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Traveling through time – what trade goods would you take?

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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.

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.

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.

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)...

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"?

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