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Crankshaft - Invented by Al-Jazari

: c.1206
: Turkey
: Power & Hand Tools

About Invention

Islamic scholar Al-Jazari(1150-1220) lived in what was northern Mesopotamia _today's northeastern Syria and Iraq.A brilliant inventor,he made one of the most significant contributions to human engineering in 1206 by divising the world's first crankshaft.This conceptually simple device converts rotary into reciprocating motion,and vice versa,but it is now used in a huge number of modern machines,including automobiles.Put simply,the industrial Revolution could not have happened without it. 

The eccentrically mounted handle of the rotary handmill in 5th century BC Spain that spread across the Roman Empire constitutes a crank.The earliest evidence of a crank and connecting rod mechanism dates to the 3rd century AD Hierapolis sawmill in the Roman Empire.The crank also appears in the mid-9th century in several of the hydraulic devices described by the Ban? M?s? brothers in their Book of Ingenious Devices.

In 1206, al-Jazari invented an early crankshaft,which he incorporated with a crank-connecting rod mechanism in his twin-cylinder pump.Like the modern crankshaft, Al-Jazari's mechanism consisted of a wheel setting several crank pins into motion, with the wheel's motion being circular and the pins moving back-and-forth in a straight line.The crankshaft described by al-Jazari transforms continuous rotary motion into a linear reciprocating motion, and is central to modern machinery such as the steam engine, internal combustion engine and automatic controls.He used the crankshaft with a connecting rod in two of his water-raising machines: the crank-driven saqiya chain pump and the double-action reciprocating piston suction pump.His water pump also employed the first known crank-slider mechanism.


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