A Short Guide to the Long History of the Gear

industrial gearbox repairsOver the last century and beyond, the machining industry has been one of the most important sectors across the globe. In the U.S., machinery manufacturing shipments totaled roughly $407.4 billion in 2012 — and that’s only 7.1% of all the manufacturing shipments that year.

One aspect of this historic industry that often goes unnoticed is the gear.

While the wheel is normally cited as the most important invention in human history, a strong case could be made for the gear. This simple device allows for the building of incredibly complex machines, and this component is at the heart of the world’s most complex machines. From industrial gearbox repairs to keeping machines running efficiently, gears are essential and should be appreciated much more.

Gears have been an integral part of industry success for much longer than just 100 years. In fact, the Antikythera mechanism is estimated to have been created around the late second century BC.

The Antikythera mechanism is ancient Greece’s version of the gear, an analogue computer used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for astrological and calendar purposes. It was also used to track the ancient Olympic Games throughout each four-year cycle.

The ancient artifact was discovered in 1902 by Valerios Stais, an archaeologist, among wreckage from a wreck off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera. It contained gears and other components, but one gear attached to the device is approximately 5.5 inches and held 223 teeth.

Famous Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle provided the world with the earliest description of the gear. He wrote that the “direction of rotation is reversed when one gear wheel drives another gear wheel.” That description might seem simplistic now, but 2,400 ago, it was quite revolutionary.

Today, without industrial gearbox repairs and complicated machine intricacies, manufacturing companies wouldn’t be able to succeed. But the gear is still an important part of today’s industrial success and the history of the world.

If you want to learn more about these simple, yet complex historic devices, contact a professional company that is knowledgeable about industrial gearbox repairs and can provide you with a quality gearbox rebuild guide. Visit Northern Engineering today.