Science, technology and medicine in Manchester
Blue plaque, Bridgeford Street. FC Williams and Tom Kilburn's work on cathode-ray storage devices led to the construction of the first-ever electronic digital stored-program computer in Manchester in 1948.
Historical study in Manchester offers a unique advantage: the city itself. Every street and every structure has its story, from the roaring confidence of the nineteenth century to the challenges of post-industrial adaptation. Through the histories of the city's learned institutions, including its universities, we gain a distinctive insight into the historical relationship between the growth of science and the growth of industry - a relationship as topical now as it has been, here, for more than two centuries.
- The Manchester Enlightenment
- Science and the classic industrial city
- Owens College and the Technical School
- The University around 1900
- Before and after the Second World War
- From the 1980s to Project Unity
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For those who wish to study this field in more detail, a recommended starting-point is John Pickstone, "Some Manchester Sources for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, with Special Reference to the John Rylands University Library of Manchester", Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 71(2), Summer 1989, 141-157.
We welcome approaches from potential researchers interested in the history of science, technology and medicine in Manchester and in the North West more generally. For more information, see our research entry for local histories.
The text of this survey is revised from: "Introduction" in Clive Field and John Pickstone, eds, A Centre of Intelligence, Manchester: John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1992.
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