What revolutionary technologies did OTL miss?

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

I wouldn't think carbon fibres are any good as armour, ballistic or otherwise.
 
While the Aeolipile probably couldn't lead to an industrial revolution in the Roman Empire in the circumstances when it was invented, are there any practical uses for it that could have lead to it becoming well known in the Mediterranean, so that eventually someone manages to develop it into a viable steam engine?

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
While the science in Dr. Stone is pretty good (at least I never noticed anything obviously absurd), the main problem is that without modern scientific knowledge, all the things Senku makes would require insane leaps of logic and rare materials.
 

oshron

Kicked
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
i've wondered about that a bit, too, and from the same source--i'm always on the lookout for advanced tech that could theoretically have emerged in a low-tech society. the wheels that they made for their steam-powered car in particular come to mind.
 
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.
'Toledo Steel', from Toledo in Spain, was historically famous for making high-quality sword-blades. I remember reading, at some point in the last two or three decades, that a study had recently been conducted on Iron ore from the deposit used in this (mining which had ceased to be commercially viable rather earlier) and had found that this naturally and fortuitously contained traces of a Manganese ore in a good proportion for improving the blades' composition like that.
 
Could FIAT money work a lot earlier?
Maybe Nero instead of going after the temples treasures to finance rebuilding Rome, he just uses them as collateral for paper money, well they did not have paper, so papyrus money mabe?
 
Could FIAT money work a lot earlier?
In effect, it was tried several times, including by various Roman emperors - google "debasement of the coinage" for the gory details. Even the famous Yuan-dynasty paper money ultimately felt victim to disastrous inflation. It turns out that giving people paper (or brass or papyrus or ) and telling them it's as good as silver by order is a poor long-term financial strategy. You need a developed banking system first, and you need to get people used to dealing in token money and confident that the promise-to-pay is solid before you can consider breaking the link - and historically, this took generations.

If it's rushed through by a desperate government looking to plug a shortfall, everyone assumes it's a swindle, the "collective illusion" never gets set up and before you know it your tokens are trading at a massive discount and even your own officials are demanding to be paid in "real money".

Now it's possible that the Romans or Chinese or some other culture might have worked out fractional-reserve banking earlier than the renaissance Italians, and if, say, such a banking system had evolved under Augustus and stayed stable right through the Five Good Emperors, it's possible that in the 3rd-century crisis an emperor might have been able to "leave the gold standard" without the sky falling in. But that would be heavily dependent on a succession of previous Emperors not treating it a source of free money.
 
'Toledo Steel', from Toledo in Spain, was historically famous for making high-quality sword-blades. I remember reading, at some point in the last two or three decades, that a study had recently been conducted on Iron ore from the deposit used in this (mining which had ceased to be commercially viable rather earlier) and had found that this naturally and fortuitously contained traces of a Manganese ore in a good proportion for improving the blades' composition like that.
Which shows that just because you can make something better doesn't mean you know why it works. And without the extensive development and exploitation of scientific chemistry and metallurgy they won't be able to reproduce it with other materials.
 
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See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copper_currency_in_Sweden for that country's late-17th-century/early-18th-century attempts at fiat currency, when the only real alternative currency there for high denominations was -- due to the differing availability of metals -- slabs of copper that could weigh over 30 pounds...
And note that while some of the attempts were initially successful, all of them ultimately collapsed when people lost confidence. A necessary condition for successful fiat money is public confidence that the government is not trying to wriggle out of its obligations by "paying" them in worthless tokens.

It's also worth noting that fiat money doesn't just mean paper or token money, it means token money that is not backed by commodity reserves. The Swedes could have chosen to keep their 30-pound copper slabs in the Treasury and issue Treasury notes backed by copper and these could have worked as well as the copper slabs with fewer strained muscles. Of course the copper slabs ended up working very badly, because you can still have crippling inflation even with commodity money.
 
And note that while some of the attempts were initially successful, all of them ultimately collapsed when people lost confidence. A necessary condition for successful fiat money is public confidence that the government is not trying to wriggle out of its obligations by "paying" them in worthless tokens.

