High-Tech Knotting: the Diamond Hitch

High-Tech Knotting the Diamond Hitch

The “Diamond Hitch” is one of the most high-tech knots ever created. It was used to tie loads to pack animals. Many versions existed, not only for different types of loads but also for different types of terrain.

In rough country, where there was a frequent trouble with pack animals falling with their load, packers tied the Diamond Hitch so that the final knot was on top of the animal’s back where it could be easily reached and loosened with the animal down.

There was also a distinction between the one man and the two man Diamond Hitch. The one man version was employed by only one packer and required that he made two trips around the animal in tying it.

Detailed and illustrated instructions for tying the high-tech knot can be found in the 1916 “Manual of pack transportation“.

Update: Phillips, Decker and Canadian Pack saddles.

A Manual for the Transport of Sick and Wounded by Pack Animals

A Manual for the Transport of Sick and Wounded by Pack Animals

A report to the Surgeon General on the transport of sick and wounded by pack animals” (1877).

Primitive Technology Handbook

primitive technology handbookPrimitive Ways makes use of the internet to teach us the lost knowledge of our Stone Age ancestors: making fire, tools, weapons, cooking utensils, musical instruments, shelters, and much more.

Not everything is that useful in the 21st century, but the site contains a wealth of information and many of the diy-projects sure look like fun. Moreover, they also combine traditional skills with modern materials, like in this four-hour kayak. Some articles are extremely short, but very useful – see the Inuit Thimble, for example.

Primitive Ways is also available as a book or a dvd, but all information is freely accessible on the website. Articles also appeared in the “Bulletin of Primitive Technology”, a print magazine from the Society of Primitive Technology.

Another good resource is “Primitive Technology: A Book of Earth Skills“, available on Amazon. Update: “The origins of invention: a study of industry among primitive peoples“.

Pen Shaking Centrifuge

pen shaking centrifuge

“Sometimes, if a pen stutters, you can get it going again by shaking it. But sometimes it seems to take a lot of shaking. So I figured, what if I could shake it really really hard? What if I built a centrifuge to get the ink flowing again? And so this project came about!”

Hand tool overkill. Don’t miss the video (and the other projects by Matthias Wandel).

Via Make Magazine.

Low-tech Snow Scooters: Kick Sleds

kicksled“Kick sleds are the Scandinavian answer to winter bicycling. Kick sleds look like Zimmer frames on runners, or like a dog-less dog sled. Like bicycles, they increase the rider’s speed and freighting capacity while demanding very little extra physical input. Unlike bicycles they have no moving parts and are very easy to maintain”.

Read more:  1 / 2 / 3.

Kick sleds are sold by Esla, Kickbike, Norax en LjusdalsSparken.

Anti-skid detachable safety soles are a useful accessory.

Jailhouse Tech

jailhouse tech

Kevin Kelly notes an emerging category of street technology which might be called Jailhouse Tech:

“The material constraint of a prison inspire fantastic innovation and re-use of made parts. A lot of the devices made in this manner are crude weapons, but others include eating implements, tattoo instruments, music, and other tools.”

Above you see an electric cooking stove made with wire and brick. Kelly previously linked to Escape Devices, the work of photographer Marc Steinmetz. Also of note is Prisoner Inventions, a 2003 book which includes many drawings,some of them online (review 1 & 2).