The Social Context of Innovation: Bureaucrats, Families, and Heroes in the Early Industrial Revolution, as Foreseen in Bacon's

The Social Context of Innovation: Bureaucrats, Families, and Heroes in the Early Industrial Revolution, as Foreseen in Bacon's "New Atlantis"

by Anthony F. C. Wallace
     
 

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The history of technology, Anthony F. C. Wallace contends, must be imagined and investigated within a broader history of society. In these insightful essays, Wallace offers a multigenerational examination of the underlying social forces and everyday settings impelling and enabling early industrial innovation.    The gradual development of the steam

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Overview

The history of technology, Anthony F. C. Wallace contends, must be imagined and investigated within a broader history of society. In these insightful essays, Wallace offers a multigenerational examination of the underlying social forces and everyday settings impelling and enabling early industrial innovation.    The gradual development of the steam engine is illuminated through an examination of the far-reaching but unintentional role played by the British royal ordnance and naval establishments. Wallace shows how the efforts of three generations of the Darby family improved iron production. Finally, the sources of failure in industrial innovation are illustrated through the example of deep-shaft coal mining in nineteenth-century Pennsylvania, which went bankrupt because of inadequately financed operators who ignored standard safety procedures.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
“As with his excellent previous work, Rockdale (1978), Wallace explores technological innovation as a social and institutional process and humanizes the history of the machinery of the industrial revolution by blending it with the histories of the families, politicians, engineers, and entrepreneurs who contributed to its invention.”—Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803298378
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska Paperback
Publication date:
11/01/2003
Pages:
175
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Meet the Author

Anthony F. C. Wallace is a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of such books as Revitalizations and Mazeways: Essays on Culture Change, Volume 1 (Nebraska 2003) and Rockdale: The Growth of an American Village in the Early Industrial Revolution, winner of the Bancroft Prize.

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