The Impact of Technological Change

BookThe Impact of Technological Change

The Impact of Technological Change

The Early Steamship in Britain

Research in Maritime History, 47


October 18th, 2017

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This book presents an in-depth study of the impact of the steamship on Britain during its first forty years, roughly between 1810 and 1850. It relates the early steamship to several industrial themes including diffusion; construction; modernisation; the role of government - particularly the difficult attempt to align laissez-faire politics with the greater need for public safety measures due to technological advance; business and finance; plus public reaction and tourism. The aim is to establish the significance of the steamship as a conduit of modernisation and societal change. It consists of a foreword, introduction, and fourteen chapters devoted to specific themes, structured to ensure each chapters build on the preceding chapter’s progress. Collectively, they demonstrate that the development of both experience and enterprise with steam power both gained and refined during this period made the mid-century expansion of steamship technology across Britain possible. Ultimately, it establishes that steamship services began to adapt to oceanic routes, steam began to integrate into the world economy, and the age of sail began to draw to a close.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
Copyright Page4
Series Editor's Foreword11
About the Authors13
Chapter 1 : British Steam Navigation, 1812 to the 1850s : A Bibliographical and Historiographical Review21
Chapter 2: Some Official Listings of "Vessels Navigated by Steam" in Britain up to 1851: Evidence and Interpretation45
Chapter 3: The Steamboat, Safety and the State: Government Reaction to New Technology in a Period of Laissez-Faire65
Chapter 4: The Steamboat and Popular Tourism89
Chapter 5: The Thames and Recreation, 1815-1840111
Chapter 6: Steam Shipping and the Beginnings of Overseas Tourism: British Travel to North Western Europe, 1820-1850133
Chapter 7: Technological Advance and Innovation: The Diffusion of the Early Steamship in the United Kingdom, 1812-1834153
Chapter 8: The Steamship as an Agent of Modernisation, 1812-1840179
Chapter 9: "A New and Very Modern Business:" The Traffic and Operations of the Early Steamship197
Chapter 10: Promotion, Speculation and Their Outcome: The "Steamship Mania" of 1824-1825219
Chapter 11: The Perception and Understanding of New Technology: A Failed Attempt to Establish Transatlantic Steamship Liner Services, 1824-1828239
Chapter 12: The "Norwich Explosion" of 1817: A Local Tragedy of National Significance259
Chapter 13: Early Steamboat Services and Their Impact in North Wales, 1817-1840s273
Chapter 14: The Beginnings of a New Technology: The Constructors of Early Steamboats, 1812-1822291