‘The Philosopher Burmese Prince’ and the Air-Pump

The other week I found a digitized archive of the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, a periodical originally founded under a different name by the famed colonial Orientalist scholar William Jones. I was having a flick through looking for articles on Burma and found the following little article from early 1833. I haven’t…

Do Elephants Dream of Bulldozers?

I have just finished reading the brilliant The Shock of the Old by David Edgerton. If you haven’t read it, the book argues persuasively that despite the widespread celebration of new technologies, old technologies have become increasingly important in the twentieth century. Edgerton provides many, occasionally surprising, examples demonstrating this. They range from the continued…