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    Broich, John 2007. Engineering the Empire: British Water Supply Systems and Colonial Societies, 1850–1900. The Journal of British Studies, Vol. 46, Issue. 02, p. 346.

  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

4 - Technologies of the steam age

Technological transfers are more likely to take the form of a 'dialogue' rather than a simple process of diffusion or imposition, and this was especially the case in India, which had a wide range of existing technologies and a physical and social environment far removed from that of Europe. The history of India's cotton textile industry has often been taken as the most critical illustration of how steam supplanted craft production. Shipbuilding was a well-established craft at numerous points along the Indian coastline long before the arrival of the Europeans and was a significant factor in the high level of Indian maritime activity in the Indian Ocean region. Communication and transport by land, rather than on water, remained the greatest challenge of the age. India's irrigation works displayed great diversity of form and function, ranging from temporary earth dams to the stone-built underground reservoirs and stepwells of Rajasthan and Gujarat and the inundation canals of northwestern India.
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Science, Technology and Medicine in Colonial India
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