History of Printing

The history of Printing started, and as such assumed international exposure, to pursue efficient and economic means of printing multiple copies of text, fabrics and graphics. Printing processes enhanced communications, and contributed a great deal to the evolution of commerce, law and culture.

Block Printing

It is a technique to print text or graphic designs that had long been in fashion across East Asia. The art first appeared in China during antiquity as a way of printing textiles and subsequently the paper. As art of cloth printing, the ancient examples that exist so long in China date back to the 4th century.

Printing Press

Ukiyo-e has been the best quality of all known type of Japanese woodblock art printing. The European uses of the technique on paper can be explained by the then prevailed art terminology, “woodcut”, other than the block-books that were printed in the 15th century.

In Egypt, India and Europe, however, the cloth-printing definitely was preceded by papyrus printing — a form of medium employed for printing very close to paper. Same prevailed in China. The process typically remains the same throughout the course of history to-date; in Europe specific design impression of printing had often been taken on silk until approached the 17th century.

Exploring the Art of Printing in the Islamic World

Tarsh, the Arabic name of Block printing was flourishing in Egypt and Arabia during the 9-10th centuries — predominantly for prayers and amulets. There is a little clue to propose that the printing blocks had been synthesized from a range of different materials other than wood; these included metals, viz. lead, tin and cast iron in addition to stone, glass, clay, etc. nevertheless, the techniques used have been incredible as they seem to have cast a little impact outside the Muslim domains.

No doubt Europe had been emulating the wood-block based techniques of printing from the Muslim world, in the beginning for fabric, the art of metal block printing remained largely absent in Europe. However, later on block printing was abandoned by the Islamic Central Asia subsequent to the movable type of printing had been adopted from China.

Printing in Europe

Block printing was first introduced to Christian Europe as a way of printing over cloth, where it had been a known practice by 1300. Graphic designs printed on cloth for religious ends used to be very large and vivid. However, with the convenient availability of paper about 1400, the medium of printing drastically shifted to miniature woodcut images and playing cards to be printed on hard paper. Such prints were being executed in huge numbers from round about 1425 onwards.

By the middle of the century, woodcut books, clock-books with both text and graphics, were normally etched in the same block, evolved as a cost efficient substitute for books and manuscripts to be printed with movable type. All these were brief but densely ornate works, mostly the best-sellers of their time, that have been appearing and reappearing in a number of different block-book version — the Ars moriendi and the Biblia Pauperum being the conspicuous examples.

History of Websites

A website is an integration of mutually relevant web pages, graphics, videos or certain digital content that are given address according to a common Uniform Resource Locator (URL), frequently comprising of just the domain identity, i.e. the IP address, and the root directory (‘/’) in an Internet Protocol-based network. A web site is to be harbored on at least one web server, that can be accessed through a computer network, such as, the Internet or a private local area network.

The World Wide Web (WWW) was developed in 1989 by CERN physicist Tim Berners-Lee. CERN announced on 30 April 1993 that the World Wide Web would be free to use for anyone.


Other protocols such as file transfer protocol and the gopher protocol, before the emergence of HTML and HTTP, were harnessed to access individual files from a server. These protocols provide a typical directory structure which the user browses and selects files to save. Documents were frequently shown as plain text files without applying format or were programmed in word processor formats.

No doubt the accomplishments of Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Switzerland, were got revolutionized. They developed the four integral elements of the World Wide Web: the Web protocol HTTP, HTML, a Web server and a basic browser.

During the Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had established a Next computer, an easy-to-program system, a Unix-based system, the brainchild of Steve Jobs, as the first Web server of the world.

However, at that time, the Web did not look much attractive. Moreover, it was not “World  Wide” at all. Actually, it looked more like a limited intranet for CERN physicists as the information did not travel farther than a couple of buildings around.

By the time Berners-Lee was demonstrating data retrieving through the Internet between Next computers, Kunz was not much excited by this presentation. However, when he witnessed that it was possible to transfer a query from the Next box to CERN’s IBM mainframe and execute the results, Kunz began to get absorbed.

Fetching the document from an incompatible computer gave way to a range of possibilities. Tim was not able to demonstrate as to how well this was going to do because at that time all the world’s Web servers were stationed at CERN.

Consequently they came to use the Internet to set up Kunz’s computer at a distant location, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) having developed a browser there and retrieved a Web page. “We were both shocked at how well it worked,” Kunz recalls.

