Home About

(d) Timeline of technological histories

Most dates obtained via (Beniger 1986).

3500BC Although the term “bureaucracy” was not coined until the mid 18th century, organized and consistent administrative systems are much older. The development of writing (ca. 3500 BC) and the use of documents was critical to the administration of this system, and the first definitive emergence of bureaucracy is in ancient Sumer, where an emergent class of scribes used clay tablets to administer the harvest and allocate its spoils. Ancient Egypt also had a hereditary class of scribes that administered the civil service bureaucracy (Beniger 1986, 24–25).
300 bc Feedback control waterclock of Ctesibius of Alexandria.
1420 Augmente d reality: Filippo Bruneleschi Experiemnt 1420
1519 Success ion of innovations in navigational and seafaring technology
1614 John Na pier’s logarithms, essential ideas for the analog computer
1617 John Na pier’s rods, essential ideas for the analog computer
1620 Feedbac k thermostatic furnace devised by Cornelis Drebbel of Holland
1630 William Oughtred’s rectilinear and circular slide rules, essential ideas for the computer
1654 Modern sliding rule
1684 Calculu s of Leibniz
1687 Calculu s of Sir Isaac Newton
1746 Float v alve
1751 Tempera ture regulator
1788 Centrif ugal governor
1786 William Playfair invented several types of diagrams: in 1786 the line, area and bar chart of economic data.
1777-1875 Critica l re-examination of foundations of mathematics, discovery of non-Euclidean geometries. Karl Friedrich Gauss
1799 Pressur e regulator
1780s Major u nderpinnings of a commercial control structure through commercial banks
1788 Watt’s steam governor
1792 Stock e xchange
1800 Interch angeable parts
1800 British shipping capacity exceeded 1.5 million tons
1800 US syst em of bankruptcy
1801 William Playfair invented the pie chart and circle graph, used to show part-whole relations.

Beniger, James. 1986. The Control Revolution. Harvard University Press.