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Academies and industrialists

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Abstract

There are so many facets to almost any subject worthy and old enough to deserve a historical record that to tell the whole in its proper time sequence would be to lose the reader in a sea of facts and details, some related, others not at all. Electric motors and generators ‘came of age’ over almost the same period that engineering was becoming clean and respectable as a profession. Although technology (inextricably entangled with engineering so that it can never, in my view, be unravelled) preceded science, indeed paved the way for it, scientists were regarded for centuries as belonging to the upper class, the intelligentsia, so closely related to philosophers as to allow overlap. In such a world, technology was not recognised as a subject and engineers, by definition, did not appear until there were ‘engines’ for them to look after. Even then an engineer looked after his engines much as a shepherd did his sheep.

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References

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Copyright information

© Eric R. Laithwaite 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Imperial CollegeLondonUK

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