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Kemp, Emory L.
The Royal Marine a Soldier and Sailor Too: Engineers, Historians and the History of Technology
First International and Eighth Australian Engineering Heritage Conference 1996: Shaping Our Future; Proceedings
Institution of Engineers, Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 1996, pp. 1-7

Historians have long recognized, though in a general way, the dominant influence which technology has played in western civilisation since the 18th century. The entire social fabric with its religious, educational and political institutions, as well as economic systems, has been significantly influenced by the technological tide, which, like the sea, has sometimes dealt with these human activities in a gentle and benign way, but often with violence. With the advent of steam power, subsequent development of the factory system and transportation networks, such as railways, the influence of this tide was clearly manifest and the reaction of humanists, artists, architects, and men of letters was quickly forthcoming. Such names as Dickens, Ruskin, St. Simon, Owens, Carlyle, Thoreau, Disraeli, and of course Engels come to mind. With this evidence of sensitivity to the industrial revolution on the part of the intellectuals, why has the history of technology been so shamefully neglected by historians? I believe there are a number of reasons for this. Time does not permit me to develop all of these reasons, but I would like to mention them at least.

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