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Chinese 'south-pointing' chariot, c 2700-1100 BC.

Chinese 'south-pointing' chariot, c 2700-1100 BC.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm


Chinese myths relates that a 'south pointing chariot' was developed for guidance either in fog or acros featureles deserts. Examples were later displayed in ceremonial parades. This model shows a differential gear train connecting independently rotating wheels that maintains a pointer indicating a set direction. Though theoretically feasible this device would have been impractical over any distance. This conjectural model was constructed by George H Lanchester.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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