The impact on history of some inventions

Spectacles

The invention of spectacles made a big impact in people’s lives, especially scholars and teachers and people that needed to read for their jobs, because spectacles made it so that people could see better. Scholars could keep working even if they were old and had bad vision. That made it possible for people to be able to retire when they wanted, and not just when they couldn’t see anymore.

Mechanical Clocks

Mechanical clocks allowed common people to tell time. Clocks made life easier because you wouldn’t have to reset the time mechanically (like an hour glass). Mechanical clocks were also better than the water clock because the water in the water clock could freeze.

Paper Mills

Parchment is very hard to make, so that made it expensive. If you made a bible from parchment you would need 200-300 animal skins. Paper was very easy to make – you just needed old linen rags. After the spinning wheel was made, linen clothes were cheap. Lots of people had many linen clothes that they didn’t want so they threw them out. An entrepreneur collected the rags and made paper. The paper was made by taking ripped up rags and getting them wet and then squeezing the water out and pounding them into paper.

Robert Grosseteste

Before Grosseteste was born there was a big conflict between the church and the state, which led to more power in the church. It was the time of the Islamic golden age and there were large amounts of Greek literature from the Islamic world going to Europe, which revived interest in Plato and Aristotle in the universities in Europe.

Robert was born in Southern England in 1175 and went to school in the Hereford Cathedral school. In his 50’s he was a preacher, teacher, and church scholar. He believed the Biblical creation account that God created the earth out of nothing. He also believed that our minds are mathematical in nature, and was fascinated by light and reflection, particularly rainbows. He formed the basis for the scientific method and disapproved Aristotle’s theory on an eternal universe. He pointed out Aristotle’s theories and corrected them to fit the biblical understanding. He took the theories of Plato and Aristotle and changed them to fit the Christian mindset. He also figured-out that rainbows were created by refraction, not reflection.

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