 1 deals with wheel work and gearing, which involve the work of calculating the number of teeth of missing wheels and pinions and in determining their proper diameters. Principles of escapement design and an analysis of the balance and spring are given considerable space. Part 2 treats repair methods, in which the making of a balance staff and the adjustment of the escapement are given more than the usual space allotted to these subjects. Part 3 is concerned with the adjustments to position, isochronism, and temperature, factors that may be called the finishing touches of the horological profession.

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† Available from the LA Public Library

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