17 Facts About Al-Jazari


Al-Jazari is credited with the invention of the elephant clock.

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Al-Jazari has been described as the "father of robotics" and modern day engineering.

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Al-Jazari was born in the area of Upper Mesopotamia in 1136.

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Al-Jazari was part of a tradition of artisans and was thus more a practical engineer than an inventor who appears to have been "more interested in the craftsmanship necessary to construct the devices than in the technology which lay behind them" and his machines were usually "assembled by trial and error rather than by theoretical calculation".

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Al-Jazari goes on to describe the improvements he made to the work of his predecessors, and describes a number of devices, techniques and components that are original innovations which do not appear in the works by his precessors.

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Al-Jazari used the crankshaft with a connecting rod in two of his water-raising machines: the crank-driven saqiya chain pump and the double-action reciprocating piston suction pump.

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Al-Jazari invented a method for controlling the speed of rotation of a wheel using an escapement mechanism.

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Al-Jazari invented five machines for raising water, as well as watermills and water wheels with cams on their axle used to operate automata, in the 12th and 13th centuries, and described them in 1206.

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Al-Jazari constructed a water-raising saqiya chain pump which was run by hydropower rather than manual labour, though the Chinese were using hydropower for chain pumps prior to him.

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Al-Jazari developed the earliest water supply system to be driven by gears and hydropower, which was built in 13th century Damascus to supply water to its mosques and Bimaristan hospitals.

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Al-Jazari invented the earliest known automatic gates, which were driven by hydropower, created automatic doors as part of one of his elaborate water clocks, and invented water wheels with cams on their axle used to operate automata.

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Al-Jazari invented a hand washing automaton incorporating a flush mechanism now used in modern flush toilets.

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Al-Jazari's "peacock fountain" was a more sophisticated hand washing device featuring humanoid automata as servants which offer soap and towels.

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Al-Jazari's work described fountains and musical automata, in which the flow of water alternated from one large tank to another at hourly or half-hourly intervals.

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Al-Jazari created a musical automaton, which was a boat with four automatic musicians that floated on a lake to entertain guests at royal drinking parties.

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Al-Jazari constructed a variety of water clocks and candle clocks.

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Al-Jazari invented water clocks that were driven by both water and weights.

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