Steam-Powered Knowledge: William Chambers and the Business - download pdf or read online

By Aileen Fyfe

With the overpowering volume of latest details that bombards us on a daily basis, it's might be tricky to visualize a time whilst the frequent availability of the published note used to be a novelty. In early nineteenth-century Britain, print was once no longer novel—Gutenberg’s printing press have been round for almost 4 centuries—but revealed subject used to be nonetheless a unprecedented and comparatively dear luxurious. All this replaced, in spite of the fact that, as publishers begun applying new applied sciences to superb impression, mass-producing instructive and academic books and magazines and revolutionizing how wisdom used to be disseminated to the overall public.

In Steam-Powered Knowledge, Aileen Fyfe explores the actions of William Chambers and the W. & R. Chambers publishing enterprise in the course of its early life, documenting for the 1st time how new applied sciences have been built-in into current enterprise structures. Chambers used to be one of many first publishers to desert conventional talents linked to hand printing, in its place favoring the most recent concepts in printing procedures and equipment: machine-made paper, stereotyping, and, specially, printing machines pushed through steam strength. The mid-nineteenth century additionally witnessed dramatic advances in transportation, and Chambers used proliferating railway networks and steamship routes to hurry up conversation and distribution. for this reason, his high-tech publishing company turned an exemplar of industrial good fortune through 1850 and outlived all of its opponents within the company of inexpensive instructive print. Fyfe follows Chambers’s trip from small-time bookseller and self-trained hand-press printer to prosperous and winning writer of renowned academic books on each side of the Atlantic, demonstrating alongside the best way the profound results of his and his fellow publishers’ willingness, or unwillingness, to include those technological strategies into their businesses.

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Steam-Powered Knowledge: William Chambers and the Business of Publishing, 1820-1860 by Aileen Fyfe


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