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American Science and Technology

Series 1-3, 1663-1819

Nearly every printed work from this era about natural science, applied science, mathematics and engineering
Learn what makes this product unique
  • The most comprehensive collection of primary source documents on early American science and technology
  • Essential for a range of research interests, including the history of science, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and more
  • Features text analysis tools, author biographies, and suggested search paths for easy browsing and discovery

Although the word “scientist” wasn’t coined until 1834, early American researchers were nonetheless engaged in a wide range of scientific inquiry. From Benjamin Franklin’s experiments to Eli Whitney’s inventions to the explorations of Lewis and Clark, the efforts of these inquisitive and intelligent individuals helped to shape American history on a number of levels. Publications documenting this pioneering research remain vital to students and scholars, and American Science and Technology, 1663-1819, is the most comprehensive resource of its kind.

A robust scientific record
Early American culture was dominated by religion, and an increasing focus on empirical data was controversial. But as inventions like the steam engine proved that the scientific process could produce practical results, interest in scientific research and technological advancement grew. This surge in public interest coincided with a boom in American publishing, and by the mid-18th century an extensive published record ranged across physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, zoology, geology, geography, astronomy and cartography. Each of these fields—and many others—are covered in detail in American Science and Technology. All told, this comprehensive digital collection offers more than 7,000 primary source documents spanning nearly 200 years.

Applications for diverse research needs
By the early 19th century, scientific advances had revolutionized transportation, war, farming, mining, manufacturing and other economic sectors, leading to even more printed materials. Nearly every American household owned an almanac featuring annual data and articles on popular science, and growing consumer demand led American publishers to reprint scientific publications from other countries. Together, the documents in this digital collection contain an essential history of early American science and technology. They illuminate not only the evolution of these major subjects, but also the history of agriculture, engineering, transportation, manufacturing, mining, construction, navigation and related fields. Researchers will find explanations of trigonometry in maritime navigation; firsthand accounts of natural disasters such as earthquakes; hypotheses on gravity, comets and other phenomena; descriptions of mechanics, military techniques and agricultural innovations; and much more.

Fully searchable and expertly sourced
American Science and Technology is based on the renowned bibliographies by Charles Evans and Roger Bristol and by Ralph R. Shaw and Richard H. Shoemaker. The materials were sourced at the American Antiquarian Society, based on their holdings and those of many other institutions, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Every work has been expertly catalogued and may be browsed by genre, subject, author, printing history, place of publication, and language. Readex’s intuitive online interface features text analysis tools, author biographies, and suggested search paths for easy browsing and discovery.

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Areas of Study
This product supports the following subjects
American Studies
STEM History
US History
Early American Studies
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