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Technicians of print and the making of natural knowledge

By Jonathan R. Topham


When this invaluable account of ‘one of the most successful of all publishers and printers of\ud nineteenth- and twentieth-century science’ was first issued in 1984, it began with a survey of\ud the underdeveloped literature on the history of scientific periodicals, and more generally of\ud science publishing. A decade and a half later, in this considerably expanded second edition—\ud issued to celebrate the bicentenary of the launch of the Philosophical Magazine in 1798—the\ud authors had only a couple of extra titles to add. Since then, a number of important works\ud have addressed this theme, but the field remains wide open.1 Most of the key technicians of\ud print—the publishers, printers, and engravers—who were responsible for the production of\ud scientific books in nineteenth-century Britain are still unknown. Neither has serious attention\ud been devoted to the manner in which such technicians interacted with men of science on a\ud day-to-day basis, or to the impact of their craft skills or trade practices on the development of\ud science. My object in this brief account is to use the example of Richard Taylor, as\ud represented by Brock and Meadows’ pioneering study, to review some of these important\ud issues

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2004
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