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Conclusion: Surveying Technological Confluence

  • Adam Max Cohen

Abstract

This study’s structure is potentially misleading because the chapter divisions suggest that innovations in one technological field can or should be studied in isolation from others. In fact the early modern period saw many examples of what I will refer to here as technological confluence. Arnold Pacey has noted that at certain moments in history multiple technology families converged to produce unprecedented and long lasting effects:

One way of rethinking our concept of progress may be to take an altogether broader view of the many factors which interact in “mutually enhancing” ways at especially creative moments. At such times, the various technical, organizational and cultural workings of technology-practice seem all at once to start meshing together in new and more harmonious, effective ways. A new pattern emerges, and people experience a new awareness of practical possibility.1

Keywords

Sixteenth Century Early Modern Period Revolutionary Technology Commonplace Book Technological Confluence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Arnold Pacey, The Culture of Technology ( Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1983 ), p. 28.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rudi Volti concurs that the proliferation of printed maps and globes “gave a great impetus to voyages of discovery.” See Rudi Volti, Society and Technological Change (New York: St. Martin’s, 1988), p. 138.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Peter Eden, “Three Elizabethan Estate Surveyors: Peter Kempe, Thomas Clerke, and Thomas Langdon,” in English Map-Making 1500–1650, ed. Sarah Tyacke ( London: British Library, 1983 ), p. 76.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ifor M. Evans and Heather Lawrence, Christopher Saxton: Elizabethan Mapmaker (West Yorkshire: Wakefield Historical Publications, 1979), p. 42. For more on surveying’s relationship to the construction of defensive fortifications seeGoogle Scholar
  5. P. Barber Monarchs, Ministers and Maps, ed. David Buisseret ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Jerry Brotton, Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World ( Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997 ), pp. 35–36.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. R. Hale, Renaissance Europe 1480–1520 ( London: Fontana, 1971 ), pp. 52–53.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Joel Kovarsky, “Maps in a Time of War: The Rise of European Military Cartography,” Mercator’s World (2002): 28–35.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    P. D. A. Harvey, Maps in Tudor England ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993 ), pp. 84–93.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    This summary of technologies used in surveying is drawn from ibid., pp. 84–93. For studies of surveying instruments see F. R. Maddison, “Early Astronomical and Mathematical Instruments: A Brief Survey of Sources and Modern Studies,” History of Science 2 (1963): 17–50;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. E. R. Kiely, Surveying Instruments, their History and Classroom Use ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1947 );Google Scholar
  12. E. G. R. Taylor, “The Surveyor,” Economic History Review 17 (1947): 121–133;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Maurice Beresford, History on the Ground (London: Lutterworth Press, 1957); and Evans and Lawrence, p. 42.Google Scholar
  14. 13.
    Carlo Cipolla, Clocks and Culture, 1300–1700 ( New York: W. W. Norton, 1977 ), pp. 50–51.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    For more on clockwork globes constructed between 1500 and 1700 see H. von Bertele, Globes and Spheres (Lausanne: Scriptar, 1961). Von Bertele notes that “the heyday of the mechanical globes was obviously the second half of the 16th century” (p. 8).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Thomas Hariot, A briefe and true report of the new found land of Virginia (1590), p. 27.Google Scholar

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© Adam Max Cohen 2006

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  • Adam Max Cohen

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