Download Engineering Empires: A Cultural History of Technology in by Ben Marsden; Crosbie Smith; PDF

By Ben Marsden; Crosbie Smith;

Engineers are empire-builders. Watt, Brunel, and others labored to construct and extend own and company empires of fabric expertise and in so doing those engineers additionally turned energetic brokers of political and monetary empire. This booklet offers a desirable exploration of the cultural development of the large-scale applied sciences of empire.

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Additional info for Engineering Empires: A Cultural History of Technology in Nineteenth-Century Britain

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Covering around 20 miles a day, geologists had no complex instrumentation such as telescopes to transport. 81 In its early years the Geological Society’s primary concern was with the structural sequence of rocks. Spatial rather than temporal arrangement avoided not only speculative questions concerning the earth’s origins and age but most theorising as well. At a local level, transverse sections (rather like a section of cliffs seen from seaward) showed both the vertical sequence and the tilt or dip of strata.

And] to look at the mass of iron ships that had been built and safely worked for years and years . ’67 Scoresby certainly had his supporters within the Liverpool shipping communities. John Thomas Towson, ‘scientific examiner of masters and mates’ and a member of the Liverpool Literary & Philosophical Society since 1851, rose to say ‘that he had equally with Mr Grantham had the opportunity of observing the workings of compasses in iron ships, and he had never found that after going a long voyage they were in a proper state of adjustment’.

Orchestrated by Major Edward Sabine, Fellow of the Royal Society (himself a target of Charles Babbage’s biting critique of British science in his Decline of Science), the magnetic campaign resulted in James Clark Ross’s Antarctic expedition (1839–41) at a cost of over £100,000 to the Admiralty, and the establishment of a network of empire-wide fixed magnetic observatories equipped with precision instruments. The latter were largely funded by the East India Company, the War office, the Admiralty and (in India) the Rajah of Trivandrum and the King of Oude.

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