Gunpowder, explosives and the state : a technological history

edited by Brenda J. Buchanan

Gunpowder studies are still in their infancy despite the long-standing civil and military importance of this explosive since its discovery in China in the mid-ninth century AD. In this second volume by contributors who meet regularly at symposia of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), the research is again rooted in the investigation of the technology of explosives manufacture, but the fact that the chapters range in scope from the Old World to the New, from sources of raw materials in south-east Asia to the complications of manufacture in the West, shows that the story is more than the simple one of how an intriguing product was made. This volume is the first to develop the implications of the subject, not just in the sense of relating it to changing military technologies, but in that of seeing the securing of gunpowder supplies as fundamental to the power of the state and imperial pretensions. The search for saltpetre, for example, an essential ingredient of gunpowder, became a powerful engine of sea-going European trade from the early seventeenth century. Smaller states like Venice were unable to form these distant connections, and so to sustain a gunpowder army. Stronger states like France and Britain were able to do so, and became even more powerful as the demand for improved explosives fostered national strengths - leading to a development of the sciences, especially chemistry, in the former case, and of manufacturing techniques in the latter.

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  • Editor's introduction: setting the context
  • Part I Modern Perceptions and Ancient Knowledge
  • Realities and perceptions in the evolution of black powder making, Robert A. Howard
  • Gunpowder and its applications in ancient India, Asitesh Bhattacharya
  • The Indian response to firearms, 1300 - 1750, Iqtidar Alam Khan
  • Saltpetre: a commodity of Empire, Brenda J. Buchanan
  • Part II The Production of Saltpetre and Gunpowder in Europe
  • Venetian gunpowder in the second half of the 16th century: production, storage and use, Walter Panciera
  • The Barcarena gunpowder factory: its history and technological evolution between the 17th and 20th centuries, Antonio C. Quintela, Joao Luis Cardosa and Jose Manuel de Mascarenhas
  • Saltpetre at the intersection of military and agricultural interests in 18th-century Sweden, Thomas Kaiserfeld
  • The royal gunpowder mills at Torsebro: manufacturing and testing the product, Leif Martensson
  • Part III The Overseas Transfer of Technology From Europe
  • Portuguese overseas gunpowder factories, in particular those of Goa (India) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Jose Manuel de Mascarenhas
  • Gunpowder manufacture in Cairo from Bonaparte to Muhammad 'Ali: adaptation, innovation and the transfer of technology, 1798 - 1820, Patrice Bret
  • Eleve des Poudres: E.I. du Pont's multiple transfers of French technology, Darwin H. Stapleton
  • Unorthodox British technology at the Confederate Gunpowder Works at Augusta, Georgia, 1862 - 65, William S. Curtis
  • Part IV Military Technicalities
  • Breech-loading guns with removable powder chambers: a long-lived military technology, Kelly DeVries and Robert Douglas Smith
  • The smelting of iron cannons and consumption of gunpowder in Gipuzkoa in the 16th century, Ignacio M. Carrion Arregui
  • Rational mechanics as enlightenment engineering: Leonhard Euler and interior ballistics, Brett D. Steele
  • Pellets, pebbles and prisms: British munitions for larger guns, 1860 - 65, Seymour H. Mauskopf
  • Part V Modern Developments
  • Scientific reasoning and the empirical approach at the time of the European invention of smokeless powder, Rene Amiable
  • Smokeless powder: scientific and institutional contexts at the end of the 19th century, Richard E. Rice
  • Rackarock - on the path from black powder to ANFO, Ian D. Rae and James H. Whitehead
  • Explosives from oil: the transformation of Royal Dutch/Shell during World War I from oil to petrochemical company, Ernst Homburg
  • Index.

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書名 Gunpowder, explosives and the state : a technological history
著作者等 Buchanan Brenda J.
出版元 Ashgate
刊行年月 c2006
版表示 illustrated ed
ページ数 xxiii, 425 p.
大きさ 25 cm
ISBN 0754652599
NCID BA7782964X
※クリックでCiNii Booksを表示
言語 英語
出版国 イギリス