Machines have always gone hand-in-hand with the cultural development of m- kind throughout time. A book on the history of machines is nothing more than a specific way of bringing light to human events as a whole in order to highlight some significant milestones in the progress of knowledge by a complementary persp- tive into a general historical overview. This book is the result of common efforts and interests by several scholars, teachers, and students on subjects that are connected with the theory of machines and mechanisms. In fact, in this book there is a certain teaching aim in addition to a general historical view that is more addressed to the achievements by "e;homo faber"e; than to those by "e;homo sapiens"e;, since the proposed history survey has been developed with an engineering approach. The brevity of the text added to the fact that the authors are probably not com- tent to tackle historical studies with the necessary rigor, means the content of the book is inevitably incomplete, but it nevertheless attempts to fulfil three basic aims: First, it is hoped that this book may provide a stimulus to promote interest in the study of technical history within a mechanical engineering context. Few are the co- tries where anything significant is done in this area, which means there is a general lack of knowledge of this common cultural heritage.
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