dearsIt’s not the tool it’s the context in which tool complexes are utilized and become widespread, embedded, and necessary to the maintenance of a population, society, faith, economy and culture.

1) The machine "By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes."

2) An hypothesis about the re-ordering of life, thought and reality

3) The necessity of dialogue as "the foreplay" to using any machine

4) The evidence for a conceptual revolution of immense proportions from Baghdad to Bristol

5) Tectonic transcendence into the behavioral (hand) and the cognitive (head) domains of human beings

6) Transfers of equipment if not equipage across places over time: "To be or not to be, that is the question"

7) The person who brought the parts into a potent form, but through practice of techniques, not just transference.

8) There is more than one way to define "drill;" as in "the drill."

§ ∞ §

Pacey, TWC; pp. 108-130.
Pacey on Meaning.
Previous /Next.

According to Pacey, since the mechanical revolution:

How does technology influence the many ways that we organize our lives?

Pacey argues three–but there are actually four–movements associated with industrialization's emergence from the mechanical transformation of life and labor, after 1522.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | population | synergy


Joseph M. W Turner. 'Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Night', 1835.

The hypothesis


Pursell says: technology is

The way we organize our lives &,

The power to define is the power to control, and

Postman says: the surrender of culture to technopoly was an unintended outcome of the rise of technocracy with the introduction of mechanistic ideas and mechanical devices,


Pacey: reveals that machinery used in manufacture required three significant steps in tethering survival and fine technology more effectively together in order to maintain industrial tectonic, organizational, & cultural norms in pivotal ceramic, iron, textile and transport industrial sectors.



The widespread movement of manufacturing's three facets was fed by:
     • design triggers in fine technology
     • experimentation in stages
     • organization, & pre-adaptive thinking
     • Asian competitiveness.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy

Technology in World Civilization

Chapter Six


6), Concepts in Technology, 1550-1750: pp. 92-108.
7), Three Industrial Movements, 1700-1815:
pp. 108-130.

Gender roles ironic intransigence to technical changes 1600-2000

Concepts in Technology, 1550-1750:

Magellan's Age (after 1522)

1. Developments in printing (movable type), gunpowder, clocks, survey equipment, spinning wheels led to steam: all are keystone tools in a larger mechanical complex.
2. Blocked technical systems? a failure of diffusion to cross borders or sectors.
3. Concepts of Organization: how many people and what tasks do each perform?
4. Factories & Plantations: the use of machinery in sugar production and distilleries led to a replacement of agrarian by mechanical survival tools that used complex gears and gearing.
5. Factory Machines: a new form of organization is required, 100 workers in Hubei, China, for example:

Over centuries

"Over a longer period, culminating around 1650, new equipment was introduced into the Chinese textile industry to cope with an increased use of cotton. . . . machines were adapted to serve different purposes."

"In one region where this activity was concentrated the number of people employed. . .grew from 7,000 around 1700, to 11,000 in 1730."

"In these respects, China's technical system was clearly not 'blocked.' Invention and expansion were continuing, and responded effectively to pressures arising from resources scarcity (Which encouraged innovation) and a growing labour force (which limited the use of some labour-saving machines)."

pp. 94-95.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy

“One western innovation whose adoption in other cultures has attracted specific comment from historians is the weight driven clock."

One symptom of this important cultural difference in interests is a divergence in attitudes about clocks.

ties to Pursell

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy

Transfers of technology: industrial espionage in the movement of silk spinning and weaving from China, to Italy and into Britain 18th century

Derby silk mill, 1702.

“As with most transfers of technology, the transfer of Italian silk machines to England stimulated local innovations, so once again we find that the ingenuity expressed in machines from one culture evoked a response elsewhere, as in a dialogue.”

p. 106.


“problems with work discipline and organization.”

p. 107.

"It's not the machine, its the motion."

√ "analysing how individual 'machines' were operated."

p. 98.

“Much has been made of the impact of textile machinery inventions in the eighteenth century, but it will be apparent that up to the 1760s the machines actually used in the textile industry –like cane crushing mills mentioned earlier on Caribbean sugar plantations– were of a very traditional kind with centuries of history behind them.

