Technology and Culture

Technology and Culture
Volume 46, Number 4, October 2005

CONTENTS

Articles

    Langdon, John.
    Watts, Martin.
  • Tower Windmills in Medieval England: A Case of Arrested Development?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Windmills -- England -- History -- To 1500.
    • Windmills -- Design and construction -- History -- To 1500.
    • Diffusion of innovations -- History -- To 1500.
    Abstract:
      Windmills became a very common sight on medieval landscapes from the late twelfth century onwards, particularly the mostly timber post-mill variety. Much rarer were tower windmills, where the wooden cap carrying the sails rotated on the top of a high stone tower. Despite the fact that tower windmills were known from at least the late thirteenth century and seemingly had advantages of durability and as attractive show-pieces for medieval landlords, they were never built in any great number during the medieval period. Our article surveys the six certain, probable and possible cases of tower windmills in medieval England and then tries to explain why there were not more of them. Their greater cost relative to post-mills was one obvious reason. But another, we argue, was the reluctance of carpenters to build them, since the requirement of constructing the stone tower meant that much of the work was given over to masons. In order to ensure their continued dominance in the lucrative windmill business, carpenters seem to have preferred promoting the more timber-based post-mills, which they managed to do with great success to the end of the medieval period and beyond.
    Anderson, J. L.
  • War on Weeds: Iowa Farmers and Growth-Regulator Herbicides
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid -- Iowa -- History -- 20th century.
    • Farmers -- Effect of technological innovations on -- Iowa -- History -- 20th century.
    • Weeds -- Control -- Iowa -- History -- 20th century.
    • Agricultural innovations -- Iowa -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      After World War II farmers transformed the Iowa landscape by using newly developed growth regulator herbicides while simultaneously shaping the way herbicides were used. Herbicides met many farmers' goals, including cutting fuel and labor costs of cultivating while boosting yields by reducing weed competition for soil nutrients, light, and moisture. In the 1940s and 1950s, experts advised farmers to only use chemicals to supplement mechanical cultivation, but by the 1960s some farmers reduced or eliminated cultivation. Farmers also contended with unanticipated consequences of herbicide use. Some weeds were resistant to herbicide and proliferated as farmers reduced or eliminated species that were easier to control. Weed control became more expensive and complicated by 1972, with new varieties, combinations, additives, and government regulation. In spite of the expense of herbicides and some undesirable consequences, farmers continued to use them, accepting a new chemical paradigm and altering the Midwestern landscape.
    Mom, Gijs, 1949-
  • Roads without Rails: European Highway-Network Building and the Desire for Long-Range Motorized Mobility
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    Subject Headings:
    • Express highways -- Europe, Western -- History -- 20th century.
    • Express highways -- Europe, Western -- Design and construction -- History -- 20th century.
    • Transportation and state -- Europe, Western -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      Limited-access highways were introduced before the Second World War in some European countries, and after that war in many others around the world, including the United States. They were superimposed upon an already existing, hierarchical system of roads. This article analyses the emergence of the 'highway concept,' focusing on the special case of the Netherlands. It argues that in order to build such roads, power had to be shifted to the state; in addition, fantasies about their future long-range use for touristic purposes were instrumental. The realization of early automobile-only road networks was accompanied by the emergence of a 'railway metaphor,' which referred to the desire for central control of national and international road building agencies. On these roads, traffic flows resemble centrally controlled train behavior far more than motorists and historians alike have thus far realized.

