The History of Mechanical Engineering


Did you know that mechanical engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering?

If you are in the mood for some history, please read on!

It is not a secret that there are many different types of engineering branches, however mechanical engineering is one of the most diverse and versatile engineering fields. Mechanical engineering involves the principles of physics, mathematics, engineering, design, and much more. According to Merriam-Webster, “Mechanical engineering is defined as a branch of engineering concerned primarily with the industrial application of mechanics and with the production of tools, machinery, and their products.”

Mechanical engineering can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution, when innovators were brainstorming ideas of more economic modes of transportation. However, it’s been said that mechanical engineering could be traced back to Ancient Greece and China as well. For example, the screw wheel and axle can be traced back to Ancient Greece and China, which were used together in water wells as a mechanism for water retrieval. Mechanical engineering has always existed and in today’s society is everywhere. When developers are introducing new types of equipment to be used in our daily lives, mechanical engineering is the backbone of their functions. For example, smartphones, trains, planes, automobiles, and even engines that are housed by the automobile are developed with mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is important for us as everything created around us are made by it.

Fun facts about mechanical engineering:

  • Ralph Teetor was a blind Mechanical Engineer who invented cruise control;
  • Aurel Boleslav Stodola was a professor of Albert Einstein and is known for setting in motion the study of thermodynamics;
  • Gottlieb Richard Traub is known for creating the Traub motorcycle, which is still the rarest motorcycle today; and
  • Lillian Gilbreth is known as the first woman to become a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and was also named the “Mother of Modern Management.”

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