My Commentary on W. David Lewis and Iron and Steel in America

(Iron and Steel in America: Early Foundations by W. David Lewis) Lewis argues in his article that the United States originally used minimal iron compared to Europe, but as colonialization increased in the colonies so to did iron requirements. Almost everything was made out of wood in the 1600s and 1700s. Boats, wagons, tools, homes, …

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Harris and my thoughts on Coal Technology

(The Rise of Coal Technology) Harris’s article covers the idea that coal and the technology developed because the increasing use of coal, served as a catalyst for the Industrial Revolution in England. He does not outright say this but alludes to coal being widely used well before the traditional “start” of the Industrial Revolution. Such …

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Comment on McClellan: The Industrial Revolution by jndickey

Very cool that you added women into our studies. It is a shame that more women are not given equal credit for their hard work. This article that you summarized had a lot of transferable information for the classroom. The pictures you added are great visuals to help us understand what you’re talking about. Good post.

–Jordan Dickey

Comment on Revised Short Research Paper – Greek Fire: A Dangerous Weapon and Mysterious Secret by jndickey

Joel, this is a really interesting topic to write about. The mystery surrounding Greek Fire is awesome. You bring some interesting facts, I had no idea Greek Fire was such a valuable defense for the Byzantine Empire. I find it impressive that one, this one weapon system contributed so much to a single empire, and two, that its composition still baffles scientists and historians today. I’m curious though, what were the social impacts for the Byzantine citizens? You mention that many empires knew of Greek Fire and feared the weapon but how did Byzantine feel about their own weapon? Was it of cultural significance, did it symbolize any powerful figures of the time? This is a good read with some good food-for-thought.

–Jordan Dickey

Comment on Carlson’s “The Romans” by jndickey

Jeremy, awesome post that covered a lot of content. Diving Rome’s technological golden eras into both military and architectural sections allows for a lot more content to be included. It’s worth noting how these technologies affected Rome over the year. You hit on it a little but Rome’s weapons’ development allowed them to conquer cultures around the Mediterranean and dominate the area for centuries until the defeat in Germany you mentioned. Also some of the architectural developments were a required part for Rome to continue its existence; just look at the aqueducts we learned about in class. Rome consumed so much water the city required several aqueducts from multiple lake sources. Without the arch design you mention Rome would have dried up like Babylon.

–Jordan Dickey

Comment on Getting There – Boorstin by jndickey

Tayler, I thought your summary had good coverage over the encompassing article. I think it’s important to mention just how dangerous steamboats were and why. Many of the causes of these disasters were neglect and impatience by both American passengers and the boat captains or railway conductors respectively. Both transportation communities were obsessed with speed, and America still is arguably. Here’s an article focusing on the hazards of America’s obsession with faster living, which includes the American motifs of progress, speed, and being first.
The same attitude drove transportation factors in the United States that made traveling rapid but dangerous. You do a good job mentioning the economy and culture of America created the attitude that drove this rapid and dangerous lifestyle. But I think its important to include how exactly these modes were dangerous. Just as street racing is popular today, steamboat racing along the Mississippi River was popular. This racing forced extra pressure into dirty boilers that often exploded. While railcars were not as prone to explode, they often did literally fly off the fragile and cheaply constructed railroads creating the same disastrous outcomes. Your conclusion explaining Americans’ beliefs that these catastrophes were acceptable because they thought the future would breed safer technologies is an enlightening ending.

–Jordan Dickey

Comment on Ancient Technologies Against Soil Erosion: Terracing’s Legacy by jndickey

Abbi, I found your article quite informative. It is important to know the history behind different cultivating techniques because it is like you said, scientists now are analyzing these techniques and learning that they are effective ways to solve today’s soil erosion issues. This could be extremely important in the United States for farmers across the country.
I found an article that discusses the issues of soil erosion that could spell catastrophe if left unchecked. The article goes on to explain how important the need for an increase in food production is for a world population expected to reach 9-billion by 2050. I think that your article compliments this one nicely as a possible solution to aid in solving issues concerning cultivation production hazards.


–Jordan Dickey

Revised Nanban Armor Paper

Nanban: Japan’s European Armor Japan has had a strong impact on Western societies, but the opposite is also true. Japanese technology changed forever at the end of the 16th century. Japanese armor smiths created a new type of armor, called nanban, in order to mix Japanese armor mobility and European bullet-proofing. Tokugawa Ieyasu introduced nanban …

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Crafting “Tools and Human Evolution” by J. Dickey

Sherwood Washburn author’s an article in Scientific American that tackles and redefines the history of tools use by humans. He brings up the idea, with teeth, bones, and rocks found in Africa as evidence, that tools were used by ape-men not ancient man. The first piece of evidence is the difference in bone structure that …

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