By Carroll Pursell

A spouse to American know-how is a groundbreaking selection of unique essays that examine the hard-to-define phenomenon of “technology” in the US.

  • 22 unique essays through specialist students hide an important positive aspects of yank expertise, together with advancements in cars, tv, and computing
  • Analyzes the ways that applied sciences are prepared, similar to within the engineering occupation, govt, medication and agriculture
  • Includes discussions of the way applied sciences have interaction with race, gender, category, and different organizing buildings in American society

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Additional info for A Companion to American Technology

Example text

K. The English Atlantic (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). CHAPTER TWO The American Industrial Revolution JAMES C. WILLIAMS Halfway through the twentieth century, American sociologist Henry Pratt Fairchild (1950) observed that United States Census enumerators in 1900 counted 23 persons who had been alive when the first Census was taken in 1790. He speculated about the extraordinarily fascinating times through which these centenarians had lived: “This little handful of individuals had not only shared in the growth of one of the greatest nations in history, from its birth to its late adolescence, but, even more, their lifetime had also covered a century [in] which .

A typical colonial home used about 30 cords of firewood each year for heating and cooking. Franklin’s curiosity led him to examine the flow of air and combustion gases in fireplaces. He discovered that the excess air that a conventional fireplace allowed to reach the fire carried most of the heat from the burning wood up the chimney instead of into the room it was supposed to be warming. His Franklin stove (actually a modified fireplace) increased fuel efficiency. He included an explanation of the principles of convection heating in the sales literature for his stoves with the idea that his colonial customers would read and be interested in how natural science could be applied to useful improvements.

Following a severe explosion near Memphis, Tennessee in 1830 that killed almost 60, Congress authorized the federal government to give its first grant for scientific research to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to discover the cause of boiler explosions. In 1836, the Institute submitted a report calling for federal boiler inspectors; following another explosion killing 140 people in Charleston, it became law. This set, remarks historian Cowan (1997, p. ” Railroads Equally dramatic and historic to canal building and steamboats in North America was the application of steam power to land travel, and the construction of thousands of miles of railroads connecting the east coast with the interior.

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