What revolutionary technologies did OTL miss?

I'm not sure if this can be considered 'missed' technology since it is was discovered and it's arguably still used in an industrial form, but it is odd that it wasn't discovered earlier.

The split log road drag, or King road drag. An extremely simple tool to grade dirt roads, able to basically be constructed by anyone and then used with two horses, but only was discovered in the twentieth century. Basically just two logs with a distance between them, dragged by two horses, with the logs smoothing dirt roads as long as they were wet. Was able to be used by basically any farmer.

Considering how roads were so difficult to use for so long, such an cheap and easy method of maintaining dirt roads seems like something that should have come around a lot earlier.
 
I look at a couple of Da Vinci works and I thought there at least a few that could have potentially be revolutionary if there more investment in those inventions .

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First example this famous sketch of a potential tank like vehicle that could shoot multiple bullets in all side and is being covered by a wooden shell covering most of the structure protecting the use .

Pros: Could be use as a moral boost as its size would certainly provoke enemy units from charging upfront or at least warn them about and its firepower would kill most of its targets when in range of the structure
Cons :Its very expensive to reproduce and mass quantities, being flammable as most of the structure is made of wood, Could have a chance for bullets to penetrate the wooden structure thus killing the operator, most likely very slow to maneuver, difficulty in almost any terrain, could probably break easily, And possibly be destroyed by cannon fire.

Another one is maybe a bit of a stretch as its discovered more recently but robotic in the medieval or early modern period is quite fascinating to explore and if they could invest more time in this field it could possibly lead into interesting outcomes.

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Ismail al-Jazari's musical robots
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Leonardo's robot with inner workings
 
I look at a couple of Da Vinci works and I thought there at least a few that could have potentially be revolutionary if there more investment in those inventions .

View attachment 716113
First example this famous sketch of a potential tank like vehicle that could shoot multiple bullets in all side and is being covered by a wooden shell covering most of the structure protecting the use .

Pros: Could be use as a moral boost as its size would certainly provoke enemy units from charging upfront or at least warn them about and its firepower would kill most of its targets when in range of the structure
Cons :Its very expensive to reproduce and mass quantities, being flammable as most of the structure is made of wood, Could have a chance for bullets to penetrate the wooden structure thus killing the operator, most likely very slow to maneuver, difficulty in almost any terrain, could probably break easily, And possibly be destroyed by cannon fire.
How is it propelled?

Actually, I remember reading that the English used something vaguely similar -- but smaller -- during one Tudor campaign against Scotland (probably "The Rough Wooing"): That was a cart with built-up walls & a roof, with the centre of its floor cut out so that a harnessed carthorse could stand there and provide the propulsion. A walkway around that "engine" provided space for soldiers to stand so that they could shoot [primitive] hand-guns or maybe crossbows out through firing ports in the walls.
 
I look at a couple of Da Vinci works and I thought there at least a few that could have potentially be revolutionary if there more investment in those inventions .

View attachment 716113
First example this famous sketch of a potential tank like vehicle that could shoot multiple bullets in all side and is being covered by a wooden shell covering most of the structure protecting the use .

Pros: Could be use as a moral boost as its size would certainly provoke enemy units from charging upfront or at least warn them about and its firepower would kill most of its targets when in range of the structure
Cons :Its very expensive to reproduce and mass quantities, being flammable as most of the structure is made of wood, Could have a chance for bullets to penetrate the wooden structure thus killing the operator, most likely very slow to maneuver, difficulty in almost any terrain, could probably break easily, And possibly be destroyed by cannon fire.
This is akin to medieval war wagons of the sort famously used by the Hussites. Only advantage is not having the draft animals exposed to enemy fire but is probably slower and even harder to maneuver. They'd crumple pretty fast if you brought them in range of heavy enough artillery.
Another one is maybe a bit of a stretch as its discovered more recently but robotic in the medieval or early modern period is quite fascinating to explore and if they could invest more time in this field it could possibly lead into interesting outcomes.

View attachment 716119
Ismail al-Jazari's musical robots
View attachment 716120
Leonardo's robot with inner workings
Those were automata, which while interesting mostly were outgrowths of the tech that went into mills.
 
Would it really be too heavier than a fully-laden wagon? On roads in cities and towns, it should be possible to run a steam wagon at slightly faster average speeds than a horse-drawn wagon using the tires of the day.
19th century steam engines were massive things and they scaled down poorly - that's why OTL steam locomotives and even traction engines stayed viable decades after internal combustion had killed off the steam car. And your steam vehicle has to either go faster or carry more than a horse-drawn wagon, otherwise people will stick with horses, which are cheap and well understood.

