1136 – al-Jazari – bio

al-Jazari was an Arabic engineer and inventor from Mesopotamia born around 1136. In 1206 he wrote a book called, “Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices” which described how to construct and use fifty mechanical devices.


  • Crankshaft and connecting rod mechanism to convert rotary motion into linear motion.
  • Gearing and mechanical controls in a variety of forms
  • Water raising machines
    • First known use of a crankshaft in chain pumps (chain pumps without crankshafts already existed
    • Double action suction pump with valves
    • A water supply system driven by gears
  • Automated devices
    • A drink serving mechanism
    • A basin “flush and refill” device used for hand washing
    • A soap and towel dispensing device attached to a fountain for washing
    • A water powered and programmable musical device that looked like a band of musicians
  • A wide variety of clocks
    • Candle clocks that translated rate of wax burning into accurate time displays through weight and pulley devices
    • Water and weight driven clocks
    • Elephant clock – first clock to produce notifications at timed intervals
    • Castle clock – considered to be the first analog programmable computer, included displays of solar and lunar orbits, and had a variety of automated devices built into it including ones that played music.


    vacuum pump
    steam engine

One Response to “ 1136 – al-Jazari – bio ”

  1. […] Al-Jazari (follow link for bio) also created more inventions: […]

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