Anton Howes on British Inventors


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I talk to Anton Howes, historian specialising in the British Industrial Revolution, about his new book Arts and Minds, an institutional history of the 17th century - present Society of Arts. We talk about what institutions led to the industrial revolution, civic and commercial culture in London’s coffee houses, the tension between theory and experimentation, patents making inventions transparent and borrowing ideas from other cultures.

[00:00:00] Arts and Minds

[00:01:00] The beginnings of invention

[00:02:00] Natural philosophers, or scientists

[00:03:00] Laws of nature

[00:04:00] Institutions that led to the steam engine

[00:05:00] Practical experimentation

[00:06:00] James Watt and the laws of rotary motion

[00:07:00] Necessity as the mother of invention, and the wood shortage

[00:08:00] Comparison with computer science today

[00:09:00] Joint stock companies

[00:10:00] South Sea Bubble regulation

[00:11:00] Intellectual property and access to capital

[00:12:00] Patents to make ideas visible

[00:13:00] Artisans and trade secrets

[00:14:00] Publishing secrets

[00:15:00] Recognition for artisans

[00:16:00] A society for sharing knowledge

[00:17:00] Merchants and aristocracy

[00:18:00] Coffee houses of London

[00:19:00] Incentives towards co-operation

[00:20:00] Early tech-utopian ideologies

[00:21:00] Jeremy Bentham and utilitarianism

[00:22:00] Rationality and legal reform

[00:23:00] Mechanistic ideologies and LessWrong

[00:24:00] The Radical movement

[00:25:00] Wins and losses of the utilitarian Radicals

[00:26:00] Building a public education movement

[00:27:00] Henry Cole

[00:28:00] John Stuart Mill and taste

[00:29:00] Exhibitions of industry

[00:30:00] Early adopters

[00:31:00] Crystal Palace

[00:32:00] Museum Mile in South Kensington

[00:33:00] Museums to raise the taste of consumers

[00:34:00] Good and bad taste

[00:35:00] International influence on taste

[00:36:00] The second industrial revolution

[00:37:00] Expansion of capitalist institutions

[00:38:00] International impact of the industrial revolution

[00:39:00] Conservation projects

[00:40:00] Actionable insights for today

[00:41:00] Searching for ideas internationally

12 episodes