What Adam Smith says here had many examples in his time. But today, with inventions like airplanes, what he says is mostly false:
The machines that are first invented to perform any particular movement are always the most complex, and succeeding artists generally discover that, with fewer wheels, with fewer principles of motion, than had originally been employed, the same effects may be more easily produced.
(Quoted from page 211 of The Powers That Be: Global energy for the twenty-first century and beyond, by Scott L. Montgomery. The University of Chicago Press, 2010.)
For a brief biography of Adam Smith, click here. For images of or relating to Adam Smith, click here.
For a brief biography of Scott L. Montgomery, click here. For images of or relating to Scott L. Montgomery, click here.