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Vol 4 - Issue 4

Technology and Innovation


List of Articles

Inventions and history of technology. Historiographical benchmarks and issues.

This article offers some pertinent reflections as an introduction to the current issue of Technology and Innovation dedicated to “the Invention and History of Technology”. It presents some of the concepts and issues that have marked the evolution of the historiography of the (...)


La Fronde: women, technology and invention in the 19th Century

At the end of the 19th Century, the journal La Fronde focused particular attention on the science and technology of its time. This journal, founded by Marguerite Durand, published lists of patents filed by women. Who were these women? How did they intervene in the field of (...)


The Development of Fuel Cell Research in France at the End of the 1950s: Analysis of the Historical Construction of a Technological Enthusiasm

Using archival research, this paper analyzes the causes and conditions that led to the development of fuel cells in France at the end of the 1950s. There were many contributing factors: the break with the research previously conducted in Europe from the 19th Century to the (...)


Prussian blue, such a French dye

While Prussian blue did indeed begin its European career as a pigment, it was as a dye that it spread in France during the 19th Century. As early as the 18th century, various French chemists (Macquer, Le Pileur d’Apligny) had foreseen and proved that Prussian blue could be (...)


The birth of wind turbines: a question of definition(s)

This article investigates the historical accounts of the births of different wind turbines: the Dutch polder windmill (17th century), the American wind pump (19th century) and the Danish wind turbine (20th century). These multiple births and rebirths refer to the “definition” (...)


Pierre Bézier and the Renault Transfer Machines (1940–1960). When Cinema Fails to Glorify an Industrial Hero

Pierre Bézier is an anti-hero of industrial innovation. He has alternately been seen as the artisan of an original form of automation, the promoter in Europe of numerical control, and as one of the founders of industrial computing. While "Bézier curves and surfaces" are still (...)


Rationality and constraint management in the innovation process: the case of Saint Gobain’s Plateforme du bâtiment

The permanent injunction to innovate raises the question of the mode of existence of innovations. How do the innovations that shape our world and our behaviors emerge? In order to provide some answers, this article reviews the history of a marketing innovation: the (...)


Collateral innovation. When invention creates needs for innovation in the field of understanding and treating pelvic diseases

Innovation often takes root in the invention of an original solution to a given problem. In the case of the innovation process discussed in this article, the story indeed begins thus. Doctors confronted with a health problem, to which they are struggling to find satisfactory (...)


Science fiction and innovations: challenging the engineering mindset

This article examines engineering’s current identity crisis and looks to science fiction literature as a potential path to more epistemological openness in the face of crisis. Even if this literature contributes to the ideology of technological unavoidability, it can also (...)