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Artisans and savants: The role of the academy of sciences in the process of electrical innovation in France, 1850–1880

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The years 1850–80 saw great advances in electrical technology in France. Innovations and inventions in this field came mainly but not exclusively from the artisan/craftsman sector, with some contribution from men from a more academic science research environment. By the end of the period inventors were more likely to have undergone some formal training in science, although there were still contributions from those who had not attended courses at the Grandes Écoles or the faculties of science but had benefited from lower level classes. However, from whatever sector the innovations came, they were likely to have been, at some stage, submitted to the Academy for its judgement and approval. Thus the Academy was still playing something of its pre-revolutionary role and having an influence on the pace of electrical innovation in France.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for History and Cultural Studies of Science, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2, 7NX, UK

Publication date: 1998-07-01

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