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Unformatted text preview: 103 The Age of Industrialisation The Age of Industrialisation Chapter V The Age of Industrialisation The Age of Industrialisation In 1900, a popular music publisher E.T. Paull produced a music book that had a picture on the cover page announcing the ‘Dawn of the Century’ (Fig. 1). As you can see from the illustration, at the centre of the picture is a goddess-like figure, the angel of progress, bearing the flag of the new century. She is gently perched on a wheel with wings, symbolising time. Her flight is taking her into the future. Floating about, behind her, are the signs of progress: railway, camera, machines, printing press and factory. This glorification of machines and technology is even more marked in a picture which appeared on the pages of a trade magazine over a hundred years ago (Fig. 2). It shows two magicians. The one at the top is Aladdin from the Orient who built a beautiful palace with his New words Orient – The countries to the east of the Mediterranean, usually referring to Asia. The term arises out of a western viewpoint that sees this region as pre- modern, traditional and mysterious Fig. 1 – Dawn of the Century, published by E.T. Paull Music Co., New York, England, 1900. India and the Contemporary World 104 Give two examples where modern development that is associated with progress has lead to problems. You may like to think of areas related to environmental issues, nuclear weapons or disease. Activity magic lamp. The one at the bottom is the modern mechanic, who with his modern tools weaves a new magic: builds bridges, ships, towers and high-rise buildings. Aladdin is shown as representing the East and the past, the mechanic stands for the West and modernity. These images offer us a triumphant account of the modern world. Within this account the modern world is associated with rapid technological change and innovations, machines and factories, railways and steamships. The history of industrialisation thus becomes simply a story of development, and the modern age appears as a wonderful time of technological progress. These images and associations have now become part of popular imagination. Do you not see rapid industrialisation as a time of progress and modernity? Do you not think that the spread of railways and factories, and construction of high-rise buildings and bridges is a sign of society’s development? How have these images developed? And how do we relate to these ideas? Is industrialisation always based on rapid technological development? Can we today continue to glorify continuous mechanisation of all work? What has industrialisation meant to people’s lives? To answer such questions we need to turn to the history of industrialisation....
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- Fall '09
- The American