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The mainspring, the printing press, the arqubus, and chess

Essay #17 History Of Inventions

The mainspring

Before the main spring, and the mechanical clock, nobody was certain what time it was. Yes they did have the hourglass and the sundial, but they were not so exact. When the mechanical clock was invented people could tell time better. Unfortunately only the rich towns, or cities had them. So they invented a mechanism called the mainspring. “A mainspring is a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon—commonly spring steel—used as a power source in mechanical watches, some clocks, and other clockwork mechanisms.”— Wikipedia. The mainspring was very good because it could be made very small. It could fit it into a pocket watch, or a medium sized mechanical clock that can fit in your home, it was perfect. Nowadays, clocks and watches mostly use batteries and wires and all that fancy-schmancy stuff. What I meant to say by fancy-schmancy was electronics. But what can I say, at least they’re affective.

The printing press

Before the printing press people had to talk to each other in person, and only in person, so if they had a good idea they would only be able to share it with the people next to them. Most of the books back then were written in Latin and not everybody spoke Latin, or read Latin. China had invented “wood block printing”in the 700s AD. Then the “movable type” was invented in Asia by the 1200s AD. Then Johann Gutenberg applied his knowledge of metal work and invented the printing press. It was most likely easier for him because he had 26 letters in the alphabet while China and Asia had dozens of dozens of letters. With the invention of the printing press it was much easier to share ideas ,thoughts, and other communications with your friends, but it still wasn’t as good as text message, ha ha just a joke. With this invention, books could also be printed faster and cheaper, multiple pages could be stamped at once. It must’ve been such an amazing scientific breakthrough, or I should, say invention. Kindle and audiobooks are quite popular today, however we still use paper books.

The arqubus

The arqubus began as a hand cannon in China in the 13th century; it was very simple, a barrel plus a handle. Early forms were not good for long range, so a series of inventions improved the hand cannon. In the 15th century there was a need for stronger guns because of the invention of plate armor. Then the arqubus was invented. It’s accuracy was better, it itself, was much better than a hand cannon, it could also go through knight’s armor, and it made war cheaper, meaning that soldiers did not need to spend years training as an archer would. Kings and queens always loved a stronger military, so the new invention was perfect, so they used it in the military. The arqubus slowly evolved into the nowadays rifle and shotgun, and other weapons. Today’s weapons are much stronger than the arqubus, but we know the arqubus as their father.


Outdoor games have been popular for a very long time, such as jousting, and the bloody gladiator fights, and more, but there was also an indoor game. Chess is the indoor game. People like chess because it not only helps with war strategy, but it also uses mathematics. Chess is played on a checkered board, one square white and one square black. The pieces for chess are the pawn, the rook, the knight, the bishop, the queen, and most importantly the king. There are eight pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, one queen, and one king. The point of the game chess is to kill, or capture the other player’s king. All the other pieces in the game to protect the king. The history of the chess pieces is interesting. First they were like we know them today, people and animals, then abstract figures, then back to people and animals. See, it was actually quite interesting. Nowadays people play chess for fun and competitive. It is a fun game and I myself like to play it.

Thank you for reading this essay about the mainspring, the printing press, the arqubus, and chess. Would you like to share with me what you learned about today? Have a nice day and bye for now.


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