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The Annales de l'Industrie (1820-1827): A Technological Laboratory for the Industrial Modernization of France

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In France, during the Restoration, various attempts at industrial modernization were made. One of these consisted in the circulation of technical ideas through industrial exhibitions and the technical press, the latter channel being represented by treatises, manuals, dictionaries and technological journals. One of the first of these journals was the Annales de l'industrie. This paper considers two aspects. First, the institutional environment: the French tradition of technological writing, the national industrial exhibitions, the legacy of the ├ęcole centrale experiment, and the influence of the Parisian Royal Academic Society of Sciences. Second, an analysis of the contents of the journal is the occasion for a discussion of technological progress on the level of the traditional arts and crafts, the dominant mode of industrial production during the 1820s. Other themes discussed are the avoidance of scientific terminology, official innovation policy, Great Britain as the model to be emulated, and the tension between apprenticeship and modern technical education.

Keywords: Industrialization; Restoration (France); Scientific Societies; Technical Education; Technological Journals; Technology

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2004

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