Monday, January 18, 2010

Europeans never discovered the moldboard plow

Europeans, for a thousand years, approx., plowed their fields with various varieties of sharp sticks. The Chinese used a plow shaped like a v with the arms curved out. This was much more efficient and easier to use. It wasn't until the 1600's, when Dutch sailors brought Chinese plows to Europe, that Europeans adopted this improved technology.

Creating a new thing is difficult, even when similar things exist in a culture.

From the book 1491, thanks to Google books for the citation.