Essays in Industry and Technology in the Eighteenth Century: England and France, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Essays in Industry and Technology in the Eighteenth Century

England and France, 1st Edition

By John Harris


240 pages

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Hardback: 9780860783152
pub: 1992-02-20
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This collection of essays is devoted to the industrial history of England and France in the 18th century and concentrates in particular on transfers of technology between them. There are specific studies of technical transfer in the steel, glass and hardware industries, and on the place of the skills of the workmen in the diffusion of technology. Industrial espionage, too, early had its place, and one essay investigates why it was resorted to and how it was carried out. In the new introductory chapter, John Harris surveys the rise of a new range of technologies in England, based on dramatic increase in the use of coal, and emphasises that this was basic to British industrial leadership and a main reason for her expertise being desired abroad. Throughout, the part played by individuals - from inventors and entrepreneurs to managers, ministers and skilled workers - is regarded as essential to the process of industrial development. Ce recueil est voué à l’histoire industrielle de l’Angleterre et de la France au 18e siècle et se concentre plus particulièrement sur les transferts de technologie entre les deux pays. Certaines études traitent spécifiquement des échanges techniques dans l’industrie de l’acier et celle du verre, ainsi que de l’importance de la compétence des ouvriers quant à la diffusion de la technologie. L’espionage industriel, qui lui aussi a rapidement vu jour, fait le sujet d’un article enquêtant sur sa raison d’être et les méthodes employées. Dans le nouveau chapître d’introduction, John Harris évalue l’essor d’un nouvel éventail de technologie en Angleterre, basé sur l’augmentation dramatique de la consommation de charbon; il insiste que ce fait était à la base de la préponderance industrielle britannique et l’une des raisons principales pour lesquelles son expertise était si recherchée à l’étranger. Le rôle joué par l’individu - de l’inventeur à l’administrateur en passant par les e


'Essays in Industry and Technology in the Eighteenth Century is important particularly in its stress on the significance of craft skills and diffusion in the Industrial Revolution. By publishing this anthology, Harris has made a major and timely contribution to the history of technology.' Edwin T. Layton, Technology and Culture. '…this volume can be highly recommended for the insights it gives into the minutiae of international industrial skulduggery in the 18th century….' History '…Harris has provided a series of reliable and excellently argued case studies which together comprise a commentary on the Industrial Revolution of which any contemporary scholar would be proud' The Newcomen Bulletin

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Skills, coal and British industry in the eighteenth century; Saint Gobain and Ravenhead; Attempts to transfer English steel techniques to France in the eighteenth century; Michael Alcock and the transfer of Birmingham technology to France before the Revolution; Industrial espionage in the eighteenth century; Copper and shipping in the eighteenth century; The origins of the St Helens glass industry; Recent research on the Newcomen engine and historical studies; Index.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General