User Input

User Input: Era vs. Era

Come on, how can you not love these?

There’s been a bit of backstage discussion amongst the various Toasters contributors in the last week or so. Much of it has revolved around wondering if we’ve had enough or too much or too little material from any one particular era. Now, when we originally set up AtomicToasters, we conceptualized it having a feel from the Cold War era, but there was never any conscious decision around that.

In the last week or so, I realized we’ve never really opened that point up for conversation. My own personal bias is actually towards the WWII-to-Korean-War era; that had my pick for the most fascinating era in technological development. At the same time, however, the intrigue, subterfuge and clandestine nature of the Cold War era is somehow so exciting, it’s hard to overlook. Each era, however, came out with some amazing leaps and bounds in our technological world.

An argument could be made for other eras as well. The Industrial Revolution brought us steam power; the Great War brought flight; the Classical Era brought the first machines; our current era has Scarlett Johansson on a 100-foot screen in 3D. All are convincing arguments.

What era in technological history most captivates you? And what era would you like to see us talk about more?

  • GlassOnion9

    Mesozoic

    Because dinosaurs.

    • Number_Six

      That only counts if the dinosaurs were using tools. Judging by t-rex arms and diplodocus…giant flat feet…, this was not the case.

      • skitter

        Dinosaurs… don't use tools.
        Dinosaurs are tools.

        You've much to learn about taking over the world, Pinky.

  • skitter

    I like it eclectic. The most interesting eras are the ones I don't know about.

  • Number_Six

    All of it.
    Korean observatory from the 7th C:

    <img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3542/3358062161_9945929053_z.jpg&quot; width=500 height=500>
    Inter-American observatory, present-day Chile:

    <img src="http://www.eurekalert.org/features/doe/images/dbnl-de1_1050608.2.jpg&quot; width=500>

    • The Professor

      Hear hear. There is amazing stuff in every era.

  • Industrial Revolution, baby! The Professor's Mesta posts are the biggest kick for me on this site, and they're the tail end of the period.

    • The Professor

      I must admit that it's one of my favourite periods also. So many wonderful machines to puzzle over.

      • CaptianNemo2001

        While the Industrial Revolution is nice its way too big when you really start thinking about it. As it spans the whole of water-powered industrial factory's of the 1700's to the dawn of, if not well into, the early 20th century. (1910ish)

        For me it is 1880's through about 1917.

  • fodder650

    Being focused is nice but isn't this site more about of oddities of technology as a whole? The professors big machine pieces predate the twentieth century. Plus my own pieces on the MSN Direct items and Peek handhelds show obscure tech in modern times.

  • Cold was does it for me; because Ekranoplans and Conelrad.

    But pleez don't go changing to try and please me, you never let me down before.

  • The Professor

    One topic that I've been considering to start posting about is architecture as machines, such as castles and other old, large buildings.
    Is anyone interested in that sort of thing or is it too far off-centre?

    • fodder650

      So a building that serves another function besides just housing?

      • The Professor

        Pretty much. The buildings don't necessarily have to provide housing either, like the observatories in the comments above.
        It's kind of a tricky topic to approach, which is why I haven't done anything with it yet.

        • CaptianNemo2001

          Like the Mesta Machine Factory working as a whole to make all of their cool stuff. I noticed that there's usually no pricing on their engines.

    • CaptianNemo2001

      There are some wicked epic defensive castles that are truly impressive. But I don't have many on my list of impressive castles. But maybe I can write up a list of ones that are "above average". It has been quite some time since I have looked into castles.

    • Vairship

      Yes! Especially how castles evolved to adapt to the ever-changing assault weaponry.

  • Stephen

    Having just returned from visiting my daughter in Amsterdam, I have to admit the restored 17th century windmill was the most fascinating thing I've seen in a long time (it was actually in Leiden), made of wood and stone and lubricated with whale oil. It's a wonder they didn't fly apart and kill everyone within 5 miles (I guess that would be 8 kilometers :~) But I do agree, how could you not want a Mosquito, or a diesel powered attack sub for that matter?

  • CaptianNemo2001

    I'll take a Type XXIII U-boat from the second world war. I would of course tear out the torpedo tubes and convert the front part to a large lock out chamber so I can have fun. That and upgrade the batteries, motors ect.

    • Stephen

      My first trip to Chicago gave me an opportunity to spend a Saturday in the Museum of Science and Industry. I went through the U505 display twice! That was 25 years ago and I've never had the occasion to return, but I have read that the U-boat display has improved and enlarged. For our 30th wedding anniversary a couple years ago, the bride and I went to Portland. She wanting to experience the multiple food carts, I wanted to see the USS Blueback. That would be my choice, beautiful bit of equipment. The Spruce Goose was impressive as well, but I'd rather have the Mosquito.

      • CaptianNemo2001

        There is 3D scanned images of the USS Blueback on its website. You need "quicktime" to view them. They some how man handled a 3D laser scanner into the sub and then turned it on and left as the laser scanned everything within reach and then they moved it and repeated it until they got most of the submarine. They then stitched it all back together to make one massive image/object.

  • Anything pre-microprocessor era is my favorite. Although some of the early days of internet stuff is good too, just because I was around for that stuff.

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