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Some Applications of Fire

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Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 8)

The discovery of fire was obviously man&s first conquest, however it occurred; it sets the passage of humanity from the simple animal phase to the intellectual phase; any further development towards civilization starts from the capability of managing it.

Apart from the innumerable technical and material consequences, there are others that are even more important but that at first glance escape us completely. Fire shattered darkness and eliminated the cold: with the elimination of darkness, man became master of the other half of the day; with elimination of the cold he conquered all geographic environments with a rigid climate. An expansion of time and space that in turn triggered a series of further mutations: the flame around which humans would sit for warmth or to pass the night, was the ideal catalyst for the exchange of news, the emulation of advantageous solutions and increased knowledge. The luminosity of the flame permitted voyages that the night discouraged. Visible bonfires indicated land to those travelling by sea, who then learned to communicate with those lights, overcoming otherwise insuperable marine space. Agamemnon used fire to announce his victory in Troy, unknowingly triggering his own murder. The light of flames was further exploited in a magnificent lighthouse on a small island off the coast of Alexandria, with the strange name of Pharos, which became one of the most famous and suggestive icons of a naval infrastructure.

Keywords

Thermal Bath Fire Ignition Rock Crystal Hollow Brick Virtual Reconstruction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

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