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Theater of Instruments and Machines
A new type of book appeared in Europe in the late 16th century, representing a genre of literature known as the “theater of machines.” The first of the theaters was produced by Jacques Besson (circa 1540–73), a French Protestant, born in Grenoble, who worked primarily as a mathematics teacher until royal patronage came his way. In 1559, Besson published a book on extracting oils and waters from simple drugs. His second book, Le Cosmolabe, published in 1567, described an elaborate instrument that could be used for navigation, surveying, cartography ...
Contributed by
Smithsonian Institution
Illustrations and Explanations of Wonderful Machines
Qi qi tu shuo (Illustrations and explanations of wonderful machines) is the first Chinese translation of a work that introduced Western mechanics and machine engineering to China. It was dictated by Deng Yuhan and recorded and translated by Wang Zheng (1571–1644). Deng Yuhan was the Chinese name of Johann Terrenz (1576-1630), a Jesuit missionary who was born in Konstanz, Germany and came to China in the late Ming era. A talented man with wide-ranging knowledge, Terrenz mastered many languages and was also a renowned physician, botanist, and astronomer. Early ...
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National Central Library