Ma Jun (Ma Chun)

fl. 220–265 China
Chinese engineer and inventor.
Ma Jun was active at the court of Emperor Ming Ti and achieved several useful inventions in a number of fields. First, he made improvements in the silk-weaving loom by simplifying the heddles and treadles, thereby enabling a greater variety of patterns to be woven. Second, he constructed a "south pointing carriage", which was a two-wheeled cart with a train of gears arranged so that whichever direction the vehicle turned, the figure mounted on top of it would always point south. This may seem trivial, but the carriage may have had useful applications, possibly in surveying. During the period 227 to 239, Ma Jun also made a square-pallet chain pump, usually attributed to Bi Lan (186 AD), Loyang, that was used to irrigate parks and gardens. Other inventions included rotary ballistae and mechanical toys that were worked by water power, such as puppets operated by horizontal jack wheels.
Further Reading
J.Needham, Science and Civilisation in China, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965, Vol. IV, 2, pp. 39–42, 286–8, 295, 303, 346, 350, 524, 532–3.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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