JF Ptak Science Books Post 1958
The birth year of Rosie the Robot is approaching.
(This beautiful sprocket nest, for a patent for transmitting power (1874), like all of the following patent images, is located at Google Patents, here)
For some odd reason I was thinking about Spacely's Sprockets, George Jetson's (of The Jetsons cartoon in the 1960's) employer. I wondered if this was a high irony--the "sprockets" part-- and if there would be any sprockets in our space-aged future. Even by the end of the 60's, just at the end of this cartoon, I wonder if in the tens of thousands of parts that went into the hardware of the Apollo Project to get us to the Moon if there were any sprockets among them.
The sprocket was just such an excellent idea in the history of the transmission of power...but in the 15 or so books that are on hand here on the history of technology there's nothing in between "spring" and "Sputnik" in their indexes. Patents for sprockets seem to begin in U.S. patent history in the late 1860's. Sprockets show up in Gatling/machine guns (1878, with the Leland gun), chain propellers (1875), turn tables for railroads (1874), chain saws (1883), holler for printing machines (1882), stump extractors (1878), wind engine engines (1880), window shutters (1879), safety pulleys (1880), traction engines (1881), feathered paddling wheels (1882), potato differs (1883, with very great tank potential), harvesters (1880), hay elevators (1881), horse treadmills (1884), corn planters (1881), grain elevators (1883), and of course in veliocepedes (a very cumbersome device by Emmit G. Latta in 1880).
[Bicycle source here]
I suspect that there were sprockets in space in 1969, and perhaps they're in a Space X vehicle--I really don't know. Its just interesting to think of the coming of the sprocket and what an enormous influence it exerted in the history of power transmission--and the device's beauty.
My sneaking suspicion is that Rosie the Robot, the maid for the Jetson family--who was 45 years old in the beginning of the 1962 series-- was loaded with 1965 sprockets--whether sprockets would exist in the year 2062 or whatever year George Jetson was alive in (certainly many centuries post-2062) is another story. But Rosie--the outdated-model mid-life maid of the future and most reasonable character in the series--surely had them.
Some beautiful sprockets:
And an oddly-powered boat:
Horse tread, very much like a tank, 1883, (source here):