But apparently pneumatic tires are a mid-19th century invention thanks to the work of inventor Robert William Thompson who used them for both steam vehicles and horse-drawn carriages. I suspect if steam vehicles are a major concern, this sort of tire would be in higher demand meaning there'd be continued refinement and reduction of cost over the next few decades.
Yes. If the tyre/suspension issue could be solved earlier, then you might just end up butterflying commuter and/or rural rail services altogether - unless you want to go really fast or haul really heavy loads, why spend years and fortunes laying rail when steam trucks or buses can start service tomorrow? Then you get much more political pressure to imporve the roads...
 
19th century steam engines were massive things and they scaled down poorly - that's why OTL steam locomotives and even traction engines stayed viable decades after internal combustion had killed off the steam car. And your steam vehicle has to either go faster or carry more than a horse-drawn wagon, otherwise people will stick with horses, which are cheap and well understood.
Richard Trevithick in 1801 built a steam engine that could travel at 14.5 km/h, hence my estimate that decades later engines that could go similar speeds for a reasonable amount of time could be widespread. Even OTL, road locomotives had a market, they were just legislated out of existence because of competition with horses through laws like insanely low speed limits and requiring someone to walk/ride in front of them with a red flag.
Yes. If the tyre/suspension issue could be solved earlier, then you might just end up butterflying commuter and/or rural rail services altogether - unless you want to go really fast or haul really heavy loads, why spend years and fortunes laying rail when steam trucks or buses can start service tomorrow? Then you get much more political pressure to imporve the roads...
A train would be faster and more comfortable, although IIRC that sort of service on trains didn't start until the later part of the 19th century. Even so, there's not much reason a train couldn't have such service meaning for longer distances it's still a strong competitor and probably goes faster anyway given that a drivable road isn't the same as a road you'd actually want to drive on.
 
Richard Trevithick in 1801 built a steam engine that could travel at 14.5 km/h, hence my estimate that decades later engines that could go similar speeds for a reasonable amount of time could be widespread. Even OTL, road locomotives had a market, they were just legislated out of existence because of competition with horses through laws like insanely low speed limits and requiring someone to walk/ride in front of them with a red flag.
15 km/h is about the practical speed of coach-and-four, so steam will have to offer a little more.
In fairness to everyone, even reactionary legislators, the early steam road engine were multi-ton contraptions with awkward steering and terrible brakes, so a certain amount of caution can be justified. If you look at the the text of the Acts, they're clearly thinking in terms of "road locomotives" hauling trains of wagons, rather than anything we would recognise as a truck or bus. I think if a steam coach could be made practical, the legal obstacles could be overcome - they certainly disappeared pretty quick once the motor car arrived OTL.
 
I was watching the first season of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (with Robert Vaughan and David McCallum) and they seem to have something resembling a cellphone (I suspect it's more like a long range walkie-talkie than anything we've got in the 2020s), but there are one or two other "gadgets" they have that got me wondering if it was possible to develop this sort of tech earlier than OTL? Similarly to @CaedmonCousland I wouldn't call it "missed" technologies, but for the 1960s when the series came out, it probably bordered on sci-fi.

PS: I know this is pre-1900, but AIUI, the "idea" for a telephone started a decade or two before Alexander Graham Bell was even born OTL. Did someone never have the idea of a walkie-talkie before 1937?
 
15 km/h is about the practical speed of coach-and-four, so steam will have to offer a little more.
In fairness to everyone, even reactionary legislators, the early steam road engine were multi-ton contraptions with awkward steering and terrible brakes, so a certain amount of caution can be justified. If you look at the the text of the Acts, they're clearly thinking in terms of "road locomotives" hauling trains of wagons, rather than anything we would recognise as a truck or bus. I think if a steam coach could be made practical, the legal obstacles could be overcome - they certainly disappeared pretty quick once the motor car arrived OTL.
wasn't there also an objection from the farmers because they panicked the horses (and other plough animals) as well? ISTR reading that somewhere
 
Joseph Merlin is another intriguing character to look at. OTL he was a bit of an inventor/clockmaker, and one of his "automata" made it into the hands of Charles Babbage (who had seen it as a child and had been fascinated by it).