It's also worth noting that fiat money doesn't just mean paper or token money, it means token money that is not backed by commodity reserves. The Swedes could have chosen to keep their 30-pound copper slabs in the Treasury and issue Treasury notes backed by copper and these could have worked as well as the copper slabs with fewer strained muscles. Of course the copper slabs ended up working very badly, because you can still have crippling inflation even with commodity money.
And in that particular case, if inflation led to them going over to even larger slabs, it could literally have been "crippling"...
 
In effect, it was tried several times, including by various Roman emperors - google "debasement of the coinage" for the gory details. Even the famous Yuan-dynasty paper money ultimately felt victim to disastrous inflation. It turns out that giving people paper (or brass or papyrus or ) and telling them it's as good as silver by order is a poor long-term financial strategy. You need a developed banking system first, and you need to get people used to dealing in token money and confident that the promise-to-pay is solid before you can consider breaking the link - and historically, this took generations.

If it's rushed through by a desperate government looking to plug a shortfall, everyone assumes it's a swindle, the "collective illusion" never gets set up and before you know it your tokens are trading at a massive discount and even your own officials are demanding to be paid in "real money".

Now it's possible that the Romans or Chinese or some other culture might have worked out fractional-reserve banking earlier than the renaissance Italians, and if, say, such a banking system had evolved under Augustus and stayed stable right through the Five Good Emperors, it's possible that in the 3rd-century crisis an emperor might have been able to "leave the gold standard" without the sky falling in. But that would be heavily dependent on a succession of previous Emperors not treating it a source of free money.

IIRC the history in China was that the Song dynasty developed a fairly good system of paper money, but then after the Mongol conquest the new rulers over-printed while trying to keep the collapsing Yuan dynasty together, and this basically made the concept toxic in China for quite some time.
 
Which shows that just because you can make something better doesn't mean you know why it works. And without the extensive development and exploitation of scientific chemistry and metallurgy they won't be able to reproduce it with other materials.
For centuries all sorts of indigenous peoples enjoyed iron tools made from meteorites and imagined them being legendary metals from the sky. Turns out the metal was so good simple bc that particular iron tended to have high concentration of other minerals like tungsten and manganese.
 
A thief from a rival city steals the clay tablets that describe the sacred use of the Nimrud Lens and accidentally starts an optics revolution in the ancient world. The rival city is able to make rock crystal lenses which it uses to look at the sky and make a series of astrological predictions that give the city good omens and a better understanding of the planets in the sky.
 
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For centuries all sorts of indigenous peoples enjoyed iron tools made from meteorites and imagined them being legendary metals from the sky. Turns out the metal was so good simple bc that particular iron tended to have high concentration of other minerals like tungsten and manganese.
Still entirely down to luck rather than any technology that was missed. Everyone everywhere had these and as such were used up a very long time ago.
 
Isolation and deliberate use of zinc in Antiquity maybe? While some high-zinc ores were used and there seems to be a bare indication that people understood something was special about them, there wasn't really much investigation into it despite scholars of the time likely being capable of it. Zinc wasn't isolated or recognised as its own substance until the 13th century in medieval India.

I think the route toward doing this is by widespread knowledge of zinc's property to purify tarnished silver when mixed with seawater. Ancients would recognise this as magical, but some of them might investigate why metals made from certain ores do this and as a by-product discover zinc. At that point, it's just a matter of seeking out similar ores and eventually applying zinc to other uses, although I think it would for centuries mostly be used for religious purposes and artifacts like the regalia of priests and brass decorations in temples.
I wouldn't think carbon fibres are any good as armour, ballistic or otherwise.
Why? They're extremely lightweight and a shield from it would repel an arrow or glancing blow from a melee weapon as good as anything else. And depending on the sort of carbon fiber, you'd have something akin to linen armour used by the Greeks (among others) except more resilient, lighter, and more comfortable to wear.
 
Still entirely down to luck rather than any technology that was missed. Everyone everywhere had these and as such were used up a very long time ago.
Oh I know. Its just a fun fact. People all over the world even rather simple societies like the inuit had access to quite advanced alloys by share luck and we were unable to understand why much less recreate it until pretty recently.
And explains the origin of that fantasy trope that meteorite metal has magical super metals that give you a colored sword with +2 on attack.
 
