Engineering Empires

Engineering Empires

by Ben Marsden, Crosbie Smith
     
 

Engineers are empire-builders. James Watt, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Robert Stephenson and a host of less well known figures worked to build and expand personal and business empires of material technology founded on and sustained by durable networks of trust and expertise. In so doing these engineers and their heirs also became active agents of political and economic… See more details below

Overview

Engineers are empire-builders. James Watt, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Robert Stephenson and a host of less well known figures worked to build and expand personal and business empires of material technology founded on and sustained by durable networks of trust and expertise. In so doing these engineers and their heirs also became active agents of political and economic empire. Indeed, steamships, railways and electric telegraph systems increasingly complemented one another to form what one early twentieth-century telegraph engineer aptly termed 'our most powerful weapon in the cause of Inter-Imperial Commerce'. This book provides an exploration of the cultural construction of the large-scale technologies of empire.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780333772782
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
03/01/2005
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.93(d)

Meet the Author

Ben Marsden is Lecturer in Cultural History, University of Aberdeen.

Crosbie Smith is Professor of History of Science at the University of Kent.

Table of Contents

Introduction : technology, science and culture in the long nineteenth century1
1'Objects of national importance' : exploration, mapping and measurement12
2Power and wealth : reputations and rivalries in steam culture41
3Belief in steamers : making trustworthy the iron steamship88
4Building railway empires : promises in space and time129
5'The most gigantic electrical experiment' : the trials of telegraphy178
Conclusion : cultures of technological expertise226

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