Simon Winchester seems to have a talent for finding interesting 'characters' and telling their stories in an informative and engaging way. I've read several of his books and will look for more of his titles. I'm fortunate in that my local library has quite a few of his books.
In this one we meet Joseph Needham, scientist, researcher, writer and ultimately, historian. His fascination with China turned into the opus Science and Civilization in China - a task so monumental that it continues long after his death.
In the Appendix of Winchester's book he has a list of some inventions developed by Chinese minds and their approximate dates - some of which far pre-dated similar developments in Europe. Unfortunately it is only a partial list and doesn't have weaving inventions but does include these:
Silk, earliest spinning of: 2850 BC
Silk reeling machine: AD 1090
Silk warp doubling and throwing frame: 10th century AD
Spindle Wheel: 5th century BC
Spindle wheel, multiple spindles: 11th century AD
Spindle wheel, treadle-operated: 1st century AD
Spooling frame: AD 1313
Trip hammers, water-powered (as in a fulling mill): AD 20
In other news, I've received confirmation of the workshop at the Sutherland Weaving Studio in Asheville, NC (A Good Yarn) and Sarasota is still looking for more participants for their two workshops (The Efficient Weaver 1.5 days and A Good Yarn 1 day).
The trip is shaping up nicely and I'm looking forward to visiting with a friend on the way home in Seattle area and attending the March meeting of the Seattle Weavers Guild. I'll be gone a month, which Doug isn't terribly happy about, but I'm looking forward to very much. If nothing else, spring should be arriving by the time I get home and the days, which are lengthening nicely, should be much longer. Although we have had a few brilliantly sunny days in Janurary, there have been all too few of them. Today we are back to overcast, blustery wind and blowing snow. And temperatures that are far too mild!
A good day to stay home and maybe finish that towel warp?