Model: S19 Cross Link Straight-line Mechanism
Chebyshev was a famous 19th century mathematician who studied theoretical problems in kinematic mechanisms. One of these was the synthesis of linkages such that the rotary motion of one link produced an exact or an approximate straight line motion. This was a problem studied by Watt in his improvements to the Newcommen steam engine.
The straight line problem was only a subset of the general problem of whether there was a set of constrained linkages that could produce any given mathematical curve. These questions were important to the design of mechanical calculators and measuring instruments. Kinematics played a key role in the design of analog an digital calculators and computers through World War II and the emergence of the transistor based calculating electronic circuits.
See also the Peaucelier straight line mechanism S35.

Francis Moon 2001-01-01