Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

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Friday 14 April 2023 16.30 - 18.30
N-12 TEC05 The Social Relations of Transportation and Infrastructure
C32
Network: Science & Technology Chair: Harro Maat
Organizers: - Discussant: Harro Maat
Eleonor Marcussen : Socio-ecological Webs of Railways: Infrastructure Transitions and Change in Western India
The aim of this paper is to discuss how new infrastructure interacts with human and non-human nature in local sites through in-depth historical research from western India during the 1860s and 1870s. The environmental implications of railway construction in colonial South Asia have foremost been raised in connection with deforestation ... (Show more)
The aim of this paper is to discuss how new infrastructure interacts with human and non-human nature in local sites through in-depth historical research from western India during the 1860s and 1870s. The environmental implications of railway construction in colonial South Asia have foremost been raised in connection with deforestation and forest management practices. The arrival of railway construction in towns and rural areas throughout western India changed the environmental situation and local communities’ relations with resources and work during the decade of the 1860s, especially with the increased demand for cotton during the American Civil War. As previous research outlines, the railways fulfilled its purpose in enabling large-scale resource extraction through increased speed and capacity in trade, which changed human interaction with land and livelihoods. Against these larger transformations in land use, labour demands and resource extraction, this paper examines the social life of infrastructure in local sites through archival sources that document constructions, livelihoods, the work and perceptions of engineers, and contributions of workers along the railways. The planning and construction of railways and ancillary infrastructure such as roads, buildings, drainages and other sanitary facilities, were documented by engineers, colonial administrators and contractors in reports, photographs, memoranda, correspondence, diaries and accounts, where local societies and individuals feature in their everyday interaction with the railway. The paper highlights how the railways’ physical presence in the landscape changed social and spatial relations in terms of how societies related to local uses of resources, their interaction with land and livelihoods. (Show less)

Peter Meyer : Inventors and Founders of Aviation, 1880-1914
This paper summarizes the occupations and roles of 1200 aeronautical experimenters, authors, and company founders from the 1880-1914 period when the airplane was invented and the airplane industry began. Our hand-curated database has information on 15,000 patents and 23,000 publications in this field from around the world. We also have ... (Show more)
This paper summarizes the occupations and roles of 1200 aeronautical experimenters, authors, and company founders from the 1880-1914 period when the airplane was invented and the airplane industry began. Our hand-curated database has information on 15,000 patents and 23,000 publications in this field from around the world. We also have information on about 400 of the new aviation-oriented companies and 900 other aviation-related organizations or exhibitions from that time period. From this information we build basic biographies of the individuals who were active in the field.
Around 50-60% of the patent filers were engineers and the others had a wide variety of occupations. They were mostly from France, Britain, Germany or the US. A large fraction of these also published in the relevant journals.
The early airplane companies were founded mainly not by these experimenters and authors, but by companies or managers branching in from other fields, usually related manufacturing fields. From the beginning, the inventors and founder-manager were fairly separate groups of people, apparently in ways that are similar to those differences in later high tech fields.
There was broad interest in the problem of creating flying machines. Many of the participants in either the tinkerer or founder category went to success in aviation or some other field. At least 80 have Wikipedia articles now.
The database is public at http://econterms.net/aero. Patent data comes from a variety of publications, and from databases and web sites of patent offices, especially from a collection of the European Patent Office made available by colleagues at the UN's World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). The bibliography of aeronautics publications comes mainly from Brockett (1910, 1921). Many other sources had valuable data used on the web site.
A short version of this paper was presented at the 2021 ICHST conference, using these slides: https://econterms.net/innovation/images/g/aero-ICHST2021-Meyer-final.pdf (Show less)

Geoff Zylstra : Industrial Space as a Tool to Create Social Divisions in Philadelphia, 1820-1870
Beginning with the theme of design, this paper addresses how the industrialization of space in Philadelphia related to the changing relations of class and race during the mid-nineteenth century. The design of space in and around Philadelphia was a way to construct and reinforce class and race divisions in the ... (Show more)
Beginning with the theme of design, this paper addresses how the industrialization of space in Philadelphia related to the changing relations of class and race during the mid-nineteenth century. The design of space in and around Philadelphia was a way to construct and reinforce class and race divisions in the context of changing social relations. As industrialization led to new working-and middle-class identities and the erosion of slavery muddied the racial hierarchy, differentiation of space, so important to the process of industrialization, became a way to reorganize hierarchies of social power. This paper applies Lefebvre’s ideas about the “production of space” and Foucault’s description of space as a “container of power” to the industrial, technical, and social changes in mid-nineteenth century Philadelphia.

Three examples will demonstrate the link between spatial design and social divisions. First, an exploration of two black neighborhoods will show that black spaces were defined by whites as service-oriented spaces while whites clamed industrial technology and progress as critical to their identity. Second, the development of suburban Philadelphia will show how the middle class used the architecture of their homes, a designed natural aesthetic, and the location and transportation system to this neighborhood to distinguish this space and link it to their identity. Third, the development of Fairmont Park, a large urban park, shows how developers and city officials used park space to separate working-class neighborhoods like Manayunk from emerging middle-class suburbs.

Historiographically, this paper considers how technology and the larger process of industrialization were used as tools to construct social categories and divisions. This represents a shift in the ways scholars think about technology and social categories, emphasizing not how different groups socially constructed technology, but how technology and design were employed to shape and divide social groups from each other. (Show less)



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