Design, Technology and Communication in the British Empire, 1830–1914

Annie Tindley, Andrew Wodehouse

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book is an innovative, interdisciplinary study of the nature of design as a form of communication within and across Britain and its empire in the long nineteenth century. In this period, Britain had developed from the world’s first industrial nation into the ‘Workshop of the World’ but how were technological innovations translated and communicated across the imperial territories? How were designs turned into reality? This book explores these themes, incorporating archival case study technologies such as trains, sugar manufacture and agricultural technologies. Using a four-part framework we firstly examine the identification of innovation opportunities and how these translated to engineering specifications. The realization of conceptual designs through collaboration and their subsequent manufacture and distribution as finished products are then reviewed. Using the authors’ expertise in the fields of historical and design engineering, this study contributes real-world case studies to design theory.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages131
ISBN (Electronic)9781137597984
ISBN (Print)9781137597977
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • design process
  • research framework
  • industrial technology
  • inter-imperial communication
  • colonial knowledge


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