Cover: Practical Matter: Newton’s Science in the Service of Industry and Empire, 1687–1851, from Harvard University PressCover: Practical Matter in PAPERBACK

Practical Matter

Newton’s Science in the Service of Industry and Empire, 1687–1851

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Print on Demand

$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674022423

Publication Date: 09/01/2006


216 pages

5-1/8 x 7-15/16 inches

9 halftones

New Histories of Science, Technology, and Medicine


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Practical Matter presents a popular argument for strong continuities between the Scientific Revolution and the industrial transformation whose machines and symbols populated the Crystal Palace in 1851.—David Philip Miller, Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences

[Practical Matter] is a highly ambitious and provocative survey of the cultural history of science and industry… While Jacob and Stewart embrace a comparative perspective and offer occasional forays to describe the developing relation between science and industry on the Continent and in the colonies, these additional studies serve mainly to underscore the pioneering precedent set by British natural philosophers and manufacturers in forging the requisite ‘cultural matrix’ and ‘technical knowledge’ for industrialization. Practical Matter resolutely avoids many of the commonplaces of the scholarship on the Industrial Revolution.—Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Journal of Modern History

This ambitious little book reviews how Newton’s disciples promoted themselves and their inventions throughout Europe… By concentrating on utility, Jacob and Stewart have refreshingly revived some voices of the period’s practical reformers… Writing small books on big subjects is extremely hard, but there is a great demand amongst teachers and readers for short, accessible stories about the history of science.—Patricia Fara, Minerva

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