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Dynamics of innovation:the expansion of technology in modern times

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BEST KNOWN AS THE LEADING HISTORIAN OF FRENCH RAILWAYS, François Caron has also conducted significant research on other aspects of economic development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, such as electricity, water and steam power, the theory of innovation, and the structure of enterprise. In this volume, he brings together different facets of his expertise to present a broad panorama of modern technological history. Caron shows how artisanal know-how was adapted, expanded, and formalized during the three industrial revolutions that swept over Great Britain, France, Germany, and the United States, resulting in a comprehensive analysis of this long, complex, and continuous historical process, leading up to the twenty-first century. He thereby illustrates the increasingly fruitful interaction between technological and scientific knowledge in modern times.


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CONTENTS


Translator’s Preface


Introduction


PART ONE


Chapter 1. The Artisanal Mode of Knowledge


Industrial Framework: The World of Trades


Artisanal Knowledge and the Arc of Experience


The Interaction of Trades


Circulation of Knowledge


Chapter 2. From Artisan to Expert


The Appropriation of Artisanal Knowledge


The Role of Writing


Knowledge of Experts


Chapter 3. Formalized Knowledge


The Professional Engineer


The Industrial Enterprise


Science and Utility: The Other Revolution


Practice and Theory


Chapter 4. Technological Adventures


The Production of Energy


The Mechanization of Industry


Birth of the Mechanical Industry


The Chemical Industry


PART TWO


Chapter 5. Industrial Logic and the Dynamics of Knowledge


Entrepreneurs and Enterprises


Artisanal Trades and the Formalization of Knowledge


Engineers and Engineering


Three Examples of Engineering Science


Science, the Universities, and the State


Chapter 6. Steam Engines


Domination of Empirical Knowledge Before 1850


The Birth of Thermodynamics


Experimental Thermodynamics


The Conquest of Great Efficiency


The End of an Era


Chapter 7. The Chemical Industry


Organic Chemistry and the Dye Industry before 1900


Physical Chemistry and the Second Industrial Revolution


Macromolecular Chemistry and Vertical Integration


Summing Up Chemistry


PART THREE


Chapter 8. Technological Interdependence and Consumer Needs


Iron Metallurgy in France in the Nineteenth Century


Generalizing the Model


Chapter 9. Strategies and Social Networks


Global Communities: Gas, Electricity, Automobiles


Social Groups


Enterprises and Networks


The Pillars of Innovation


Local Productive Systems


PART FOUR


Chapter 10. From Early Modern Times to the 1880s


The English Model


The Rise of Mass Civilization in Paris, 1830-1880


Chapter 11. Technological Networks and Communications


French Railways: Rationalization and Cybernetics


Interconnections: Networks of Electricity


Mass Consumption


Mass Production


The Rise of Communications


Telecommunications


The Birth of a Communications Society


Chapter 12. From Microprocessors to the Internet


Flexible Production


Telecommunications


Information and Audiovisual Technologies


Computer Networks and the Birth of the Internet


Communications of a Large Network: the SNCF


The Social Life of Networks, 1995-2008


Chapter 13. Information Technology and Society


Enterprises


Objects of Daily Life


The Era of the Internet and Cellular Phones


The Nature of Messages


Social Connections


The Unforeseen Outcome


Conclusion


Bibliography


Name Index

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