Transcript[edit | edit source]
Ingenious Mechanical Devices: The Automata of Al-Jazari
Al-Jazari's so-called 'Elephant Clock', conceived in 1206, was not only the first iteration of a water-powered timepiece capable of accuratley registering the hours of the day in their irregular lengths, but also first to utuilize the aesthetic device of a clockwork automata - a chirping bird and human striking a cymbal. The length of the clock's hourly intervals could be 'reprogrammed' by the adjustement of a flow regulator mechanism.
Al-Jazar's later designs, building on his works with hydro-powered automata and detailed in his writings appearing in his Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices, would include the 'castle clock'; this mechanism is widely regarded by many scholars as history's first programmable mechanical (née analog) computer system, and in addition to showeing the passge of time, it also featured a display of celestial zodiac, and the orbits of the sun and the moon.