On The Cover

Classics Revisited

    Molella, Arthur P., 1944-
  • The Longue Durée of Abbott Payson Usher
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    Subject Headings:
    • Usher, Abbott Payson, 1883-1965. History of mechanical inventions.
    • Inventions -- History.
    Abstract:
      A History of Mechanical Inventions by the economic historian Abbott Payson Usher, first published in 1929, pioneered the modern study of the history of technology. Its meticulous attention to the details of technological evolution give it the appearance of a narrow "nuts-and-bolts" history, now long out of fashion. But, it actually took on the human and moral dimensions of technology in the broadest way. The book's introductory chapters lay out an ambitious agenda for history, embracing issues of novelty, technological determinism, and historical causation—issues that remain central to the field today. Usher's book was very much a product of the Machine Age and of the moral questions it raised about human freedom in the face of technology. Advocating human agency in history, Usher was driven by a "material sense of things" and by ideas from contemporary revolutions in relativity, quantum theory, and Gestalt psychology, theories asserting a new more intimate relationship between humans and the cosmos.
    Moy, Timothy.
  • Structure Ascendant
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    Subject Headings:
    • Holley, I. B. (Irving Brinton), 1919- Ideas and weapons.
    • World War, 1914-1918 -- Aerial operations.
    Abstract:
      Though it clearly bears the marks of the early 1950s, Ideas and Weapons remains an important and useful classic in the literature on military innovation. I.B. Holley's analysis of the role of institutional structure in shaping the adoption of the aerial weapon during World War I continues to frame current understanding of the complex interaction between military doctrine, military institutions, and technological change. This Revisit examines the context and content of Holley's analysis, its scholarly reception, and its impact on current literature in the history military technology.

Essay Reviews

    Kranakis, Eda.
  • Surveying Technology and History: Essential Tensions and Postmodern Possibilities
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    Subject Headings:
    • Misa, Thomas J. Leonardo to the internet: technology and culture from the Renaissance to the present.
    • Technology -- History.
    Abstract:
      Thomas J. Misa's Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present represents a new kind of survey history of technology. Traditional surveys take technology as their starting point (rather than politics and culture) and hence follow a periodization distinct from traditional political history. They also tend to sacrifice depth to achieve encyclopedic coverage. Misa's survey takes politics and culture as its starting point, which places technology back into mainstream history. Seeking to define and analyze paradigmatic techno-cultural eras, Misa examines eight key episodes in Western history and technology from the Renaissance to the present and identifies an underlying pattern of technological/economic through and action for each era, illustrated by key examples. Misa's work echoes the approaches of Lewis Mumford and Bertrand Gille in defining key technological eras, but he broadens this approach to link it more firmly with mainstream history. Misa also draws upon the traditions of political economy and economic history, but he moves beyond the myth of "economic man" by paying careful attention to the influence of political and cultural regimes on technological development. Misa's postmodern, episodic reading of the past encourages student debate and questioning, and invites development of a richer variety of survey histories.
    Hafter, Daryl M., 1935-
  • Masterwork Completed
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gillispie, Charles Coulston. Science and polity in France: the revolutionary and Napoleonic years.
    • Science -- France -- History.
    Abstract:
      Charles Coulston Gillispie has justified his place as dean of historians of science and technology with these two magisterial books. Science and Polity in France: The End of the Old Regime, published twenty-five years ago, demonstrates how intellectuals in Paris developed science and technology as the expression of the Enlightenment's use of reason to resolve social problems. Through networks of talented individuals benefiting from state support, experimental information was exchanged and standards developed. The recently published (2004) Science and Polity in France: The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Years, shows how the embryonic science became professional as scientists earned a living through their expertise. This volume presents the debate over educational plans submitted to Revolutionary committees. It shows the bumpy adoption of the metric system and the perilous measurement of the Meridian of Paris. And while acknowledging that interchangeable parts and steel making were known, Gillispie asserts that the French Revolution did not create an industrial revolution. Meticulously documented, engagingly written, these volumes are definitive reference works for scholar and general reader alike.

