British Technology and European Industrialization: The by Kristine Bruland

By Kristine Bruland

How did small ecu economies gather the applied sciences and abilities had to industrialize within the 19th century? during this vital contribution to a long-standing debate, Kristine Bruland appears on the Norwegian adventure to teach how a technological infrastructure was once created, and means that a lot of this used to be a result of efforts of British desktop makers who from the mid 1840s vigorously sought overseas markets. supplying not just uncomplicated technical prone but additionally expert labour to establish after which supervise the operation of the recent equipment, British fabric engineering enterprises have been in a position to offer an entire 'package' of companies, considerably easing the preliminary technical difficulties confronted through Norwegian marketers. Kristine Bruland's case-study of the Norwegian fabric demonstrates basically the anomaly that Britain's entrepreneurial efforts within the provide of capital items abroad have been principally chargeable for the production of the technical business bases of lots of her significant international opponents.

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Extra resources for British Technology and European Industrialization: The Norwegian Textile Industry in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

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6. , S. Mansfield, The Economics of Technological Change (New York, 1979); and Stoneman, The Economic Analysis. 20 The historiography ofEuropean industrialization technique is strongly superior to existing techniques (for example, its fixed and variable costs are less than the variable costs of the existing technique), why, then, does it not diffuse immediately? Why do not all potential adopters take it up at once? The second problem concerns the path of diffusion, which is normally argued to follow a sigmoid or S-shaped curve.

Deane and W. A. Cole, British Economic Growth, 1688— 1959 (second edition, Cambridge, 1978), p. Mathias, The First Industrial Nation (Second Edition, London, 1983), p. 110. A. Burstall, A History of Mechanical Engineering (London, 1963), p. 229. R. M. Kirk, The Economic Development of the British Textile Machinery Industry, c. D thesis, 1983), p. 1. For an account of the development of the Roberts automatic mule, see K. Bruland, 'Industrial conflict as a source of technical innovation: three cases', Economy and Society, 1 1 , 2 (1982), pp.

56 It is this two-sided process which will be studied empirically in the following chapters. CONCLUSION This chapter has argued, first, that general economic histories of European industrialization have neglected the technological level of the process; the question of how industries and firms changed their technological basis has been downplayed in favour of, for example, emphasis on financial systems, state involvement, and other 'prerequisites' of industrialization. Secondly, empirical case studies have concentrated largely on the early industrialization of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and have (correctly) emphasized the role of individual emigration in technology diffusion.

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