Progress was attained by thousands of forgotten tinkerers and craftsmen, often replicating each other, many of them wasting their creative energy in the fruitless pursuit of alchemy and other dead ends
Instrument making in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was an art, not a standardized technique. Most imporvements were the result of serendipity and trial-and-error searches. Learning and training took place mostly through apprenticing and informal contact. Mechanics had to build their own parts and often the gap between the visionary who saw what might be done and the craftsman whose material and tools limited what could be done was too wide to be bridged.
The product that resisted innovation most stubbornly was steel🥰
The number of technological breakthroughs that were purely empyrical did not decline though their relative importance did
a problem was defined jointly by a perceived market need and by the tstate of the art as defined by previous inventions and accumulation of knowledgeand that the two inventors may have had 2nd or 3rd degree connection
The optimal design of the bicycle was difficult because the attributes of the bicycle spanned a number of dimensions: speed, comfort, safety, elegance, and price were all considered and had to be traded off against each other.
Gadgets and devices can be conceived that are known to be possible but cannot be built efficiently because supporting technologies are lacking
A group can conceive nothing that is not first conceived by a person
A macroinvention is an invention without clear cut parantage, representing a clear break from previous technique
By the nature of technology we rarely miss what was not invented