Book Reviews

    Rieger, Bernhard, 1967-
  • Luxus und Konsum: Eine historische Annäherung (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Reith, Reinhold, ed. Luxus und Konsum: eine historische Annäherung.
    • Meyer, Torsten, 1964-, ed.
    • Luxury -- Congresses.
    Scranton, Philip.
  • How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Oudshoorn, Nelly, 1950-, ed. How users matter: the co-construction of users and technology.
    • Pinch, T. J. (Trevor J.), ed.
    • Technology -- Social aspects.
    Jacobs, Meg, 1969-
  • Keeping Up with the Joneses: Envy in American Consumer Society, 1890-1930 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Matt, Susan J. (Susan Jipson), 1967- Keeping up with the Joneses: envy in American consumer society, 1890-1930.
    • Social values -- United States -- History.
    Dirks, Jacqueline K.
  • The Commodification of Childhood: The Children's Clothing Industry and the Rise of the Child Consumer (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cook, Daniel Thomas, 1961- Commodification of childhood: the children's clothing industry and the rise of the child consumer.
    • Childhood -- United States -- History.
    Scanlon, Jennifer, 1958-
  • Kotex, Kleenex, and Huggies: Kimberly-Clark and the Consumer Revolution (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Heinrich, Thomas, 1963- Kotex, Kleenex, and Huggies: Kimberly-Clark and the consumer revolution.
    • Batchelor, Bob.
    • Kimberly-Clark Corporation -- History.
    Smulyan, Susan.
  • Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935-1947 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Newman, Kathy M. Radio active: advertising and consumer activism, 1935-1947.
    • Radio advertising -- United States -- History.
    Frost, Gary Lewis.
  • Signor Marconi's Magic Box: The Most Remarkable Invention of the 19th Century and the Amateur Inventor Whose Genius Sparked a Revolution (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Weightman, Gavin. Signor Marconi's magic box: the most remarkable invention of the 19th century and the amateur inventor whose genius sparked a revolution.
    • Marconi, Guglielmo, marchese, 1874-1937.
    Bektas, Yakup.
  • The European Cable Companies in South America before the First World War (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ahvenainen, Jorma. European cable companies in South America before the First World War.
    • Cables, Submarine -- South America -- History.
    Magoun, Alexander B.
  • The Forgotten Network: Du Mont and the Birth of American Television (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Weinstein, David, 1967- Forgotten network: Du Mont and the birth of American television.
    • Du Mont Television Network -- History.
    Stokes, Raymond G.
  • Die PAL-SECAM-Kontroverse in der DDR: Die politisch-ideologische Instrumentalisierung der Farbfernsehfrage durch den ostdeutschen Staat zwischen 1965 und 1969 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Glaubitz, Gerald. PAL-SECAM-Kontroverse in der DDR: die politisch-ideologische Instrumentalisierung der Farbfernsehfrage durch den ostdeutschen Staat zwischen 1965 und 1969.
    • Color television -- Political aspects -- Germany (East)
    Mullen, Megan Gwynne, 1964-
  • Technology, Television, and Competition: The Politics of Digital TV (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hart, Jeffrey A. Technology, television, and competition: the politics of digital TV.
    • High definition television -- United States.
    Josephson, Paul R.
  • Farm to Factory: A Reinterpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Allen, Robert C., 1947- Farm to factory: a reinterpretation of the Soviet industrial revolution.
    • Soviet Union -- Economic policy.
    Jenks, Andrew L.
  • Flesh to Metal: Soviet Literature and the Alchemy of Revolution (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hellebust, Rolf. Flesh to metal: Soviet literature and the alchemy of revolution.
    • Russian literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Le Coze, Jean.
  • De la forge au laboratoire: Naissance de la métallurgie physique, 1860-1914 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Chezeau, Nicole. De la forge au laboratoire: naissance de la métallurgie physique, 1860-1914.
    • Physical metallurgy -- History.
    Wermiel, Sara E.
  • Forging America: Ironworkers, Adventurers, and the Industrious Revolution (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bezís-Selfa, John, 1966- Forging America: ironworkers, adventurers, and the industrious revolution.
    • Iron industry and trade -- United States -- History -- 18th century.
    Gordon, Robert B. (Robert Boyd), 1929-
  • Mine Hill in Franklin and Sterling Hill in Ogdensburg, New Jersey: Mining History, 1765-1900 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dunn, Pete J. Mine Hill in Franklin and Sterling Hill in Ogdensburg, New Jersey: mining history, 1765-1900.
    • Iron mines and mining -- New Jersey -- Sussex County -- History.
    Tweedale, Geoffrey.
  • Landscapes of Technology Transfer: Swedish Ironmakers in India, 1860-1864 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Geijerstam, Jan af. Landscapes of technology transfer: Swedish ironmakers in India, 1860-1864.
    • Iron industry and trade -- India -- History -- 19th century.
    Knowles, Anne Kelly.
