Innovation and Scarcity (and Panic)

I tried to avoid such words. They sounded like hollow buzzwords in times of abundance, used by advertizers playing on fears. But our complacent world is taught a lesson, right now, at furious speed. I am following news as everybody else, I am reading about gloomy forecasts. An Austria paper mill has announced today it … Continue reading Innovation and Scarcity (and Panic)

Peter von Rittinger’s Steam Pump (AKA: The First Heat Pump)

Peter von Rittinger's biography reads like a Victorian novel, and his invention was a text-book example of innovation triggered by scarcity. Born 1811, he was poor and became an orphan early. Yet he was able to study mathematics and physics as his secondary education had been financed by the Piarist Order. He also studied law … Continue reading Peter von Rittinger’s Steam Pump (AKA: The First Heat Pump)

The First Heat Pump Ever Was Built in Austria

I have confessed recently that I am from Austria. So the patriot in me wants to entertain her readers with the story of a milestone in the history of engineering thermodynamics - set by an Austrian! The development of the first heat pump is attributed to Peter von Rittinger [1]. (Note that [1] is by a Swiss author, … Continue reading The First Heat Pump Ever Was Built in Austria