What was really new was the approach to work discipline and organization, which had parallels on plantations also, and in contemporary armies.”

p. 107.


hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


Maurice of Nassau, and the Netherlands' War of Independence from Spain 1570s.

"Lippershey presented his spy-glass to Count Maurice of Nassau, who immediately ordered three more and ordered him to keep his methods secret. He saw is as a useful spying weapon in war and the picture shows the telescope being used in war."

Nassau's New order:

    1. His troops carried spades
    2. In smaller units for voice commands
    3. the forty-two steps to discharging a musket analyses, noted & used as drill.


Funeral of Maurice of Nassau, 1625

Funeral Procession of Prince Maurice of Nassau's requiem at Grote Markt in Delft, 1625.

In 1618 he succeeded his elder brother, Philip William, as prince of Orange. Throughout his career the Netherlands continued to struggle for independence from Spain. In 1590 he took the offensive against the Spanish under Alessandro Farnese. His campaigns were primarily distinguished by his skill in siege craft. His successes on land and on sea enabled the Netherlands to conclude (1609) a 12-year truce with the Spanish (then commanded by Spinola). The truce virtually established the independence of the seven United Provinces.


"Arms drill, division of labor, and the design of industrial machines, all required a similar approach, therefore, consisting of the analysis of complex motions made by arms, hands and fingers into many simpler component motions."

p. 99.

"The development of military organization thus influenced the later development of civilian industry . . . . the new form of 'capitalist production,'...had been developed earlier in European Armies."

p. 100.


Arquebus (has a varied nomenclature) was invented some time in the mid to late 15th drillcentury, probably in the 1450’s. Before the Italian Wars it was mainly used by Italian armies and militia of some German cities. In Italian wars the Spanish initially hired Italian infantry armed with arquebus, which proved very effective and soon arquebusiers appeared in almost every army.

The arquebus weighed in around 5 kilos, with a barrel about 1 meter long, typically firing a 15 gram lead ball of about .66 calibre. Musket was essentially a much larger arquebus. The earliest claim for the existence of the musket is 1521, by the Spanish in the siege of Milan (although this is debated). It remained characteristically Spanish / Imperial weapon for years, not reaching France, for example, until the 1560’s.

Muskets had barrels about 1.5 meters long and weighed about 8-12 kilos (5-9 pounds). Because of this weight the musketeer had to use a forked rest to support the barrel when firing. This larger gun had a one inch bore, and its 50-70 gram ball could reach further and penetrate thicker armour than could that of the arquebus. Musket was particularly useful against armored cavalry. However, only strong men, who earned extra pay, could carry it and tolerate its recoil.

Behind the use of these new guns was a deadly serious need to train its users to be effective.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


Mechanization with the industrial revolution:

Joseph W. M. Turner, "The Fighting Temeraire;" 1839, Oil on Canvas. The National Gallery of Art, United Kingdom.

Chapter Seven

""Between 1500 and 1750, populations almost doubled in many parts of Europe and Asia, . . . came on top of recovery from devastating epidemics. . . ."

Turner's aim was to "evoke a sense of loss." National Gallery


". . . iron output in China was greater than ever before."

"Despite innovation and enterprise which this implies, by 1800 the Chinese economy was in difficulty."

"Iron was produced in large blast furnaces which were run continuously. . ." "

Pacey, p. 108

Three Industrial Movements: 1700-1815, steps in organization & synergy.


Resource problems with respect to populations and consumption

Steam engines & the price of fire wood, complemented by coke-blast furnaces (113)

Symbiosis or synergy?

Examples of adaptation or exaptation?

