Model: 003 The Wedge
The wedge is one of the oldest mechanisms and comes under the heading of the inclined plane. Some examples of wedges are the ax, chisel, nails, pins, carpenter's plane and cutting tools of nearly all kinds.
[Virginia Downward & William M. Clark, 1930]

[Editor's Note: The wedge is one of the so-called simple machines described in Aristotle's MHXANIKA or Mechanical Problems, probably written by his students, c. 300 BCE. The 'simple' machine concept is based on the idea of machines as force transformation devices. This view of the machine was replaced by the Paris school of kinematics in the Ecole Polytechnique around 1800. A machine is viewed as a motion changing device. In Reuleaux's scheme, the 'simple machines' are parts of kinematic mechanisms or machine elements. However the 'simple machine' concept still persists in elementary school texts on machines and physics in the USA. FCM]

Francis Moon 2005-00-00

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