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Engines of Our Ingenuity

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The Man-Midwife Digital History ID 4491
Before the plague, childbirth was women's business. Midwives were part of the feudal balance. Farms passed to children. If you had too many children, your farm split into small units. Birth control was a key element in the feudal equation. Midwives were confidantes and advisors to medieval women. In that role, they provided the means for population control.
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The First American Steam Engine Digital History ID 4499
The intelligentsia of 18th-century America were quite interested in the technological revolution that was then sweeping England. In 1760 the young John Adams wrote in his diary that he was struggling to understand the English "fire engines," as steam engines were then called. But the historian Carroll Pursell points out that our interest in steam engines was largely academic, because the real thing simply wasn't to be found in the colonies.
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