Shropshire, "where so many key innovations originated" & "ideas about the organization of production"

Asian impetus "challenge presented to British manufacturers by imported Indian cloth," (117)

The Indian stimulus to textiles and shipping "India was a creative influence of some significance on British technology." (120)
--"there was little incentive . . . to mechanize production."(120-121)

Deindustrialization "This policy ( in Britain ) was reflected in 1813 by a relaxation of the East India Company's monopoly of trade so that other British companies could now bring in manufactured goods freely for sale in India." (129)

Three sequential steps in materials:


1) Coal, iron ore smelting & the steam engine: Newcomen’s engine & mine drainage



2) Asian competitive stimulus in textiles: water driven looms: spinning & weaving of thread


3) Trade in textiles and East Indian




  A lime kiln for smelting iron in the Cumberland Gap, Virginia

While many associate industrialization with urban pollution and coal-dark skies, the sources of the industrial revolution where in the countryside and thus the smelters of the Severn River Valley in the UK, or the Cumberland and James River Valleys in North America were places where we find early manufactures because of the abundance of:

1) falling water: for power and transport.
2) ample timber used for fires, charcoal, and construction.
3) available limestone, for smelting cast-iron.
4) bog iron as raw material for cast-iron finished products.
5) Wood is tirned to charcoal.
6) coal for fuel, coal is turned to coke and thus, hotter fires for stronger iron.


hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


Pacey's Themes: convergence, dialogue, foreign commerce, and standardization


Dresden time piece, sundial.

Two movements: mechanization | A second movement


Key concepts that predate these manufacturing changes are:


"There was also a second industrial movement, . . .

Related to the ideas about organization of production. . . . 'new forms of work discipline' were enforced by iron masters and magistrates. . . ."

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


Stages in development of technological complexity:

Blocked technical systems, "pre-adapted social systems," measurement, invention of engines, standards, uniformity, work compliance, symbiosis.


Obstacles to overcome:

"it may be right to envisage 'blockages' which could limit the development of technology, . . . because with many techniques there is a limit to the improvements which can be made by craft workers' methods. For example, dye made of madder plants grown in calcium rich soils."

Brunelleschi"This kind of blockage could occur in metalworking or the design of machines, and the way round it usually depended on on analyzing the process more clearly so as to conceptualize what was involved."

Measurement and scale drawing as a contribution "Filippo Brunelleschi, just before 1420." He was the architect whose dome on Florence's Cathedral rested on old knowledge of materials applied to meet new expressions of architecture that demanded novel solutions to spanning and enclosing vast spatial distances.

p. 95.

"While a new pattern of organization was emerging, the techniques, used were often old ones, sometimes transferred from other countries."

p. 103.

"...not only because he had better machines, but also because he was more effective at tackling problems of discipline and organization."

"The Derby mill was 'the progenitor' of the type of factory associated with . . . the design of machines and the use of water wheels to drive them, but because the Derby mill was also an example of factory organization which others had followed.

A new pattern of labor the twelve hour, 12-hour-day "for more than a hundred years."

p. 107.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


Overcoming problems of scarcity:

"The first of three industrial movements" in Europe that outpaced Chinese preoccupation with increasing arable land for food production.

"through which the West gained a decisive advantage with respect to material production."

pp. 108-109

"With regard to textile industries, this entailed dialogue with Asia as well as with Italian silk producers. With regard to the invention of the steam engine, key ideas came from Italy and Germany , and from Frenchman Denis Papin, who invented a steam engine of sorts in the 1680s....not only did early steam engines in England burn coal under their boilers, not wood, but it was at coal mines that nearly all of them were used, mainly for pumping water."

Pacey, TWC, p. 111.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy



In the very sequence of fine things are adaptive steps to succeeding.

"One factor. . . in Europe. . . was that food prices and wages were never so low relative to other materials, and there was a much greater incentive to use machines."

More fundamentally, . . .
     innovations in the use of coal
     together with the introduction of the steam engine
     Charcoal was the essential fuel

p. 109.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


Ironbridge at Coalbrookdale over the Severn River.

Pictured here is the iron bridge of Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England.

"The introduction of coke-fired, iron-smelting in England is therefore regarded as an important milestone, and the place of its introduction, at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, has been hailed as 'the birthplace of the industrial revolution.'

"It was sometime before the success of the coke-blast furnace was as great as the terminology suggests,...because quality control proved difficult."

"Only after 1760 did cast iron made with coke become a real success, and then the expansion of this branch of the industry was very rapid."

"In some instances, coal was only suitable as fuel if it was first converted into coke, and in 1709, Abraham Darby found that coke could be used in instead of charcoal to fuel blast furnaces."


