Ding Huan (Ting Huan)

Ding Huan (Ting Huan)
fl. c.100 AD China
Chinese inventor of various devices.
Ding Huan invented a form of suspension rediscovered by the French Renaissance mathematician Jerome Cardan, although a reference in the "Ode to beautiful women" (c.740) indicates that the device was probably in existence earlier (see vol. IV.2, p. 233 in the reference given below). Ding Huan also invented the zoetrope lamp (c.180), which had a thin canopy bearing vanes at the top that were caused to rotate by an ascending current of warm air from the lamp. The canopy bore images which, if the canopy were rotated fast enough, gave the impression of movement, as in early forerunners of the cinematograph. In the Xi Jing Za Ji (Miscellaneous Records of the Western Capital), it is recorded that Ding Huan devised an air-conditioning fan that consisted of a set of seven fans, each 10 ft (3 m) in diameter, connected so that they could be worked together by one person. The device could cool a hall so that "people would even begin to shiver".
Further Reading
J.Needham, 1972–4, Science and Civilisation in China, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, vols IV. 1, pp. 123, 125; IV. 2, pp. 150–1, 233, 236; V. 2, p. 133.

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

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