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Fighting engineers : the U.S. Navy and mechanical engineering, 1840-1905

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dc.contributor.advisor David A. Mindell. en_US Foley, Brendan Patrick, 1968- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society. en_US 2005-06-02T16:14:40Z 2005-06-02T16:14:40Z 2003 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Program in Science, Technology and Society, June 2003. en_US
dc.description "May 2003." en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 268-290). en_US
dc.description.abstract Fighting Engineers examines social conflict as the cause of the formation of professional mechanical engineering in the nineteenth century U.S. Navy. In the middle of that century, the Navy began to utilize steam engines for motive power. Navy administrators recognized the need for engineering officers to design and operate ships' steam power plants, but the social and political status of staff engineering officers was unclear. Their rank was relative to line officers, the men who navigated the ship and commanded the crew. Engineers possessed no legal command authority. This created problems as engineers' responsibilities increased during the Civil War. In response to shortcomings evident in the training of the engineer corps during the Civil War, the U.S. Naval Academy in the postwar period designed an unprecedented technical curriculum. Through this program, the Navy trained the nation's first group of modern mechanical engineers. As Navy engineers built their profession after the war, they attempted to redefine what it meant to be a naval officer. The officer ideal moved from the aristocratic warrior of the antebellum period to a college educated, scientifically minded professional late in the century. To maximize the political utility of their technical expertise, Navy engineers had to spread their idea of mechanical engineering and engineering education to a broader audience. In the 1880s, they chose to do so in an unprecedented way. They promoted legislation that allowed them to serve as engineering professors at American universities. This foray into academia was a continuation of the long-standing government policy of internal improvements and federal technology sponsorship. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) The U.S. Navy developed a distinct form of professional mechanical engineering practice in the late nineteenth century. As Navy engineers became professors and industrialists, they transmitted Navy engineering throughout the nation. The human products of that engineering style were a new generation of professional engineers. They were the foundations upon which America erected the modern industrial economy. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility Brendan Patrick Foley. en_US
dc.format.extent 290 p. en_US
dc.format.extent 15984963 bytes
dc.format.extent 15984762 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Program in Science, Technology and Society. en_US
dc.title Fighting engineers : the U.S. Navy and mechanical engineering, 1840-1905 en_US
dc.title.alternative United States Navy and mechanical engineering, 1840-1905 en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Program in Science, Technology and Society. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 52912944 en_US

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