  • In the Kingdom of Coal: An American Family and the Rock that Changed the World (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rottenberg, Dan. In the kingdom of coal: an American family and the rock that changed the world.
    • Leisenring family.
    Rees, Jonathan, 1966-
  • Linde: History of a Technology Corporation, 1879-2004 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dienel, Hans-Liudger, 1961- Linde: history of a technology corporation, 1879-2004.
    • Linde Aktiengesellschaft -- History.
    Harris, Richard, 1952-
  • Suburban Steel: The Magnificent Failure of the Lustron Corporation, 1945-1951 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Knerr, Douglas, 1960- Suburban steel: the magnificent failure of the Lustron Corporation, 1945-1951.
    • Prefabricated houses -- United States -- History.
    Teich, Albert.
  • Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Newfield, Christopher. Ivy and industry: business and the making of the American university, 1880-1980.
    • Business and education -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Lowen, Rebecca S., 1959-
  • Fred Terman at Stanford: Building a Discipline, a University, and Silicon Valley (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gillmor, C. Stewart, 1938- Fred Terman at Stanford: building a discipline, a university, and Silicon Valley.
    • Terman, Frederick Emmons, 1900-1982.
    Downey, Gregory John.
  • Territories of Profit: Communications, Capitalist Development, and the Innovative Enterprises of G. F. Swift and Dell Computer (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Fields, Gary S. Territories of profit: communications, capitalist development, and the innovative enterprises of G. F. Swift and Dell Computer.
    • Dell Computer Corp. -- Case studies.
    Coopey, R. (Richard)
  • The Government Machine: A Revolutionary History of the Computer (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Agar, Jon. Government machine: a revolutionary history of the computer.
    • Computers -- Government policy -- Great Britain -- History.
    Croarken, Mary.
  • Douglas Rayner Hartree: His Life in Science and Computing (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Froese Fischer, Charlotte, 1929- Douglas Rayner Hartree: his life in science and computing.
    • Hartree, Douglas R. (Douglas Rayner), 1897-1958.
    Samson, M. David.
  • Zoomscape: Architecture in Motion and Media (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schwarzer, Mitchell. Zoomscape: architecture in motion and media.
    • Architecture, Modern -- 20th century.
    O'Har, George.
  • The Holodeck in the Garden: Science and Technology in Contemporary American Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Freese, Peter, ed. Holodeck in the garden: science and technology in contemporary American fiction.
    • Harris, Charles B., ed.
    • American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Warner, Deborah.
  • The Claude Glass: Use and Meaning of the Black Mirror in Western Art (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Maillet, Arnaud. Claude glass: use and meaning of the black mirror in western art.
    • Claude glasses.
    Pretzer, William S.
  • The Papers of Thomas A. Edison. Vol. 5: Research to Development at Menlo Park, January 1879-March 1881 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931. Papers of Thomas A. Edison. vol. 5: research to development at Menlo Park, January 1879-March 1881.
    • Israel, Paul, ed.
    • Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931.
    Tenner, Edward.
  • Replaceable You: Engineering the Body in Postwar America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Serlin, David Harley. Replaceable you: engineering the body in postwar America.
    • Biomedical engineering -- United States.
    Woods, Abigail, 1972-
  • Industrializing Organisms: Introducing Evolutionary History (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Scranton, Philip, ed. Industrializing organisms: introducing evolutionary history.
    • Schrepfer, Susan R., ed.
    • Agricultural biotechnology.
    Peters, Tom F. (Tom Frank), 1941-
  • Essays on the History of Mechanics: In Memory of Clifford Ambrose Truesdell and Edoardo Benvenuto (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Becchi, Antonio, ed. Essays on the history of mechanics: in memory of Clifford Ambrose Truesdell and Edoardo Benvenuto.
    • Mechanics, Applied -- History.
    Bishop, Elizabeth.
  • Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mitchell, Timothy, 1955- Rule of experts: Egypt, techno-politics, modernity.
    • Egypt -- Economic policy.
    Roland, Alex, 1944-
  • Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mayor, Adrienne, 1946- Greek fire, poison arrows, and scorpion bombs: biological and chemical warfare in the ancient world.
    • Military art and science -- History -- To 500.
    Hacker, Barton C., 1935-
  • Gunpowder and Firearms: Warfare in Medieval India, and: Warfare and Weaponry in South Asia 1000-1800 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Khan, Iqtidar Alam. Gunpowder and firearms: warfare in medieval India.
    • Gommans, Jos J. L., ed. Warfare and weaponry in South Asia 1000-1800.
    • Kolff, D. H. A., 1938-, ed.
    • Military art and science -- Mogul Empire -- History.
    • Military art and science -- South Asia -- History.

Index




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