Isolation and deliberate use of zinc in Antiquity maybe? While some high-zinc ores were used and there seems to be a bare indication that people understood something was special about them, there wasn't really much investigation into it despite scholars of the time likely being capable of it. Zinc wasn't isolated or recognised as its own substance until the 13th century in medieval India.

I think the route toward doing this is by widespread knowledge of zinc's property to purify tarnished silver when mixed with seawater. Ancients would recognise this as magical, but some of them might investigate why metals made from certain ores do this and as a by-product discover zinc. At that point, it's just a matter of seeking out similar ores and eventually applying zinc to other uses, although I think it would for centuries mostly be used for religious purposes and artifacts like the regalia of priests and brass decorations in temples.

Why? They're extremely lightweight and a shield from it would repel an arrow or glancing blow from a melee weapon as good as anything else. And depending on the sort of carbon fiber, you'd have something akin to linen armour used by the Greeks (among others) except more resilient, lighter, and more comfortable to wear.
What sort of uses has zinc for a pre industrial society? Besides being a prestige item I mean. Funny to think when aluminum was first discovered it was pretty difficult to use so it became one of the world's most expensive metals, comparable to gold or silver. Napoleon III had aluminum silverware to impress his guests.
Its so weird to imagine nowadays european royalty flaunting aluminum jewelry.
 

oshron

Kicked
What sort of uses has zinc for a pre industrial society? Besides being a prestige item I mean. Funny to think when aluminum was first discovered it was pretty difficult to use so it became one of the world's most expensive metals, comparable to gold or silver. Napoleon III had aluminum silverware to impress his guests.
Its so weird to imagine nowadays european royalty flaunting aluminum jewelry.
that itself can be an interesting divergence for earlier societies becoming more advanced. part of the reason that aluminum was so rare historically was that it didn't really exist as ore, etc., and so what could be found was therefore one of the most valuable substances on Earth, as you mentioned (another example that i know of is that there's a small pyramid on top of the Washington Monument which is made of aluminum; it has the practical purpose of being basically uncorrodable today, but at the time it was because it was rarer than gold). however--and forgive me for forgetting the exact terms--what basically amounts to aluminum powder is extremely common but obviously didn't have many practical applications (i seem to remember that it is/was used to create dyes) but then in the late 19th century some new process was developed to allow that aluminum "powder" to be made into more usable metallic aluminum and now it's so common that one might throw it away without a second thought as well as being one of the most common types of litter. imagine if this method of acquiring metallic aluminum was discovered a century or two early.
 
that itself can be an interesting divergence for earlier societies becoming more advanced. part of the reason that aluminum was so rare historically was that it didn't really exist as ore, etc., and so what could be found was therefore one of the most valuable substances on Earth, as you mentioned (another example that i know of is that there's a small pyramid on top of the Washington Monument which is made of aluminum; it has the practical purpose of being basically uncorrodable today, but at the time it was because it was rarer than gold). however--and forgive me for forgetting the exact terms--what basically amounts to aluminum powder is extremely common but obviously didn't have many practical applications (i seem to remember that it is/was used to create dyes) but then in the late 19th century some new process was developed to allow that aluminum "powder" to be made into more usable metallic aluminum and now it's so common that one might throw it away without a second thought as well as being one of the most common types of litter. imagine if this method of acquiring metallic aluminum was discovered a century or two early.
We don't use alum to make aluminum. We use electrolysis of alumina in molten cyrolite ( a mineral which is rare enough that we use synthetic versons) this requires passing low voltage high current electricity through this bath. Not something that can even be attempted until we have electricity generation and enough of an understanding of chemistry and metallurgy to get to that point. Also pure aluminum has very poor strength and until you alloy it with other metals isn't all that useful which again requires a scientific understanding of metallurgy.

When aluminum was first produced chemically it was not consistent and different scientists had different results despite using to them the same chemicals and processes. They didn't know why at the time. So yes it can be produced chemically without electricity but requires some extensive trial and error, luck and having access to the correct chemicals.
 
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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?
In the 1880's Edison had patented what he called the Grasshopper Telegraph for use on trains where the telegraph signal jumped from the train to the telegraph lines that run along side. I guess in theory this could work with a mobile telephone device but was not developed as how do the telephone companies get paid.
 
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