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Du Shi (traditional Chinese: 杜詩; Hanyu Pinyin: Dù Shī; Wade-Giles: Tu Shih, d. 38) was a Chinese governmental Prefect of Nanyang in 31 AD and a mechanical engineer of the Eastern Han Dynasty in ancient China. Du Shi is credited with being the first to apply hydraulic power (ie. a waterwheel) to operate bellows (air-blowing device) in metallurgy. His invention was used to operate piston-bellows of the blast furnace in order to forge cast iron, which had been known in China since the 6th century BC.
Additional recommended knowledge
The Water-Powered Blast Furnace
Account of Du Shi
The engineer and statesman Du Shi is mentioned briefly in the Book of Later Han (Hou Han Shu) as follows (in Wade-Giles spelling):
Spread of Use
The historical text Sanguo Zhi (Records of the Three Kingdoms) records the use of both human labor and horse-power to operate metallurgic bellows of a blast furnace before water-power was applied. It also records that around 238 AD, engineer Han Ji (Prefect of Luo-ling) reinvented a similar water-powered bellows that Du Shi had earlier pioneered. Two decades after this, it is recorded that another design for water-powered bellows was created by Du Yu. In the 5th century text of the Wu Chang Ji, its author Pi Ling wrote that a planned, artificial lake had been constructed in the Yuan-Jia reign period (424–429) for the sole purpose of powering water wheels aiding the smelting and casting processes of the Chinese iron industry. The 5th century text Shui Jing Zhu mentions the use of rushing river water to power waterwheels, as does the Tang Dynasty geography text of the Yuan-he Jun Xian Tu Chi, written in 814 AD.
Although Du Shi is the first historical figure to apply water power to metallurgic bellows, the oldest extant Chinese illustration depicting such a device in operation can be seen in a picture of the Nong Shu, printed by 1313 AD during the Yuan Dynasty of China. The text was written by Wang Zhen, who explained the methods used for a water-powered blast-furnace (Wade-Giles spelling):
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Du_Shi". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.