Kunz and Berners-Lee further deliberated on how to feed heavy data such as Stanford’s meaty bibliographic database of 300,000 physics references on the newly developed Web. Kunz  reached Stanford to materialize the idea by seeking a little help from SLAC librarian Louise  Addis.

The Stanford database is regarded as the Web’s first “killer app” because it provided a convincing reason to materialize the breakthrough.

The History of Light

The term “light” in physics is sometimes a reference to electromagnetic emission of any frequency range — whether visible or not.

A Chronology of Historical theories

1. Ancient Indian theories

The Hindu schools of Samkhya and Vaisheshika, from about the 6 – 5 century BC, postulated on light that light is one of the five fundamental elements, referred to as ‘tanmatra’ of which derive the gross elements.

2. Greek theories

During the 5th century BC, Empedocles theorized that the matter comprised of four elements: air, fire, earth and water. He maintained that Aphrodite had created the human eye from among the four elements and when she lit the fire in the eye that sparked out of the eye enabling the sight to function.


If this account were true, then one could also see through night as well as during the day, so Empedocles came to the phenomenon of sight as an interaction between rays from the eyes and rays from a source such as the sun.

3. Optical theory

Ibn al-Haytham (965–1040), the Muslim scientist, known as Alhazen in the West, developed a comprehensive theory of vision to be explained on the basis of geometry and anatomy in his Book of Optics (1021).

Ibn al-Haytham described the first correct description of the function of vision, maintaining that it was not due to the things being seen by emission of light from the eyes, as Euclid and Ptolemy had held, rather due to beam of light pouring into the eyes.

4. Particle theory

Ibn al-Haytham had actually depicted particle nature of light in his Optics. He held light rays to be a continuous stream of tiny energy particles emanating in straight lines at a finite speed.

He describes in his optics that ‘the smallest parts of light’, as he mentions them, ‘preserve solely the traits’ to be explained by geometrical means and verified through practical experiment — they don’t possess all material properties except energy.

5. Wave theory

Around 1660s, Robert Hooke publicized his theory pertaining wave nature of light. Christiaan Huygens had also postulated independently his own wave theory of light in 1678, contained in his Treatise on light in 1690.

He propounded that light emitted in every direction as a progression of waves in a medium called the Luminiferous ether. Since waves are not influenced by gravity, it was assumed that they would experience retardation in their propagation upon entering a denser medium.

6. Electromagnetic theory

Michael Faraday in 1845 learned that the plane of polarization of linearly polarized light rotates when the light rays move in the direction of magnetic field in the presence of a transparent dielectric, an impact identified as ‘Faraday Rotation’. It was the first proof that light had something to do with electromagnetism.

The sensory realization of light is attached great importance in spirituality. The presence of light is an all time sign of good and evil, knowledge and ignorance, and the like. This idea can be traced in both Eastern and Western mysticism!

History of Inventions

The ancient works of art show proof of human inventiveness. The nomenclature of the great archaeological ages — the Bronze Age, the Stone Age, and the Iron Age — are characteristic of the inventive use of stone and metal equipments. Early stone-made applications were rough, but the ends they catered for, shield and food containing, were pivotal in man’s increasing supremacy of the earth.

A lot of great significant inventions and innovations took place prior to the period marked by written history. These enlist the invention of crude tools, the emergence of faculty of speech, the discoveries in cultivation and domestication of animals, the establishment of building methods, the know how to generate and control fire, the ability to craft pottery, the evolution of simple political systems, and on top of all, the invention of the wheel.


The span of properly recorded chroniclers started with the development of writing and composition, esp. writing as a means of communication proved vital with the invention of movable type by the 15th century. Invention kept on further developing gradually over the course of written history, but because of the advent of printed material, people all over the world were able to get records of the inventions of the past to employ as a basis for further discoveries.


The machine age began with the Industrial Revolution and has continued to date. Machine age has resulted from a series of inventions, such as the use of fossil fuels including coal as chief source of energy, the augmentation of metallurgical processes, particularly that of steel and aluminium, the generation of power and invention of electronic appliances, internal-combustion engine, and the experimentation of metal and cement in construction work.

Concurrent trends in the use of energy ensure to usher in a new era in human innovation. Past inventors were usually aloof and too remote to support themselves through their inventions.

In a number of cases, sometimes two people working independently may achieve the same innovation at the same time, only one was considered for the discovery. For example, the American inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell applied for a patent on the telephone the same day.