Pacey, TWC, p. 111.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


A Second Industrial Revolution


"There was also a second industrial movement of great importance, related to the ideas about organization, of production....These ideas certainly had their influence in Shropshire, where 'new forms of work discipline' were enforced by iron-masters and magistrates and were encouraged by evangelical religion."


"more than just a shift from wood based fuels to coal (and coke) from timber construction to iron, and from water wheels to steam power."

p. 116.

textile industry represented by cotton spinning, dyeing, calico printing (cloth)

much more concerned with factory organization

"India was a creative influence of some significance for British technology. One aspect of this influence was the low cost and high quality of Indian cloth. Labor (in India) was plentiful...."

p. 120.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy


Third industrial movement, located in India.

p. 121.

Cloth making

India’s muslin & Arabic fabrics (Damask after Damascus where the cloth was made with an identifiable pattern of the weave.) and ship construction were superior in quality and durability to England’s products in the 1700s, But by the 1800s Britain had regulated itself a competitive advantage by banning imports from India to favor domestic textiles and limited East Indian ships in British ports.

The consequence was to stifle manufacturing and capital accumulation in India.


British dominated India after 1783 led to a stifling of East Indian technology

"Thus textile industry, iron production and shipbuilding were all eroded by cheap imports from Britain, and by handicaps placed on Indian merchants."

"By 1830, the situation had become so bad that even some of the British in India began to protest. One exclaimed, 'We have destroyed the manufactures of India,' pleading that there should be some protection for silk weaving...."

"there was no lack of 'capitalism' in India, the economy was not moving i the direction of home-grown industrialization."

"However, it is impossible not to be struck by the achievements of the shipbuilding industry, which produced skilled carpenters and a model of large scale organization."

p. 129.

As it was, such developments were delayed until the 1850s and later when the first mechanized cotton mill opened. Investors were the same Parsi families who invested in the shipping trade of the 18th century."

Pacey, TWC. p. 130.


hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy

blue line

Mechanization required women and children workers, later industrial work erased the differences between male and female capabilities because machine tools were powerful equalizers of each gender's abilities.

A Fourth industrial movement can be seen in the way that changes affected and influenced the formation of the extended family, which is overlooked, but radically important to understand fully the context of Pacey's argument that social organization enabled the spread of technical expertise, invention and machinery.

The creation of a work force depended on large numbers of children in a completed family, the extended family among peasants, workers, and crafts people was the widespread and prevailing norm from 1500s to the 1800s.

The creation of the "nuclear family" as an upper class ideal that permeated the middle and working classes by 1890 may be understood as influenced by urban living, media, and factory work.

How may technical change have affected gender definitions of work?

Typewriter as a mechanical device was invented after 150 years of developing different machines for writing, by

Christopher L. Sholes and the story of this chief operator at the Western Union Telegraph Office, 1867.

Men's and women's work due to technology.


Cities resident populations in Europe is from

  P. M. G. Harris , The History of Human Populations: Migration, urbanization, and structural change, p. 254

Europe doubling in population fro 1460-1620 is

Marvin Perry, Myrna Chase, James Jacob, Margaret Jacob, Theodore Von Laue , Western Civilization: Since 1400, p. 351.

1609, News sheets published in Augsburg and Strasbourg become the first known newspapers.

Oxford Reference for the 1600s


Writing about the socio-technic character of technological changes in history.

hypothesis | gender | clocks | textile machinery | drill order | iron making | summary of order | synergy

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Next chapter:

Guns and Rails:Asia, Britain, and America.

Pacey, TWC, Contents

Tulips as tools?
Tools of Toil: what to read.
Tools are historical building blocks of technology.
Technology can be understood if tools have three facets.
Tools used in both Music and Architecture led to mechanization and automation.
Tools and the study of technology require us to reflect on the power of instruments,

line of balls

Technology, Conclusions about | Pacey, in World Civ. | Pacey, Meaning | Postman | Pursell | Kranzberg | periods

Related concepts: historical relations of tools and society, defining technology, significant events in history

Pacey on social meanings of tools

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