HPS202 Textbook Reading - Misa

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Published on 5 Oct 2011
School
UTSG
Department
History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Course
HPS202H1
Professor
HPS202
Misa, Science and Systems
science-based tech alter how goods produced and consumed, industry society
evolving... second industrial revo after 1870
technologically stabilized organized capitalism
focused on improving and stabilizing existing systems > inventing new ones
tech take present meaning as set of devices
British scientists discover most relevant science but industrialists largely fail
first science-based industry started with black tar from coal; Coke, unwanted but
worked into purple dye (mauve) after experiments (one burns himself to death)
Perkin who develop and marketed, set up dye factories, chemists
harmful substances
universities and “pure” research in Germany
organic chemistry and naturally occurring dyes
commercial blockbusters of aniline yellow, Bismarck brown
invention as construction bound to rules
by 1897 4000 German chemists outside universities, with colleagues in uni
patent laws in Germany... 1877 law having shortcoming in not covering new chemical
substances... chemical inventions patented only if concern particular process
precedent setting case Congo Red... new doctrine of new technical effect...
new legal justification save scientific mass labor, stabilize mode of innovation
mass production methods
German chemical industry dominance
WWI, Chemist’s War... poison gas, Germany involvement + WWII
entanglement of German chemical industry with Third Reich and system-stabilizing
innovation + corporate/political forms needed... companies seeking method of halting
competition from before war
Edison and difference separating system-originating inventions from system-stabilizing
ones
Edison’s time: telegraph operators virtual community, tapping out tips, gossip and
news
Edison’s first patents result of telegraph industry’s transition from city-to-city ststem to
intraurban phase (Western Union) demanding rapid on-site delivery of market-moving
info (news instantly to own offices)
struggle to balance inventive freedom with adequate funding
Western Union (large firm) usually funds “important” inventions from Edison
resent capitalists commissioning work but need finance
invention factory 1876, promise to achieve minor invention every ten days and big
thing every six months or so, achieve it
1877 talking machine (early phonograph) and mic for telephone year after Alexander
Graham Bell
publicizing kept self in public eye
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