Del dios del fuego a la máquina de vapor: La introducción de la técnica industrial en Hispanoamérica

    Full details

    English titleFrom the Gods of Fire to Steam Engines: the introduction of industrial technology in Latin America
    Authors & editors

    Garcia-Tapia, Nicolas [Author]

    Publisher Ámbitio Ediciones - Instituto de Ingenieros Técnicos de España
    Year of publication 1992

    Spanish (main text)

    Medium Book

    Energy & power > Development of technology

    Scope & contentSummary Translation: A study on the introduction of ‘technology’ during the Spanish conquest of America. Introduces the three elements- fire, water, and earth/ground. Discusses the importance of fire from the beginning of human life on Earth. The symbolic meaning of fire is discussed as well as its physical use and dangers of it.

    Discusses the evolution of these three elements and how, in their basic forms, have led to greater discoveries and inventions. Discusses Spanish presence in America and their influence on technology- scientific and technological. Discusses the effect on Native Americans. Includes a section on the “New World” –the discovery of America (by the Spanish in particular) and leads into the Industrial Revolution.

    Introduces the problems or potential limits of the study this book hopes to show- studying the introduction of technology (by Spanish) in the discovery of America. The main problem is there cannot be a precise chronology due to lack of written evidence and other limitations.

    Information on cultivation- particularly in Peru and the West Indies and the need for wheat and other grains for survival. Chapter two- discusses the introduction of mills in America during the time of the Spanish Conquest. Briefly discusses Pedro Juan de Lastanosa who wrote a series of books entitled “Los veinte y un libros de los ingenios” (The Twenty-One Books of Devices and of Machines) from 1564-1575.

    Chapter two introduces the development of mills in general and moves on to discuss different types of mills individually. Discusses mills from their most primitive (i.e. grain being cultivated by hand) to the development of water mills (hydro powered mills) and windmills. Mills in the middle Ages are mentioned in relation to a possible ‘pre-industrial revolution.’ Discusses human or animal powered mills- their structures, what they were used for etc. from the Roman occupation of Spain onwards. The need to find an alternative power source due to an increase in demand of grain and other materials (due to population increase etc.) Discusses Spanish mills in the Age of Discovery.

    Includes a section on gunpowder mills. Discusses the Chinese invention of gunpowder and how it is made. Discusses the usage of gunpowder- why it was needed (historical background). Discusses problems with the gunpowder- lack of good quality gunpowder led to a number of problems for the Spanish. Mentions its entry in the “Los Veinte-y-un libros de los ingenios” series- mentions gunpowder was mainly made in hydraulic (water-powered mills) includes images and diagrams of the various components. Discusses the working relationship between Spanish conquistadores and Native Americans. Discusses gunpowder production in Mexico, Andes and Chile.

    Discusses the conquest of Mexico and how this impacted gunpowder production- different methods were used. Includes images drawings of the mechanisms of the mills. Includes information on key inventors of the period (1500 onwards) including the Mexican Antonio Alzate in 1764. Includes information on gunpowder mills represented in Archives and written records. Discusses the invention of paper in Europe and China- and paper presses and other similar inventions. Discusses how paper mills worked- their structure, how they were often powered and paper production in general. A section on flour mills- includes different methods of cultivating grain. Includes images and diagrams of the various sections of the mills- their mechanisms and structures. Includes settlement and other problems between Native Americans and Spanish conquistadores and settlers. A section on textile production across Spain and Hispanic America- including West Indies, Peru, Chile, Mexico and the Andes. Gives information on the installation of mills in these areas- similarities and differences. Discusses ‘significant’ conquistadors who became inventors- for example Hernán Cortés in 1540. Discusses other themes such as hygiene.

    Chapter three- discusses various forms of mining, ceramic and glass industries. Discusses tobacco- its production and manufacture, especially in Mexico. Includes a section on industries of domestic use items. Gives information on the production of beer in Spain and across Hispanic America. Includes a section on individual inventors.

    Chapter four- information on the sugar cane industry in Spain and Hispanic America from the 1500’s onwards. Gives its history- from its discovery to the development of new sugar mill technology. Includes a section on a vertical roller mill (steam roller?). Gives information on how it worked- eventually using three vertical rollers to make it more stable. Gives information on how the process works, including detailed information on the presses and other mechanisms used and subsequently developed over time. Information on the problems with its structure and the improvements made over time. Including the ‘new’ type of sugar mill that arrived in Spain during the beginning of the seventeenth century. Discusses a possible written communication between China and America due to the recovery of a manuscript from 1613 found in the Ajuda Palace in Portugal discussing sugar mills, possibly a religious link. Gives information on animal- powered sugar mills in China- includes a diagram. Gives information on sugar factories- includes a section on sugar factories in the eighteenth century- key inventions and improvements made during this century.

    Chapter five discusses mining in more detail. Includes mills used for (extracting) minerals, specifically mercury. Discusses the industry in Europe from the Middle Ages. Discusses when America adopted this practice. Gives information on hydraulic power systems, and the improvements made in America including Mexico. Gives key information on various inventors and inventions. Includes information on the ovens used. Includes a conclusion of findings.

    Chapter seven- information on individual inventors of the time covered in the book, includes millers.

    Copies held

    Accession no. 23060

    • Shelf location: F005-GAR
    • Notes: Dust Jacket