Making Arms in the Machine Age traces the growth and development of the United States Arsenal at Frankford, Pennsylvania, from its origin in 1816 to 1870. During this period, the arsenal evolved from a small post where skilled workers hand-produced small arms ammunition to a full-scale industrial complex employing a large civilian workforce. James Farley uses the history of the arsenal to examine larger issues including the changing technology of early nineteenth-century warfare, the impact of new technology on the United States Army, and the reactions of workers and their families and communities to the coming of industrialization. Shortly after the War of 1812, the U.S. Army founded several new arsenals, including Frankford, to build up supplies of arms and ammunition then in short supply. At that time, the Army was held in low regard because of its perceived poor performance in the war, so the arrival of arsenals was not welcomed. By 1870, however, the arsenal at Frankford had integrated itself into the community and become a valued and respected member of it. Farley argues that the Ordnance Department of the U.S.Army created an industrial system of manufacture at Frankford well in advance of private industry. He also contends that the evolution of the Army into an employer of a large-scale civilian workforce helped to end the isolation and anti-militarism that plagued it after the War of 1812. Farley's study joins recent work in the history of technology, such as Judith McGaw's That Wonderful Machine, that seeks to understand technological change in its social and cultural context.
James J. Farley
Pennsylvania State University Press
Country of Publication:
This item is available from one of our suppliers. We will order it and ship it to you upon arrival.
<strong>James J. Farley</strong>, who received his PhD from Temple University, USA, teaches social studies at Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia.
Trying Leviathan isn't just another fish story...[H]is story is riveting, one of those wonderful obscure microcosmic matters. -- Sam Roberts New York Times It's science itself that was put on trial in 1818 in a dispute over a $75 inspection fee, as related in this fascinating account...Burnett's look at the trial and its fallout adds a historical dimension to debates caused by science's role in the legal sphere, especially when it introduces new concepts. Publishers Weekly In 1818, in a New York City courtroom, the case of Maurice v. Judd posed an apparently straightforward question: Was whale oil fish oil, and therefore subject to state inspection and taxation? As expert witnesses testified, however, the trial quickly became a passionate public debate on the order of nature and the supremacy of man. In the fascinating Trying Leviathan: The Nineteenth-Century New York Court Case That Put the Whale on Trial and Challenged the Order of Nature, D. Graham Burnett describes the trial, its undercurrents, and its repercussions with sublime wit and consummate skill. -- Anna Mundow The Boston Globe At once bewitching and bookish, with a Dickensian cast of characters (including a sea captain named Preserved Fish), Trying Leviathan bristles with insights about the relationships between popular belief, democracy, science and the law that resonate with contemporary controversies over Darwinism and intelligent design. -- Glenn C. Altschuler New York Observer When the Catholic Church put Galileo on trial for his heretic views, man's position in the Universe was at stake. When schoolteacher John Scopes entered a Tennessee courtroom in 1925 for violating the state's anti-evolution statute, the issue was man's relationship to the animal kingdom. It's hard to imagine that a case brought by a Manhattan fish-oil inspector against a purveyor of whale oil could end up in similar territory. As D. Graham Burnett's enthralling book demonstrates, it did just that...Burnett curates the abundant quotations with skill and strengthens his thesis with some marvellous contemporary illustrations. His clear writing and delightful detours help build a sense of suspense at the outcome of the trial. All of which makes this serious book an unexpected page-turner. -- Henry Nicholls Nature ...[Burnett's] perspective on the intellectual and social climate of early-nineteenth-century America makes fascinating reading. The issues raised in Maurice v. Judd have surfaced again and again, right up to present-day battles over the teaching of intelligent design in public schools. Natural History In Trying Leviathan, D. Graham Burnett links the case of Maurice v. Judd to a number of important cultural and social issues, but he consciously avoids depicting the story as a battle between learned men of science and the ignorant masses. Instead, he uses the trial as an epistemological exercise: how could Americans know at the time that whales were not fish? Who had the authority to make such a classification? How does scientific knowledge become conventional wisdom? Burnett's examination of these questions makes for one of the most intellectually rigorous fish stories ever told. American Scientist As D. Graham Burnett notes in his curious new history, Trying Leviathan, ...[t]he vast majority of American not only assumed that a whale was a fish, but were surprised to learn that the question could be debated. ...Burnett describes the trial with the keen eye of an informed courtroom observer... -- Alexander Nazaryan The Village Voice In taking Maurice v. Judd and fleshing out the details of the economics, natural history and politics of the day, Burnett offers a fascinating look into the early culture of science. We in the enlightened 21st century may laugh at the scientific ignorance of our forebears. But consider the debate about science in our times when many doubt the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution, climate change and the age of the Earth. -- David B. Williams Seattle Times Is the whale a fish? This seemingly arcane question was at stake in the 1819 New York court case Maurice v. Judd. If the whale was not a fish, its oil would not be subject to the same taxation. But as D. Graham Burnett entertainingly and ably demonstrates, this case was about far more than tax. It turned on questions of taxonomy and classification, giving the scholar insight into the ways the new science of comparative anatomy worked in the public and legal imagination...Burnett's micro-history of the trial offers a careful archaeological study, probing both vested business interests and the relationship between the law and the academy. -- Jerome de Groot Financial Times What makes this case so important, the author argues, is that it serves as a vehicle for investigating whales as 'problems of knowledge,' offers a window on the often contentious world of taxonomy, and reveals how the 19th-century public viewed natural history. Science News Burnett has a lot of fun with the trial and notes that it's not only scientists who speak a foreign language. -- Roger Gathman Austin American Statesman In Trying Leviathan, D. Graham Burnett provides an account that enlivens further this already energetic historiography. The empirical meat of the book involves a detailed and well-organized reconstruction of the trial of James Maurice (inspector of 'fish oils') versus Samuel Judd (chandler), which was brought before the New York Court of Common Pleas in October 1818. -- Diarmid Finnegan H-Net Reviews Burnett's book is a spectacular success ... and he should be proud of it as such. For those with an antiquarian's taste there are many delicacies to be found in Trying Leviathan. -- Daniel Stewart International Journal of Maritime History Trying Leviathan is a truly splendid book. The book is well-written and entirely intelligible to a lay audience. -- Roderick Munday Justice of the Peace The book is well organized and fully documented. Burnett's many notes suggest significant research. It will be attractive to historians of many different topics, or sub-fields, which the author explores with much creativity... An extensive bibliography and a generously organized index complete this book. It is a very important contribution to the relationship between science and society in the early years of American nation-building and nationalism. -- Ubiriatan D'Ambrosio The Pacific Circle Throughout this brief book, Burnett does a wonderful job re-creating the trial and the trial atmosphere... Trying Leviathan is explicated so clearly that no reader will come away empty-handed... This is a book with broad appeal. -- George O'Har Technology and Culture Burnett has given us a splendid example of how to wring the historical juice from a legal case... Burnett enjoys himself in writing this book, and his editors have generously indulged his style (and his footnotes). Readers should settle back and roll with the flourishes, rather than yearn for the sparse, utilitarian narrative of a whaler's log. -- Katharine Anderson Left History Burnett offers readers a fascinating episode in the history of early American science, along the way raising questions about both the authority of professional naturalists and the historiography of modern (and especially American) science. -- Kristin Johnson British Journal for the History of Science [Trying Leviathan] has valuable lessons for us. It is also a terrific read. -- Arthur M. Shapiro Reports of the National Center for Science Education