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Older Than Steam

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The Oldest Ones in the Book
Older Than the NES | Before 1985
Older Than Cable TV | 1939 — 1980
Older Than Television | 1890 — 1939
Older Than Radio | 1698 — 1890
Older Than Steam | 1439 — 1698
Older Than Print | 476 — 1439
Older Than Feudalism | ~800 BC — 476 AD
Older Than Dirt | Before ~800 BC
The Apprentice: The Early Years

From printing to the steam engine (1439-1698), a time also generally known as the Early Modern Era. The arrival of movable type printing in Europe made books plentiful, and helped standardize the languages that used it. Much more survives from this period than from earlier.

Please note, that when we say steam engine we mean useful steam engine. Not Heron's first century toy, not the store, and definitely not the gaseous form of water (which predates mankind by hundreds of millions of years).

Notable works and authors from this time period include:




Tropes that originated in this time period:

  • Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which implies that it was already an old aesop.
  • Don Quixote, written about eight years after The Merchant of Venice,refers to this trope as "a saying" (Ch. 33), providing another indication that it's really even older.