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Des ingénieurs pour un monde nouveau

Histoire des enseignements électrotechniques (Europe, Amériques) – XIXe–XXe siècle

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Edited By Marcela Efmertová and André Grelon

À partir des années 1880, l’électricité est progressivement devenue une technologie centrale, qui va procurer des biens et assurer des services nouveaux, bouleversant ainsi la production industrielle, l’économie et les pratiques sociales et culturelles. De confidentiel, son usage ne cessera de s’étendre, devenant massif et planétaire, et aujourd’hui indispensable jusqu’aux détails de la vie quotidienne. Pour fonder et déployer un système de production, de transport et de distribution efficaces de l’électricité dans tous les pays, pour concevoir, fabriquer et diffuser les machines, outils et objets divers fonctionnant par ce moyen, en somme pour former un monde nouveau, il faut former un corps de techniciens spécialisés : ce seront les ingénieurs électriciens, pour lesquels seront élaborés et mis en œuvre des cursus dédiés. Cet ouvrage retrace la naissance et la croissance de ces formations, à partir de la fin du XIXe siècle, en Europe et sur le continent américain, et leur rôle dans le développement des différents États. Issu des travaux d’un colloque international tenu à Prague, il rassemble les contributions de 28 historiens portant sur 15 pays.

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Foreword

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Alain BELTRAN

Chairman of the Committee for the History of Electricity & EnergyDirector of Research at the C.N.R.S., Sirice, Parisbeltran@univ-paris1.fr

It is with the greatest of pleasure that the Committee for the History of Electricity and Energy has supported the initiative of Marcela Efmertová, ­backed by a number of high-ranking colleagues, most prominently by André Grelon. This conference, which was organized in Prague, impressed us by both the quality and the variety of its presentations, together with the impeccable hospitality provided by a city which, for all Europeans, is a byword for charisma, history and art. Before presenting the exciting papers given by numerous specialists in the fields of electrotechnology, education and international trade, and in the interests of clarification, we would like to describe the background to the operations of the Committee.

These are operations of a long-standing nature, given that the Committee is the successor to the Association for the History of Electricity in France (A.H.E.F.), established in the early 1980s. This date alone makes it one of the oldest associative structures dedicated to industrial history. This period was characterized by a strong demand amongst companies for information on their history and heritage – in a word, on their identity. Although the concept of “corporate culture” assumed a high degree of prominence at the time, this concept is partially based upon history as experienced and related by members of personnel. University academics were able to meet these expectations, provided that...

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