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Progressive Enlightenment: The Origins of the Gaslight Industry, 1780-1820
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Progressive Enlightenment: The Origins of the Gaslight Industry, 1780-1820 (Hardback)

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Synopsis

An argument that the gas industry was the first integrated large-scale technological network and that it signaled a new wave of industrial innovation.



In Progressive Enlightenment, Leslie Tomory examines the origins of the gaslight industry, from invention to consolidation as a large integrated urban network. Tomory argues that gas was the first integrated large-scale technological network, a designation usually given to the railways. He shows how the first gas network was constructed and stabilized through the introduction of new management structures, the use of technical controls, and the application of means to constrain the behavior of the users of gas lighting.



Tomory begins by describing the contributions of pneumatic chemistry and industrial distillation to the development of gas lighting, then explores the bifurcation between the Continental and British traditions in distillation technology. He examines the establishment and consolidation of the new industry by the Birmingham firm Boulton & Watt, and describes the deployment of the network strategy by the entrepreneur Frederick Winsor. Tomory argues that the gas industry represented a new wave of technological innovation in industry because of its dependence on formal scientific research, its need for large amounts of capital, and its reliance on business organization beyond small firms and partnerships-all of which signaled a departure from the artisanal nature and limited deployment of inventions earlier in the Industrial Revolution. Gas lighting was the first important realization of the Enlightenment dream of science in the service of industry.

BusinessBusiness & managementOwnership & organization of enterprisesBusinessEconomicsEconomics of industrial organisationBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesConstruction & heavy industryConstruction industryBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesConstruction & heavy industryIron, steel & metals industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesEnergy industries & utilitiesAlternative & renewable energy industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesEnergy industries & utilitiesCoal & solid fuel industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesEnergy industries & utilitiesElectrical power industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesEnergy industries & utilitiesGas industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesEnergy industries & utilitiesNuclear power industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesEnergy industries & utilitiesPetroleum & oil industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesEnergy industries & utilitiesWater industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesIndustrial relations & safetyIndustrial relationsBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesIndustrial relations & safetyOccupational / industrial health & safetyBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesManufacturing industriesArmaments industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesPrimary industriesFisheries & related industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesPrimary industriesForestry & related industriesBusinessIndustry & industrial studiesPrimary industriesMining industryHistory & PoliticsMilitary HistoryEnglish Civil WarHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyBritish & Irish historyScience & MathematicsScience: general issuesHistory of scienceTechnicalElectronics & communications engineeringAlternative & renewable energy sources & technologyTechnicalEnergy technology & engineeringTechnicalEngineering & General TechnologyHistory of engineering & technology Publisher: MIT Press Ltd Publication Date: 02/03/2012 ISBN-13: 9780262016759  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Leslie Tomory, an aerospace engineer, a historian, and a consultant in the nonprofit sector, is currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University. Jed Z. Buchwald is Director of the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology and Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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