Technological Similarities and Social Diversity. Markets, Workplaces and Technological Change in the European Iron Industry 1600-1850


  • Göran Rydén
  • Anders Florén



This article deals with technological change within the European iron industry during early industrialization. This could be studied from a narrow perspective focusing on new technological «artefact» brought into use during the period. 112 this study a more wide approach has instead been preferred. We have enlarged the discussion on technological change in two directions. Firstly we have dealt with the problem in the broader framework of the socio-political setting. We are comparing the development of different European regions using basically the same technology but differing in social and political structures. Secondly we dea1 with technological change in connection with development on the international market for bar iron and ways of organizing work on the shop floor level. We are thus trying to connect analysis of technological change with the development of the market, work related power structures and the socio-political level. Our study is based on research from the Low Countries, Britain, Sweden and Russia.