This is the final week of History Grade 4, and this week I learned about Morphine, the Jacquard Loom, Inventions and Worldview, and Inventions and Patterns.
There weren’t many choices for medicine in the ancient world, and “cures” were painful and fatal. Friedrich Serturner invented morphine from opium in 1804 after spending years learning and practicing chemistry. Morphine is a very powerful pain medication that blocks pain signals and creates feeling of happiness. After a few years of struggling to get the word out in papers, his human experiments finally caught the attention of companies searching for morphine.
Morphine led to powerful pain treatments, heroine, and, surprisingly, Coca-Cola!
The rich nobility has always preferred to wear fancy clothes with intricately woven designs, while the poor wore dirty worn out rags. A series of developments in the 1700s led Jacquard to combine them and invent the loom in 1804. It uses a programmable punched card to automate the weaving of complex patterns in fabric. The machines suffer resistance from mobs at first, but could not be stopped from spreading to factories across the world.
The punched card idea was extended into numerous industries, leading to the programmable computer.
Inventions and Worldview
Almost all cultures in the past believed in cyclical time, except those who were based on the Bible. The Greeks believed in cyclical time, which made them fail in their inventions. They didn’t believe in work, they left work to their slaves. Plus, they thought that their inventions were going to get destroyed in the end. The Christian’s worldview of linear time spread across the world quickly after the Roman Empire collapsed. Different worldviews play a big part in why inventions have different outcomes.
Thanks to the Christian’s linear worldview it proved the importance of our work.
Inventions and Patterns
With all the inventions that have been invented over the ages I think that anyone that has done this History course will realize that there is a pattern in how these inventions. Not the invention itself, but how it’s invented. Something odd. The inventors usually notice something odd. They run some tests or experiments and has a “eureka!” moment. Figure the problem out, and voila! One new invention, fresh, straight out of the oven. But, it isn’t just that. The inventors are open minded, and is excited to try something never done before.
Another important pattern is the inventions are labor-saving. That results in lowering the cost of the finished project.
As you can see all these inventions have patterns. Worldviews have a big part, and morphine and the jacquard loom are very important inventions.