Similarly, distinction for the discovery of the calculus was pursued aggressively by the English scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton and the German philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.

Today new inventions take place in big research and development institutions regulated by universities, private industries, or government agencies. Due to which attributing any invention to a single person has become rare.

Developers in advanced laboratories are often members of a project; the research and development of the project is usually the result of team work. The atomic bomb, for example, was prepared during World War II (1939-1945) under the supervision of a team of leading scientists of many nationalities who instructed a much larger group of scientists and technicians, most of whom were quite unaware of the American intentions.

The History of Transportation

Most people regard the means of available transport as less important. A few think about how life had been different if man had never tamed the first wild horse or invented the very first wheel. It is a question that how man hit on these life-altering ideas or from where this thought had originated or how the advancement of time led mankind from ground to stars.

Archeologists are of a view that the first step towards man-made transportation started with the invention of wheel either in Asia or Mesopotamia roughly around 4000 – 3500 BC.


At this stage, man had already domesticated the horse and for using it for farming purposes. With the invention of wheel, the ability to eventually transport crops from one place to another was less awkward. The invention of the wheel led to the development of mass transportation as man put his new invention to practical uses.

The very next valid evolutionary step from the wheel was the invention of the cart and chariot. Sumeria was the place where the two-wheel chariot had found its birthplace and is believed to be the world’s first form of wheeled transportation. This chariot increased the speed of travel over land which was built around 3500 BC. It eventually led to the invention of four-wheeled cart which was used for carrying supplies and equipment off of the shoulders of the common man.

With the coping up of the boundaries of land travelling, man’s curiosity about the world around him increased. Man had developed means for traveling on water to aid him even before he had domesticated the horse. Origin of the dugout boat is one of the great mysteries of history. For the historians, they were unable to pinpoint when or where the very first water vessel was set afloat. They could not even speculate that it might have been purely an accident the first time. However it had happened and the addition of the boat changed the face of transportation. Boats allowed man for the first time ever to cross bodies of water without getting wet.

As time passed, a simple boat developed to include a large square of cloth mounted on a central pole. This cloth was called ‘sail’, it would turn the boat into a sail-propelled ship. This new important addition gave man the ability to use waterways as a means of quick travel from one place to another and even to travel against the current of rivers.

However the evolution of water travel didn’t stop with the sail. The neatness of ships ultimately improved as they increased in size. There was also addition of oars, rudders and deck covers. Ships had turned into awkward shipboard towers during the time of Romans and Greeks. They developed over time into the Medieval stern and forecastles. By the late Medieval era, these castles were built solid, as a part of the ship’s basic structure. During the Renaissance Age and the Age of Exploration, ships had gained levels of rigging and sails which became smooth and speedy.

It was in the 1800s that the ships started to shed their sails once again on the rivers. The technology of transportation changed with the arrival of automation. Cumbersome paddlewheel was the very first automation in ships. Because of their bulky form and inability to turn easily, paddlewheel boats were restricted to river travel where maneuverability was easy because of the calm water curent.

The steamship was the next invention after paddlewheel. These vessels generated power by the burning or heating or wood or coal. The ship moved through steam pressure for making the pistons work. The steamship was enjoying a long and trusted run on both rivers and seas. After that in 1912, the first diesel-powered ship ‘Danish Selandia’, was launched. That diesel engine design became the industrial and military standard until after WW II.

The first nuclear power ship was built in 1958 although nuclear power was soon abandoned in favor of industry as it was too risky and costly. However its use of nuclear power was in the military.

Land travel was also improved because of automation. Mass transit became a standard originally through the steam engine of the 18thcentury. The early trains were slow and often very dangerous. Locomotives were launched in 1804 using steam to power a series of pistons a lot similar like that of steamship. The locomotives were so powerful that a single engine could pull several cars, a feat hopelessly beyond the capacity of the earlier steam engines.

The locomotive was improved through various enhancements for a hundred years. Speeding up transit and attempting to make train travel safer. During Second World War, the diesel engine was used extensively and steam was almost completely forgotten. Electricity was also experimented in the running of trains as early as 1895. The problem was that it was considered very costly and unreliable to run until the advent of the subway. The arrival of subway was the time when electricity became the easiest and cleanest means of underground motion.

