In the second edition of The Machine in America, Pursell brings this classic history up to date with a revised chapter on war technology and new discussions on. The Machine in America: A Social History of Technology. Creator. Pursell, Carroll . Bibliographic Citation. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, The Machine In America has 34 ratings and 2 reviews. not simply instruments of our purpose,” historian Carroll Pursell analyzes technology’s impact upon the.

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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Machine In America: From the medieval farm implements brought by the first colonists to the invisible links of the Internet, the history of technology in America is a history of our society as well.

Arguing that “the tools and processes we use are a part of our lives, not simply instruments of our purpose,” historian Carroll Pursell analyzes technology’s impact upon the lives of women and men From the medieval farm implements brought by the first colonists to the invisible links of the Internet, the history of technology in America is a history of our society as well. Arguing that “the tools and processes we use are a part of our lives, not simply instruments of our purpose,” historian Carroll Pursell analyzes technology’s impact upon the lives of women and men, their work, politics, and social relationships–and in turn, their influence upon technological development.

Pursell shows how both the idea of progress and the mechanical means to harness the forces of nature developed and changed as they were brought from the Old World to the New. He describes the ways in which American industrial and agricultural technology began to take on a distinctive shape as it adapted and extended the technical base of the industrial revolution. He discusses the innovation of an American System of Manufactures and the mechanization of agriculture; new systems of mining, lumbering, and farming, which helped conquer and define the West; and the technologies that shaped the rise of cities.

And he shows how the export of technology helped to foster American hegemony both in theWestern Hemisphere and elsewhere in the world. Pursell also argues that American technology has created a social hegemony, not only over the way we live but also over how we evaluate that life.

He shows that such developments as scientific management techniques and industrial research changed Americans’ lives as much as the mass production of such durable consumer goods as radios and automobiles. In many ways, he concludes, today’s military-industrial complex is the legacy of the intense cooperation betweenscience and technology during World War II.

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Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Aug 30, Mark Bowles rated it it was amazing. The purpose is to argue that the history of technology is part of our general history. The tools brought over 1. Colonial American technology had four main characteristics. Most of what was used here were hand tools. The temperature and conditions in the new world were not much different from the old. There were no immediate additions to the tools of farming. One exception was the American ax with its curved handle and centered blade.

It allowed a man to much more easily cut down trees.

It was the method of farming that changed most radically. Corn was a new crop that was introduced to the settlers by the Indians.

The great availability of land caused the settlers to abandon crop rotation to preserve the soil.

In the South cotton and tobacco were the main crops. While agriculture dominated in this period a small number of city dwellers were craftsmen. One of the most predominate craftsmen were the coopers who made and repaired wooden tubs and casks.

Other crafts included blacksmiths, tthe, masons, and tailors. Inside the home everything was made of wood except the stove.

The standard of living is indicated by their lighting devices. The technology of lighting was not much better than that found in the beginning of the Christian era. Pine splints and the fireplace were typically the only source of light. Mxchine stove was the one domestic technology that did improve. The Franklin stove was able to increase the amount of heat and reduce fuel. The colonists house and yard were the responsibility of the women to take care of. There were only 4 sources of motive power: Most millers used the waterwheel.

A millrace was dug which ran along the stream but descended more gradually. Then a waterwheel would be built at the point the waterfall was constructed. These included the undershot, overshot and breast shot. The power was then carried to the mills by gears, shafts, levers, on pulleys.

The domestication of the industrial revolution A. The expansion of American manufacturers 1. Manufactured items such as muskets were made one at a time by a skilled craftsman who saw the entire process from start to finish.

Purselll System of Manufacturers. The main idea here was to achieve uniformity of product and transform skills from the worker to the machine. Using jigs, fixtures, and gauges a number of similar parts could be created by semi-skilled labor. The idea for interchangeable parts probably originated with Honore Blanc French in He made small arms with interchangeable parts for the government. Jefferson probably heard of this while in France and brought the idea back to America.

In Eli Whitney was given a contract to produce 10, muskets with interchangeable parts. Not knowing how to proceed it took him 10 years to even begin delivering on his contract.


John Hall was accomplished the first successful production of interchangeable rifles in America. He worked at Harpers Ferry. Springfield armory also produced interchangeable weapons but the cost hhe far greater than for those non-interchangeable weapons.

But this was a slow spread. Singer and McCormick did not attempt interchangeable parts until the s.

Singer took pride in their European method of finishing everything by hand. They priced their products high and used marketing and advertising devices to sell their product. The bicycle was the transition piece between 19th century practice and 20th century mass production. This began with Ford and the adoption of the moving assembly line. But mass production could not be adopted for many pursfll. Wherever large runs of similar production were not possible, csrroll the jewelry or furniture industry products continued to be made in batches rather than flows.

The Bessemer process was a process of burning carbon out of molten iron by blowing cold air on it. The open hearth Siemens process used the hot waste gasses to heat the incoming air for the blast.

Unlike the Bessemer furnace it could take scrap steel and mix it with iron pigs. Women in industrial work. The workplace remained heavily gendered with all the tasks defined as either male or female. But, the new machines did create jobs for women. The government made no attempt to determine whether the patent was either new or useful.

The Machine in America: A Social History of Technology – Carroll W. Pursell – Google Books

This law also forbade the issue of patents to foreigners. The modern patent system was created thhe A patent office building was constructed, a commissioner was appointed, and a bureau set up to determine the originality and usefulness of submissions.

Civil engineering and West Point in This led to other colleges offering education in engineering. The new engineers began to organize into professional societies. The imprint of American technology A. Creating an urban environment 1. Technology was one of the most important factors in the rise of the new cities. The following are 5 key examples. An extensive infrastructure of streets, sewers, water supply, electrical lines that formed the skeleton of the urban body.

Lighting evolved from gas, to arc Brush and the lighting of Public Squareto electrical.

The Machine In America: A Social History Of Technology

Large water systems began to supply the cities residents with water. Removing water from the cities was a much more difficult problem. The key part of this infrastructure was the transportation system to serve the activities of the city. Transportation also changed housing patterns. For those who could afford it suburbs allowed the wealthy to move out of the city.