Determinants in the Evolution of the European Chemical Industry, 1900-1939: New Technologies, Political Frameworks, Markets and Companies / Edition 1

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This volume represents the proceedings of the European Science Foundation History of Chemistry in Europe 1789-1939 conference held in Strasbourg in October 1996. Leading scholars investigate the ways in which the chemical industry developed throughout much of Europe prior to, and in some cases during, World War II. Emphasis is placed on fertiliser production, which stimulated research into electrochemical and high pressure processes and polymer chemistry. The main focus is on the interwar period, when political strategies for self-sufficiency dictated that innovations were to be based on the availability of raw materials, and the needs of new user industries. Commercial factors also played an important role, particularly the mergers which led to the formation of companies such as IG Farben and Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). Nevertheless, smaller and independent companies also produced many new products. While much of the European chemical industry was dependent on coal and coal tar products, there were strong moves towards the foundation of science-based biochemical industries.
This book is unique in its close examination of technologies, particularly chemical engineering and the control of processes, research in industry, and countries that were not mentioned in previous literature. It is enhanced by contributions from specialists in business and engineering history, as well as by historians of chemistry and technology.
Audience: This work will be of great value to historians of chemistry, business, engineering and technology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Overall, this is a very stimulating book that presents us important results of research by historians of science and technology and economic historians on the European chemical industry in the first half of the 20th century.'
HYLE- International Journal of Philosophy of Chemistry, 7:1(2001)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792348900
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 10/31/1998
  • Series: Chemists and Chemistry Series, #16
  • Edition description: 1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction. Part 1: A New Technology for the 20th Century. High Pressure Industrial Chemistry: The First Steps, 1909-1913, and the Impact; A.S. Travis. Part 2: The Impact and Burden of World War I. Chemistry for King and Kaiser: Revisiting Chemical Enterprise and the European War; R.M. MacLeod. 'Productive Collateral' or 'Economic Sense?': BASF under French Occupation, 1919-1923; L. Meinzer. Part 3: Science and Industry. Basic Research in Industry: Two Case Studies at I.G. Farbenindustrie AG in the 1920s and 1930s; C. Reinhardt. Ambros, Reppe, and the Emergence of Heavy Organic Chemicals in Germany, 1925-1945; P.J.T. Morris. The Development of Chemical Industry in Sweden and the Contribution of Academic Chemistry after 1900; A. Lundgren. Selling Science: Dutch Debates on the Industrial Significance of University Chemistry, 1903-1932; G.J. Somsen. Part 4: Different Routes to Competitive Advantages. Modernizing Industrial Organic Chemistry: Great Britain between Two World Wars; A.S. Travis. Scaling Up: The Evolution of Intellectual Apparatus Associated with the Manufacture of Heavy Chemicals in Britain, 1900-1939; C. Divall, S. Johnston. The Use of Measuring and Controlling Instruments in the Chemical Industry in Great Britain and the USA During the Period 1900-1939; S. Bennett. Norwegian Capitalists and the Fertiliser Business: The Case of Hafslund and the Odda Process; K. Sogner. The Swiss Pharmaceutical Industry: The Impact of Industrial Property Rights and Trust in the Laboratory, 1907-1939; J. Tanner. Part 5: State Intervention and Industrial Autarky. Technical Change in the Italian Chemical Industry: Markets, Firms and State Intervention; R. Petri. The Frustrated Rise of Spanish Chemical Industry Between the Wars; N. Puig. The Take-Off Phase of Danish Chemical Industry, ca. 1910–1940; H. Kragh. Neglected Potential? The Emergence of the Finnish Chemical Industry, 1900–1939; T. Myllyntaus. Contributors. Abbreviations. Index.

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