Read e-book online A Companion to American Technology (Blackwell Companions to PDF

By Carroll Pursell

ISBN-10: 0631228446

ISBN-13: 9780631228448

A spouse to American expertise is a groundbreaking choice of unique essays that examine the hard-to-define phenomenon of “technology” in the US. 22 unique essays by way of specialist students disguise an important positive aspects of yank expertise, together with advancements in autos, tv, and computingAnalyzes the ways that applied sciences are prepared, resembling within the engineering occupation, govt, drugs and agricultureIncludes discussions of the way applied sciences have interaction with race, gender, classification, and different organizing buildings in American society

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Extra resources for A Companion to American Technology (Blackwell Companions to American History)

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Steamboats Through most of the nineteenth century, horses and mules towed canal boats, but steam engines took hold on America’s rivers. “The notion of steam propulsion for boats was nearly as old as the steam engine itself,” writes Pursell (1995, p. 75), “but the proper proportions of engine to boat and the best way to apply the power – whether by water forced out the back in a jet, screw propellers, paddle wheel . . ” A number of inventors worked hard to make the steamboat a technical as well as a commercial success (Hindle 1981).

The same year, Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin (1761–1849), who, like President Jefferson, believed in the importance of transportation and communication to the young nation, submitted to Congress a Report on the Subject of Public Roads and Canals, a transportation master plan. In it he argued that the federal government should invest $20 million over 10 years on roads, canals, and river navigation improvements. Moreover, he emphasized that financing these projects ought to be the responsibility of governments because the projects themselves provided so much for the public good.

Since sawmills had to be located upland at waterpower sites, gangs of sawyers working with pit saws cut the hull and deck planking. Builders of small boats used sawn planks and timber keels, and shaped the ribs either by sawing or steaming and bending. Shipwrights fastened large timbers and planks together with treenails (tapered wooden pins) that they drove into holes bored with hand augers. They fastened smaller pieces with iron or, later, copper nails and bolts. Since a shipwright worked primarily with hand tools, he did not need a large investment in equipment to set up business.

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A Companion to American Technology (Blackwell Companions to American History) by Carroll Pursell


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