The technology of automation was however not reserved exclusively for mass transit. There is some evidence as early as 800 BC that steam powered vehicles were used in the Orient. Although these were not used for mass transit but were used rather for individual travel. The first actual surviving record of a powered vehicle is from AD 1670, when a Jesuit missionary in China built a cart driven by a steam turbine. This concept had developed by 1840 into the “road locomotive.” It was a machine not very unlike the modern-day bus.

Jean Lenoir was a French scientist worked out an internal combustion engine in 1860 which ran on illuminating gas. There were no copyrights for the first actual automobile until the 1890s although there were developments which continued. The invention of automobile was the single most important development in the history of transportation since the invention of the wheel. Personal mobility was increased because of the technology of automobiles which permitted people to live at greater distances from their work. This led mankind to the formation of suburbs.

The next pace in transportation was not to the land or the seas but this time it was the sky. Although many people have toyed with flight over the millennia, the first sustained, controlled flight did not happen until December 1903 at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. The inventors of this new flying machine were the Wright brothers – Orville and Wilbur Wright, they were two bicycle makers. Their invention was eventually successful. After the Second World War, jet-propelled aircraft were capable of world-wide mass transit. The aero plane gave people a great facility of covering great distances in less time cutting transatlantic travel time in half.

Man’s eyes were on the night sky and the stars after conquering the flight. After centuries of rockets unable to pierce the atmosphere and escape the gravitational pull of the earth. The US announced the formation of the Vanguard Satellite in 1955 and began exploring what it would take to break away from the Earth. However USSR was successful in launching to very first earth-orbiting satellite in October 1957 which was called Sputnik I. A Russian Cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin was credited for the first successful manned space-flight that took place in 1961 when he orbited the Earth in the Vostok I.

An American astronaut named Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon on 16 July 1969. In July 1975, a joint venture between and Americans and Russians began with the aim to dock spacecraft together in space. Subsequently in 1977, space-flight took another step with the test flight of the very first reusable space shuttle, the US craft Enterprise.

Man’s travel has only ever been limited by the scope of his imagination. After each new challenge is conquered, man looks beyond it to the next challenge. The history is evident that humans will continue to strive and step forward when particularly faced with challenges of transportation.

A Brief History of the Camera

The essential principles of camera were studied by Ancient Greek and Chinese philosophers many centuries ago. The first genuine camera was not invented until the 19th century. Nowadays people take photography for granted because it has become very universal but it took many years of innovation and failed experiments to become a resourceful medium today.


A book written by Robert Hirsch about camera called “Seizing the Light: A History of Photography” says that the camera was evolved from the camera obscura which was first discovered around 5 B.C. The same principles are utilized by the pinhole photography of today. Lenses and diaphragms were added throughout the 1500s which successfully allowed sharper image projection and greater light control.


Joseph Niépce was made the first permanent photograph in 1826 following the earlier studies of Johann Schultz. As the technology and processing techniques continued to advance, it replaced painting as the preferred medium of portrait because of the camera’s ability to capture realistic and natural images.

New understandings of time and vision were developed with the invention of faster shutter speeds. Amateurs were able to take snapshots with their own handheld cameras by the late 1800s. Soon photography became widely accepted as a medium of fine art.


Photographers did experiments with many mediums after Niépce. One famous result was the Daguerreotype which was silver plate bearing an accurate and detailed image. A bellowed camera was invented in the shape of an improved design with more flexibility and lens focal length in the mid 1850

Paper film was invented by George Eastman near the end of century. This made faster camera shutters and easier processing credible. Innovative inventions like flash, 35mm, color films, electronic, instant and even digital cameras throughout the 1900s marked a progress towards smarter photographic technology that continues till today.


The functions of camera have advanced as compared the early camera although the basic function remains the same. The mechanism of a camera allows reflected light to pass through an opening or lens which projects an inverted image of the reflected object on the opposite surface. If that surface is light sensitive like film or the chemically treated plates and then it captures a negative image. The technology of faster shutter speeds, flexible aperture design and highly sensitive film are essential to modern functionality of the camera. The quantity of available light and the length of time it exposes the film directly affects the quality of the photograph. Nowadays, it takes a less than a second to take a picture now but early cameras required a long time for proper exposure.


The features of cameras have developed with the development of technology. Modern camera features several fundamental components. The camera features a regular changing of lenses and is also available in many altering varieties. Other features include focus mechanisms that are in-built. The shutter keeps light from hitting the film until the picture is taken and then opens to expose it for the appropriate amount of time. The Internal mirrors reflect light through the viewfinder so the image can be seen before shooting or without exposing the film. Quantity of light can be changed by adjusting the aperture. The controls on body of the camera can adjust the settings of shutter speed and aperture. Extra additional features can include flash bulbs, light meters, automatic exposure options and filters.



