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The four things I learned about this week in history

Essay #14 History Of Inventions

Hello, in today’s essay I will be talking about the four things I learned about this week in history, let’s get started.


Buttons are circular, tiny objects that are on our shirts, or at least some of our shirts. Buttons were invented in the 13th century A.D. (1200 A.D). Before buttons became famous there were brooches, brooches were large metal devices used for fastening fabric together, oh and I forgot to mention pins too. Pins were also very popular before buttons, but the most common fasteners before buttons were the soft fasteners, such as leather drawstrings, laces, and ribbons. Originally buttons were more for decorative purposes, but major events change the minds of the people about buttons. Can you guess what those events were? If you said the little ice age, you are correct. The little ice age led to a shift in clothing, not only chimneys. Clothes had to be snug and formfitting, that’s when by the 1250 A.D. there was a big need for buttons. Their primary use was fastening clothes together, they made clothes tightly secured to the body. They were also used for fashion and in other ways to. The upper class adopted the buttons first, then the lower classes next, because at first buttons were very expensive because they were in high demand. The elite became fascinated with buttons, so the button making guild was formed to use a government coercion to satisfy the needs of the elite -and only the elite. Consumers in France suffered because of government regulations meant to “ enforce quality standards.” This petty theft was thwarted by the free market. Buttons also lead to class separation, just like the chimney. The class separation happened in the 13th century A.D. Buttons made class separations more apparent. It is also said that buttons improved lifespan in the old days, because children used to die of cold, so sad, anyway let’s stop talking about that because that’s very sad, we still use buttons today, and I’m grateful for it.

Oil painting

Oil painting is an art style developed along with the medieval architectural styles. Before oil painting, however tempera painting was the dominant art style, from Romanesque to Gothic. Tempera is a water based, fast drying paint, made of egg yolks, or other binders and pigments. Sometimes they used honey or milk as binders with the pigments. Gothic paintings and Middle Ages art in general, featured Christian theology. Painting scenes from the Bible, was the main way to teach it to the people, as the masses were unable to read. The shifts in theology were thus reflected in painting and art styles. Oil painting has been used since the 1100s for outdoor painting of wood and shield surfaces, for decoration, because unlike tempera, oil paint didn’t wash away in the rain. Jan van Eyck, a baroque artist, innovated oil painting. He started to incorporate oil painting in his art works. He kept experimenting with it, and refined his technique to the point of developing a new painting style, known today as photo-realistic. Van Eyck was hired as court painter around 1422AD. His paintings were appreciated and sold very well all over Northern Europe, and eventually his technique made it to Rome and was incorporated by the Renaissance artists. His work was like a bridge between the Gothic and Renaissance styles. More and more realistic paintings were created by the artists, one example is Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci. Renaissance style moved away from theological themes and towards Greco Roman ones. Leonardo da Vinci and Rafael, used oil paint in their paintings. There are many advantages of using oil paint, aside from not being was by rain, oil paint it dries the same color as when it is wet. Today many artists continue to use oil painting.


Let’s talk about the main component of cannons first, gun powder, a crucial component to the cannon. It was invented by the Chinese and used as the early firearms by the 13th century. Castles were an important aspect of the middle ages. Feudalism developed in the heavily decentralized holy Roman empire. Princes let vassals cultivate the land in exchange for the promise to respond to military summons. Princes or lords build castles on their land to protect their vessels, the peasants, and the church, and themselves. Castles were built to protect against siege engines. Gunpowder and battle experience inspired the first cannons. Skilled metalworkers would be needed to make them, so they used bell makers or bell founders. Perhaps the first cannon was made from a bell. Cannons are kind of like a big gun meant to launch projectiles using the same thing as guns, gun powder. We believe cannons appeared by the 1250 A.D. They were more powerful and faster than trebuchets. Cannons were mobile and relatively easy to move, they can be custom built for most military applications, so that means they can be extremely big too. The first cannons were probably used in Spain by the Muslims against the Spanish in 1250 A.D. The English and French use them against each other in the hundred year war (1337). The Byzantine empire deployed cannons to defeat the Ottoman Empire (1396). The Ottomans made their own canyons after seeing their effectiveness (1453). The canon constantly evolved over the years. Cannons ended the legacy of medieval castles, they also lead to the fall of Constantinople and the flourishing of the renaissance.

The spinning wheel

Cloth weaving was done using a vertical loom since the ancient times. The much improved horizontal loom invented by the Chinese increased cloth production rates. There was one problem. The production of the threads was much slower than that of the cloth, and the weaving industry couldn’t grow. Cloth production was restricted because the thread makers couldn’t make thread fast enough, but entrepreneurs use their creativity to solve problems. A wheel was needed to create more thread, faster. It appears that a spinning wheel was invented by the Chinese and Indians, and probably a European entrepreneur, aware of the weaving industry problems, brought the spinning wheel to Europe. That’s what entrepreneurs do. See the problems and find the solution to the problems. So, the loom arrived in Europe in the 11th century. The weaving industry took off. The spinning wheel is a belt driven device that incorporates prior technology to increase thread production rates. The rates were increased by over 10 times. Northern Europe became famous in the middle ages for its weaving industry. The campaign fairs created markets for cloth merchants, they also spread culture, such as the Gothic style to southern Europe. Bruges, on the northern coast, became a booming cultural center because of its weaving industry. After the black death swept through Europe the enterprises in Bruges came up with innovative new ways to stimulate business. “Philip the good” set up his court in Bruges in the 1400s. The spinning wheel elevated merchant class in society amplifying their influence. It lead to improvements such as the development of oil painting by Jan Van Eyck. The guild system began to decline after the black death in part because of efforts of weavers and cloth makers. The guild reduced quality. Innovations on the spinning wheel lead to factory system and the industrial revolution. The first clothing factory as opened in England. Today, we can’t imagine our life without clothing.

Thank you for reading this article, before you leave I would like to tell you my favorite subject, it was the cannon,I found it interesting because I like cannons and guns and swords and all those things that have to do with medieval and modern wars, I especially like helmets and armor. Anyway thank you for reading this article and can you tell me your favorite subject, bye. 👋


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