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Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?

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Max The Magnificent
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Max The Magnificent   7/5/2011 9:01:20 PM
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Am I really the only person out there who spends time thinking about this sort of "stuff"?

Max The Magnificent
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Max The Magnificent   7/5/2011 9:27:45 PM
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With regard to a trip back into the past - in addition to taking trade goods to get us "up and running" -- we would also want to take books on how to make things that would be useful and sell-able back then (like soap)...

Douglas442
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Douglas442   7/6/2011 12:31:40 PM
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Going backward, anything purely mechanical would be a safe bet... such as the hand tools from a typical technicians toolkit... or some of the handy little things sold by Micro-Mark, such as pin-vise-micro-drills and such. Actually, since the Greeks were apparently pretty clever with mechanical devices, two-thousand-plus years ago ( as in the "Antikythera Mechanism" ), you could probably even get away with taking along your Curta. Just don't show it to Archimedes... he might get jealous! And speaking of aluminum... in fact, a few ingots of the metal might be useful ( in lieu of just gathering up a bunch of old-money or gold coins ) . Before the discovery of refining it ( by the Hall Process ) it was actually quite valuable stuff for a time.

Doug.Amos
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Doug.Amos   7/6/2011 1:05:59 PM
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hi Max, Nice blog, I too love time travel stories! My favourite is "The Man Who Came Early", a short story by Poul Anderson. It dispels the (slightly arrogant) premise that a modern person would be naturally superior to those they found in the past, owing to our technology and knowledge. In fact Mr. Anderson's time traveller has a hard time of it. To answer your question, how about taking back a stack of biro pens, penicillin tablets, reading glasses and a physical map of Europe. You'd need to brush up on your Latin first, though.

Duane Benson
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Duane Benson   7/6/2011 2:38:13 PM
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I would think that a rudimentary steam engine, electric generator, wire and a few light bulbs would not necessarily be good trading material, but could be the basis for jump-starting the Industrial revolution. In regards to "The Man Who Came Early", I suspect that most modern humans would be very surprised at how many past life-skills have been lost. Something so simple as navigating between locations could be the end of many of us. The amount of time required to find and prepare food would be staggering relative to what it is now. Likely only a handful of us readers could be self-sufficient without the modern world to support us.

Max The Magnificent
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Max The Magnificent   7/6/2011 3:06:12 PM
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I just did a search on Amazon and found a book called "The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century" that contains "The Man Who Came Early". Unfortunately the book as a whole got mixed reviews, but I've added it to my Amazon "wish list". Thanks for the suggestion.

Max The Magnificent
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Max The Magnificent   7/6/2011 7:40:43 PM
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I personally know of only one person who I think could be self-sufficient without stuff from the modern world -- and even then I think he would need wire for trapping animals and suchlike...

BarryMoss
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
BarryMoss   7/7/2011 4:57:30 PM
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The 1632 series by Eric Flint is one of the most interesting time travel stories to deal with the issue being able to replicate current technology (or not being able to) in the mid-17th century. If I was going to jump ahead 1000 years, I think the things to take would be items that would be considered collectables with some value in the future--but it would be hard to know what would be popular and still command some value. Would people still collect coins, stamps, baseball cards or any number of other items? Will so much stuff be preserved from this era that anything you take along would be of minimal value? Will gold still be considered valuable in 1000 years? For example, people 2000 years ago didn't dream that salt would be so inexpensive now. Would a US $100 bill be a collectors item or as worthless as hyper-inflationary currency from Weimer-era Germany? Now if I was going back 2000 years and needed to consider a store of value to take along, I might consider taking some salt, which is where we get the term salary.

Doug.Amos
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Doug.Amos   7/8/2011 9:47:52 AM
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Try "The best time travel books of all time" ISBN 0-7434-5814-1. it also has Robert Silverberg's Hawksbill Station" another of my faves. Enjoy, fellow tempronaut.

Max The Magnificent
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re: Traveling through time what trade goods would you take?
Max The Magnificent   7/8/2011 2:35:55 PM
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I just checked on Amazon -- it looks like it's out of print -- a secondhand copy costs $90+ (eeeek)

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