The camera has a really amazing effect on the modern world. Initially it was valued most for making portraits available to the commercial class but with its development, photography has changed the way we see, interpret and interact with the world. Photography has advanced our understanding of vision and movement and it has given birth to moving pictures. We can preserve and remember people, events, and places and even view them from thousands of miles away. Artists can paint with light and scientists can capture pictures of microscopic organisms and galaxies far away.

A Brief History of Cars

The automobile or motor car was not invented in one day by one inventor. The history of automobile reflects the evolution that occurred globally and a lot can be pointed that happened along the history. An estimate shows that more than 100.000 patents are behind the creation of the modern.

The word automobile comes from the French “automobile” and from the Ancient Greek word ”autos” which means self. This means that a vehicle that moves itself rather than being pulled or pushed by a separate animal or another vehicle. The famous inventors – Leonardo Da Vinci and Isaac Newton developed the first theoretical plans of a motor vehicle.


The first self-propelled road vehicle in the shape of a military tractor which was invented a French engineer – Nicolas Cugnot. He used a steam engine for powering the vehicle; it was built under his guidance at the Paris Arsenal by a mechanic named Brezin. The French Army used this vehicle for hauling artillery at a speed of 2.5 mph with only three wheels. The short coming of the vehicle was that it had to halt after every fifteen minutes for gaining steam power. The following year of 1770 saw the invention steam-powered tricycle by Cugnot.

Cugnot was the first to suffer a motor vehicle accident when he struck his vehicle into a stone wall in 1771. His bad luck started when one of his patron died and the other was exiled, with this he ran out of money for his road vehicle experiment.

Steam engines generated power in cars by the burning of fuel which heated water in a boiler, this pushed the pistons which turned the crankshaft ultimately turning the wheels. The early history shows that self-propelled including road and railroad were both developed with steam engines.

Steam engines made the road vehicles very heavy and the designed proved poor. Although with the use of steam engines in locomotives was very successful. Historians who accept the early steam-powered road vehicles were automobiles believe that Nicolas Cugnot was the first inventor of automobiles.

Several inventors designed steam-powered vehicles after Cugnot

  • A French named Onesiphore Pecquer improved Cugnot’s vehicle and he was also the inventor of first differential gear.
  • Oliver Evans was granted with the first US patent for a steam-powered land vehicle in 1789.
  • Richard Trevithick built the first steam-powered road carriage in Great Britain in 1801.
  • Steam-powered stagecoaches were in regular service in Great Britain from 1820 to 1840. They were later banned from public roads and as a result the British railroad system was developed.
  • The steam-driven road tractor was invented by Charles Deitz. It could pull passenger carriages around Paris and Bordeaux till 1850.
  • Rufus Porter, William T. James, Joseph Dixon and Harrison Dyer were credited with the invention of numerous steam coaches in the United States from 1860 to 1880.
  • Advanced steam cars were invented by Amedee Bollee Sr. from 1873 to 1883.
  • A professor of physics at Wisconsin State University and J. I. Case Company named Dr. J. W. Carhart invented a working steam car that won a 200-mile race.

The early electric cars

The early automobiles did not use only the steam engines. Vehicles with electrical engines were also invented roughly between 1832 and 1839. Robert Anderson of Scotland invented the first electric carriage that used rechargeable batteries to power a small electric motor. The vehicles had demerits and were heavy, slow and expensive. They needed to stop for recharging frequently. With the invention of gas-powered vehicles, both steam and electric road vehicles were abandoned. Electricity was of greater success in tramways and streetcars, where there was a possibility of a constant supply of electricity.


History of electric vehicles

Electric land vehicles in America outsold all other types of cars around 1900. In the several following years, sales of electric vehicles took a drop as a new type of vehicle came to dominate the market.

The first self-powered road vehicles were powered by steam engines and Nicolas Joseph Cugnot built the first automobile in 1769 which was recognized by the British Royal Automobile Club and the Automobile Club de France.

A number of history books say that the automobile was invented by either Karl Benz or Gottlieb Daimler because both invented highly successful and practical gasoline-powered vehicles that ushered in the age of modern automobiles. They invented cars that worked and looked just like the cars of today. However it is unfair to say that either man invented the automobile.