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Technology and Culture

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2017: Technology and Culture
Daryl M Hafter
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Technology and Culture
Marco Beretta
Glassmaking has prospered as an art since the late Middle Ages. It is therefore surprising that the first systematic treatise exclusively devoted to it appeared as late as 1612. In this article I explore the experimental background of Antonio Neri's L'Arte Vetraria, and its intimate connection with an ancient alchemical tradition and with more contemporary efforts to introduce technical innovations. Furthermore, the active role played by Antonio Neri, a clergyman and alchemist in the service of Antonio de' Medici, sheds new light on the patronage of the Medici court...
2017: Technology and Culture
Vivien Hamilton
This article tackles a common assumption in the historiography of medical technology, that new medical instruments in the nineteenth century were universally seen as symbols of the scientific nature of medical practice. The article examines the strategies used by Jenny Trout, the first woman in Canada licensed to practice medicine, and J. Adams, a homeopathic physician, to advertise electrotherapy to the residents of Toronto in the 1870s and 1880s. While electrotherapy involved complex electrical technology, the doctors in this study did not draw attention to their instruments as proof of the legitimacy of their practice...
2017: Technology and Culture
Daniel Williford
On 29 February 1960, an earthquake struck the city of Agadir, Morocco, killing between ten and fifteen thousand Moroccans and Europeans and damaging the majority of the city's structures. Drawing on data from seismographs, witness accounts, and direct observations of destruction, international teams of experts working in the aftermath of the disaster rewrote Agadir as a seismically vulnerable space. In the process, they depoliticized destruction and assigned responsibility for the devastation of the city's poorest neighborhoods to "natural" forces and ineffective "traditional" building practices...
2017: Technology and Culture
Craig Robertson
This article uses textbooks and advertisements to explore the formal and informal ways in which people were introduced to vertical filing in the early twentieth century. Through the privileging of "system" an ideal mode of paperwork emerged in which a clerk could "grasp" information simply by hand without having to understand or comprehend its content. A file clerk's hands and fingers became central to the representation and teaching of filing. In this way, filing offered an example of a distinctly modern form of information work...
2017: Technology and Culture
Silvia Berger Ziauddin
In the 1960s Switzerland started to build the world's largest system of civil defense shelters. Ever since, the tiny country has represented the gold standard for bunker design and technology, attracting worldwide interest amongst scientists, political elites, and private consumers. This essay examines the development, forms, and global reach of Swiss bunker expertise. It emphasizes the knowledge transfer and the networks of cooperation with West Germany and the United States upon which the career of Swiss bunker research was founded...
2017: Technology and Culture
Hyungsub Choi
Can imported technologies be socially constructed? Starting from this puzzling question, this essay reflects on the various methodologies with which one can narrate the stories of technology in modern Korea. A focus on technological innovations and how they have been shaped by their societal milieu forces one to leave out a large part of the technological experience, especially when the bulk of the technologies-in-use have been imported from abroad. This poses a serious problem for the history of technology in Korea, a nation that relied heavily on foreign technologies as it went through rapid economic growth in the latter twentieth century...
2017: Technology and Culture
Fredric Quivik
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Technology and Culture
Jonathan Harwood
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Technology and Culture
Hanna Rose Shell, Gregg Mitman
This article has two interconnected goals. It is, first of all, a review of the film The Land Beneath Our Feet, an exemplary documentary that combines the history of technology, science and technology studies, and environmental history in its exploration of the social, cultural, and natural consequences of the rubber industry's expansion in Liberia. The essay's larger purpose, however, is to explore the powerful role documentary film-making practices have to play in the development of new approaches in the history of technology...
2017: Technology and Culture
Ronald R Kline
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Technology and Culture
Francesca Bray
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Technology and Culture
Allan A Needell
abstract James E. Webb, NASA's Administrator during the hectic years preparing to send American astronauts to the Moon, has come to represent the pinnacle of postwar American optimism and support for large-scale, technically complex national undertakings. Success in 1969 lent credence to Webb's faith in "space age management." By the 1980s such "technocratic optimism" had precipitously declined. Since 1985, with the publication of Walter A. McDougall's Pulitzer Prize winning. . . The Heavens and the Earth, the rise and decline of such optimism has often been framed in the context of Cold War ideology and competition...
2017: Technology and Culture
Fabrizio Ansani
This article examines the technological development of artillery production in Florence during the last two decades of the fifteenth century, before and after the assimilation of the most efficient French ordnance into Italian warfare. The study starts from the notes, drawings, accounts, and guns produced by Bonaccorso di Vettorio Ghiberti (1451-1516), the heir of the foundry of his illustrious ancestor Lorenzo di Cione (1378-1455). Data have been collected from the historical archives of the Istituto degli Innocenti, from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence, and from the Florentine State Archive...
2017: Technology and Culture
Kendra Smith-Howard
Between 1945 and 1970, the introduction of antibiotics in agriculture forced veterinarians to articulate the boundaries of their professional identity. While veterinarians welcomed the new aid to arrest infectious diseases of livestock, they worried as farmers took animal healing into their own hands without veterinary supervision, and resented the competition from retail outlets that sold the drugs. Veterinary antibiotics also set off heated debates within the field about whether the profession should position itself as preventers or healers of disease, debates that were akin to the kinds of professional discourses among physicians and pharmacists in the same period...
2017: Technology and Culture
Thomas R Wellock
In recent decades, probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) has become an essential tool in risk analysis and management in many industries and government agencies. The origins of PRA date to the 1975 publication of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Reactor Safety Study led by MIT professor Norman Rasmussen. The "Rasmussen Report" inspired considerable political and scholarly disputes over the motives behind it and the value of its methods and numerical estimates of risk. The Report's controversies have overshadowed the deeper technical origins of risk assessment...
2017: Technology and Culture
Casper Andersen
When UNESCO was founded in 1945 the organization aimed to become a pivotal player in international collaboration in the field of engineering. UNESCO based its engineering initiatives on the World Engineering Conference, an organization espousing a politically motivated "technocratic internationalism" and on the World Power Conference, an organization promoting a business-friendly stance of "engineering internationalism." These competing models for international collaboration curtailed UNESCO's institutional ambitions...
2017: Technology and Culture
Roland Wenzlhuemer
Relatively recent historiographical approaches such as global or transnational history have attracted new attention to telegraphy and its role in processes of globalization. This renewed interest in submarine cables and overland wires has recently provided us with a reasonably good idea of how the global telegraph network developed in the nineteenth century, who its principal designers were, and where it was more and where it was less tight. Little, however, has been said so far about the actual matters communicated telegraphically, certainly not in any systematic fashion...
2017: Technology and Culture
Michael Adas
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Technology and Culture
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