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Human female, born LY 130, in First Village. Died 213. Inventor.

The use of wheels and axles was first taught to Connor and Brigid by God early in the first century of The Land. And so, there has virtually never been a time when the world was without such simple transportation devices as wheelbarrows and carts. To understand how this led to the invention of mills, a story is told of a day in around LY 140, when their future inventor was ten or eleven years old. On this particular day, after completing some gardening chores (or in some versions of the story, before she would have finished her chores), she turned her wheelbarrow on its side (or else it fell somehow), and lay on the grass to rest. After a little while, she turned to look at the wheelbarrow, and noticed a bug sitting on the edge of the wheel. Maura absently spun the wheel, half expecting the bug to fly away. It didn't, and she continued slowly spinning the wheel. Eventually it occurred to her that the bug might be having fun. It was then that she decided to build a sort of spinning toy for her friends and her to ride on. (According to some versions of the story, it was this idea which caused her to neglect the remainder of her chores, if she wasn't already finished.)

It took her some time (stories vary on this point from a few days to a month), but she eventually constructed the plaything she had envisioned, which her subword sense told her should be called a "roundabout." While they all enjoyed this roundabout, Maura soon realized that it might get boring after awhile. So she set her mind to designing various other types of equipment for playing on. By the time she was thirteen, she had created several other items for playing, and built the first "playground" on the Land. She thought about charging admission, though she wasn't sure if that would really be fair to children whose parents couldn't afford even a minimal fee for such luxuries. On the other hand, her parents pointed out to her that she had a right to be paid for all her hard work. Luckily, other parents had taken note of the playground's popularity, and offered to compensate her from the public fund, in exchange for ownership of the playground by the village itself. She would also be paid to teach others to build the equipment she'd designed, so that more playgrounds could be built in the future.

This is what started Maura on the path of learning all she could about physics and mechanics, and becoming a scientist. She continued inventing things throughout her life, many of which became more complex and more practical than playground equipment. But sometime after the discovery of striders in 150, and the invention (by someone whose name history doesn't record) of harnesses in 152, she began thinking back to her very first invention, with its simple use of a wheel and axle. This led her, at age 22, to develop a mechanism which could be powered by striders to replace older techniques for threshing and grinding grains. Once again she used her subword sense to learn that the mechanisms, and the buildings that housed them, would be called mills. Ten years later, in 162, she redesigned mills to be powered by water, rather than striders (though there would still be some strider mills in use for at least a century after that, as they later came to be powered by oxen, which weren't discovered until Tonad was settled in 225). The water mills designed by Maura were of the undershot variety; overshot water mills would be developed near the end of Maura's life, by one of her apprentices' apprentices.

Though Maura invented any number of things throughout her life, she remains best known for playgrounds and mills. Oh, and one other thing, which she invented in 191, at the age of 61, as a special treat for her granddaughter and her friends: the carousel, which in a practical sense was based on her earlier design of strider mills, but at heart it was more closely inspired by the roundabout she'd built when she was not much older than her granddaughter. Carousels would be enjoyed for centuries to come, by young and old alike, and would come to inspire other inventors to create their own amusement rides, to be enjoyed at local fairs throughout the Land, and eventually the World Fair.

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