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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bonsack machine.png

A machine is any device that uses energy to perform some activity. In common usage, the meaning is that of a device having parts that perform or assist in performing any type of work. A simple machine is a device that transforms the direction or magnitude of a force without consuming any energy. The word "machine" is derived from the Latin word machina,[1] which in turn derives from the Doric Greek μαχανά (machana), Ionic Greek μηχανή (mechane) "contrivance, machine, engine"[2] and that from μῆχος (mechos), "means, expedient, remedy".[3]



Historically, a device required moving parts to be classified as a machine; however, the advent of electronics technology has led to the development of devices without moving parts that many refer to as machines—the computer being the most obvious example.[1]

"Engines" are machines that convert heat or other forms of energy into mechanical energy. For example, in an internal combustion engine the expansion of gases caused by the heat from an exothermic chemical reaction results in a force being applied to a movable component, such as a piston or turbine blade.[4] An engine is often considered part of a larger machine, such as an automobile or an aircraft.

Machines are ubiquitous in a wide variety of industrial, commercial, residential and transportation applications. Those employing hydraulics are especially useful in manufacturing and construction.

Types of machines and related components

Types of machines and related components
Classification Machine(s)
Simple machines Inclined plane, Wheel and axle, Lever, Pulley, Wedge, Screw
Mechanical components Axle, Bearings, Belts, Bucket, Fastener, Gear, Key, Link chains, Rack and pinion, Roller chains, Rope, Seals, Spring, Wheel,
Clock Atomic clock, Chronometer, Pendulum clock, Quartz clock
Compressors and Pumps Archimedes' screw, Eductor-jet pump, Hydraulic ram, Pump, Tuyau, Vacuum pump
Heat engines External combustion engines Steam engine, Stirling engine
Internal combustion engines Reciprocating engine, Gas turbine
Linkages Pantograph, Peaucellier-Lipkin
Turbine Gas turbine, Jet engine, Steam turbine, Water turbine, Wind generator, Windmill
Aerofoil Sail, Wing, Rudder, Flap, Propeller
Electronics Vacuum tube, Transistor, Diode, Resistor, Capacitor, Inductor
Miscellaneous Robot, Vending machine, Wind tunnel, Check weighing machines, Riveting machines

See also


  1. ^ a b The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1985.
  2. ^ Mechane, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus project
  3. ^ Mechos, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, at Perseus project
  4. ^ "Internal combustion engine", Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, Third Edition, Sybil P. Parker, ed. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1994, p. 998 .

Further reading

  • Oberg, Erik; Franklin D. Jones, Holbrook L. Horton, and Henry H. Ryffel (2000). ed. Christopher J. McCauley, Riccardo Heald, and Muhammed Iqbal Hussain. ed. Machinery's Handbook (26th edition ed.). New York: Industrial Press Inc.. ISBN 0-8311-2635-3. 


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes regarding Machine.


  • "All of the biggest technological inventions created by man - the airplane, the automobile, the computer - says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness." -Mark Kennedy
  • "Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?" -Al Boliska
  • "Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines." -Erich Fromm
  • "The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment." -Warren G. Bennis
  • "The greatest task before civilization at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men." -Havelock Ellis
  • "I think I should not go far wrong if I asserted that the amount of genuine leisure available in a society is generally in inverse proportion to the amount of labor-saving machinery it employs." -E.F. Schumacher
  • "It is a medium of entertainment which permits millions of people to listen to the same joke at the same time, and yet remain lonesome." ~T.S. Eliot, about radio
  • "It is difficult not to wonder whether that combination of elements which produces a machine for labor does not create also a soul of sorts, a dull resentful metallic will, which can rebel at times." -Pearl S. Buck
  • "It is questionable if all the mechanical inventions yet made have lightened the day's toil of any human being." -John Stuart Mill
  • "The machine does not isolate man from the great problems of nature but plunges him more deeply into them." -Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939
  • "Once upon a time we were just plain people. But that was before we began having relationships with mechanical systems. Get involved with a machine and sooner or later you are reduced to a factor." -Ellen Goodman, "The Human Factor," The Washington Post, January 1987
  • "One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams, 1923
  • "The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do." B.F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement, 1969
  • "Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation...tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads monstrously like a gray vegetation." -Jean Arp
  • "We are becoming the servants in thought, as in action, of the machine we have created to serve us." -John Kenneth Galbraith
  • "When a machine begins to run without human aid, it is time to scrap it - whether it be a factory or a government." -Alexander Chase, Perspectives, 1966
  • "You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative; the jolliest steam-roller will not plant flowers." -Walter Lippmann
  • "The best machine is one you don't have to turn on." -- Great quote, but whose is it?

See also

Look up machine in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MACHINE (through Fr. from Lat. form machina of Gr. µr i xavr l), any device or apparatus for the application or modification of force to a specific purpose. The term "simple machine" is applied to the six so-called mechanical powers - the lever, wedge, wheel and axle, pulley, screw, and inclined plane. For machine-tools see TooLs. The word machine was formerly applied to vehicles, such as stage-coaches, &c., and is still applied to carriages in Scotland; a survival of this use is in the term "bathing machine." Figuratively, the word is used of persons whose actions seem to be regulated according to a rigid and unchanging system. In politics, especially in America, machine is synonymous with party organization. A stage device of the ancient Greek drama gave rise to the proverbial expression, "the god from the machine," Lat. deus ex machina, for the disentangling and conclusion of a plot by supernatural interference or by some accident extraneous to the natural development of the story. When a god had to be brought on the stage he was floated down from above by a yEpavos (crane) or other machine (µiXavi i). Euripides has been reproached with an excessive use of the device, but it has been pointed out (A.E. Haigh, Tragic Drama of the Greeks, p. 245 seq.) that only in two plays (Orestes and Hippolytus) is the god brought on for the solution of the plot. In the others the god comes to deliver a kind of epilogue, describing the future story of the characters, or to introduce some account of a legend, institution, &c.

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Simple English

An early printing press machine

In everyday life, a machine is a thing that is created by people to make work easier.

Some machines have many parts that move. Examples are bicycles and clocks.

Some machines do not have parts that move. Examples are computers and telephones.

People have used machines since before there was history.

Usually a machine will convert one form of energy to another form of energy. Usually a machine will increase a force or change the direction of a force.

Simple Machine

The are six special machines that are called "Simple Machines". They are:

Compound machines are made up of two or more simple machines.

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