Norton History of Technology

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Overview

"Humans are tool-makers...and the first record of humankind is that of their tools," Donald Cardwell writes in this absorbing history of technology from prehistory to the present, from stone implements, the wheel, and the first geared machines to the transistor and the supercomputer. With a keen eye for the insight that marks a breakthrough in human problem-solving and a wide-ranging sympathy for its social and cultural contexts, Cardwell chronicles how human curiosity and inventiveness slowly led to the first tools and machines; how technological progress accelerated over time, as major breakthroughs released floods of further inventions; the close links between "pure" science and technology; and the human factors - personal and social - that help or hinder technological change. Casting fresh light on every aspect of technology, Cardwell also challenges us to consider such issues as the influence on technology of different religions and cultural practices, including a society's level of political freedom; the role of market forces; the comparative technological advantages of nations as disparate as Japan and the United States; and the potential that women hold as the greatest remaining untapped resource for invention and innovation. As accessible and engaging as it is informative, this book will reward anyone curious about the tools humanity has devised to transform its place in the world.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The latest volume in Norton's "History of Science" series is as sweeping in scope as its predecessors (John North's Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology, LJ 7/94). Cardwell, distinguished historian at the University of Manchester, divides his synthesis into three broad chronological periods: the ancients, the Industrial Revolution, and the modern era. Throughout, he emphasizes the importance to technical development of contemporary thinking about knowledge and progress, pointing out that a true understanding of the history of technology demands some familiarity with the thought of Aristotle, Bacon, Aquinas, et al. This work is not the easiest reading at times, but as a rare (and probably the best) single-volume treatment of an almost overwhelming subject usually covered in multi-volume sets, it deserves a place in all academic and public science collections.-Donald Marion, Univ. of Minnesota Science & Engineering Lib., Minneapolis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393311921
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Series: The Norton History of Science
  • Pages: 565
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of Illustrations and Figures
Pt. I Clockwork and Christianity
A Survey of Early Technics 3
2 Gears from the Greeks 20
The Dominance of Greece
Technics in Antiquity
The Question of Slavery
Technology Moves West and North
The Weight-Driven Clock
3 New Worlds and an Information Revolution 49
Technology and Understanding
4 The Scientific Revolution 75
The Importance of Galileo
The Rise of Western Europe
Pt. II The Industrial Revolution
5 Reason and Improvement 105
The Foundation of Power Technology
The First Working Steam Engine
Other Considerations
6 Progress in Practice 129
The Textile Industry
The Iron Industry
7 The Birth of the Factory 153
James Watt and His Colleagues
Structures
8 Technology Becomes Autonomous: The Logic of Improvement 178
9 Napoleonic Europe
A New Form of Electricity 203
10 Roads, Railroads and a New Philosophy of Power 228
A New Technology and a New Science
The Perfection of Water Power
The Beginnings of Electrotechnology
11 The Public Face of Technology: Artistry and Intelligence 253
Progress in Shipbuilding
Civil Engineering and Agriculture
Some Social Considerations
Pt. III Power Without Wheels
12 Progress at the Flood 281
International Exhibitions and International Comparisons
Water Power in the United States
A New Form of Chemical Industry
13 Three Decades of Innovation 306
Science and the Steam Engine
The Invention of the Dynamo
The Energy Question
Science, Technology and Medicine
14 A Second Industrial Revolution 334
New Sources of Power
The Rise of the Electrical Supply Industry
The Efficiency of Heat Engines
15 The Century of Wars 364
A Revolution in Transport
The Origins of Electronic Communications
The Importance of the Electron
The First Airplanes
The Impact of War
16 Paradigm Cases 395
Civil Aviation
The Jet Engine
New Materials from Chemistry
Computers
17 Foreshadowing the Future: Big Technology 425
Atoms and Power
18 Technology and the Individual: Little Technology 457
The Transmission of Technology
Domestic Technology
The Origins of the Modern Computer
19 Notes Towards a Philosophy of Technology 485
Summary
The Procedures of Technology
In Defence of Heroes
Factors in the Progress of Technology
The Public Perception of Technology
Technology in the World
Notes 514
Short General Bibliography 537
Index 539
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