Mechanical Engineering in the Netherlands in the Nineteenth Century: Technology without a Professional Community

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 144)


Technology was an essential factor in the dramatic changes in society which can be summed up as the Industrial Revolution. On the one hand, it caused transformations in society, but on the other hand technology was greatly influenced by society itself. This interaction can be shown through the ways in which people dealt with technology and the knowledge on which technical applications are based. For ages, technology had been the work of craftsmen who had learned their trade in the workshop. The major change in the nineteenth century was the rise of professional groups, like engineers, that placed new requirements on the education of technicians. Practical training was considered insufficient and would have to be replaced by a more formal education at a technical school. This process has since been referred to by sociologists and historians of technology as the transition from a “shop culture” to a “school culture”.1 At the same time, the nature of technological knowledge changed from an entirely experience-based knowledge to an increasingly scientific one. During the nineteenth century, technology and science became more and more intertwined, a phenomenon which is generally called the scientification of technology.


Nineteenth Century Mechanical Engineering Engineering Industry Professional Community Technical Science 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eindhoven University of TechnologyThe Netherlands

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