Other inventions of Merlin's include: a self-propelled wheelchair,[33] a prosthetic device for "a person born with stumps only",[30] whist cards for the blind,[5] a pump for expelling "foul air",[30] a communication system for summoning servants,[30] a pedal-operated revolving tea table,[5] and a mechanical chariot with an early form of odometer.[5][3
 
I was watching the first season of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (with Robert Vaughan and David McCallum) and they seem to have something resembling a cellphone (I suspect it's more like a long range walkie-talkie than anything we've got in the 2020s), but there are one or two other "gadgets" they have that got me wondering if it was possible to develop this sort of tech earlier than OTL? Similarly to @CaedmonCousland I wouldn't call it "missed" technologies, but for the 1960s when the series came out, it probably bordered on sci-fi.

PS: I know this is pre-1900, but AIUI, the "idea" for a telephone started a decade or two before Alexander Graham Bell was even born OTL. Did someone never have the idea of a walkie-talkie before 1937?
Also post-1900 but I think this fits quite well with the idea of a early telephone/celphone
 
wasn't there also an objection from the farmers because they panicked the horses (and other plough animals) as well? ISTR reading that somewhere
There were any number of more-or-less hysterical objections to early steam locomotives on both road and rail - they would start fires, emit toxic smoke, shake buildings down, panic horses, stampede cattle, stop hens from laying... Some of these were genuine, others seem to have been attempts by landowners to squeeze railway companies for higher right-of-way payments. All of them were quietly forgotten when the railways proved popular and successful. I suspect that the road restrictions would have gone the same way if they were seen as blocking useful steam vehicles - they stuck around as long as they did OTL because they didn't make road engines much more impractical than they were already.

OTOH, a bolting horse - especially one attached to a carriage - in a crowded street is not a trivial event, so you can understand people being nervous of newfangled contraptions that could spray sparks or steam or let off loud noises without warning.
 
I look at a couple of Da Vinci works and I thought there at least a few that could have potentially be revolutionary if there more investment in those inventions .

View attachment 716113
First example this famous sketch of a potential tank like vehicle that could shoot multiple bullets in all side and is being covered by a wooden shell covering most of the structure protecting the use .

Pros: Could be use as a moral boost as its size would certainly provoke enemy units from charging upfront or at least warn them about and its firepower would kill most of its targets when in range of the structure
Cons :Its very expensive to reproduce and mass quantities, being flammable as most of the structure is made of wood, Could have a chance for bullets to penetrate the wooden structure thus killing the operator, most likely very slow to maneuver, difficulty in almost any terrain, could probably break easily, And possibly be destroyed by cannon fire.

Another one is maybe a bit of a stretch as its discovered more recently but robotic in the medieval or early modern period is quite fascinating to explore and if they could invest more time in this field it could possibly lead into interesting outcomes.

View attachment 716119
Ismail al-Jazari's musical robots
View attachment 716120
Leonardo's robot with inner workings
According to Robin Waterfield's Dividing the Spoils, Demetrius of Phalerum had a mechanical snail, which even left behind a little trail of slime as it moved forwards.
 
From what I can tell, an artist could have come up with vanishing-point perspective much earlier than the Renaissance.

Hot air balloons could have been made with Stone Age technology, though having silk would have made it much easier.

I don't know the details, but I've been told that putting manganese in cast iron makes it much less brittle and more useful, but this was only discovered in the 20th century.

Gunpowder too could have been produced with ancient technology, if someone had been lucky enough to stumble on the mixture.
 
Hot air balloons could have been made with Stone Age technology, though having silk would have made it much easier.
The problem there is the textile industry required to get the huge amount of cloth necessary for a hot air balloon. IIRC silk is one of the best fabrics for it too, and given the price of silk throughout history, it's no wonder hot air balloons were never in widespread use.
 
The problem there is the textile industry required to get the huge amount of cloth necessary for a hot air balloon. IIRC silk is one of the best fabrics for it too, and given the price of silk throughout history, it's no wonder hot air balloons were never in widespread use.

There must have been enough silk in China even millennia ago, that using some of it to make hot air balloons wouldn't even put a dent in the market.
 
Okay, this is coming from having watched Dr. Stone but, since the anime is as scientifically accurate as an anime about a mad scientist trying to re-create civilization can be, I wonder how quickly could someone get to the inventions seen in Stone Wars, for example the carbon fiber shield: if you pair early gunpowder weaponry with it, you could get Roman turtle formations on steroids, recharging their shots behind nigh-indestructible protection while advancing towards the enemy like a wall of doom. :p
 
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