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A Lever Long EnoughA History of Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science Since 1864$
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Robert McCaughey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166881

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166881.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Engineering in America–Before Engineers

Engineering in America–Before Engineers

(p.1) 1 Engineering in America–Before Engineers
A Lever Long Enough

Robert McCaughey

Columbia University Press

This chapter presents a history of engineering in America before Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) was established. It first looks back to the time before the founding of engineering schools or the formation of the engineering profession and the purposeful changes they wrought to the world at large. The discussion begins by focusing on the first engineering challenges encountered by North America's European settlers: altering the natural landscape earlier inhabitants had fashioned to their purposes. The chapter then turns to some of the men who played important roles in the emergence of engineering in America, including William Bradford, John Winthrop, Roger Williams, Benjamin Franklin, John Fitch, John Stevens, and Robert Fulton. Fitch, John Stevens, and Robert Fulton provide two biographical links between the early story of American engineering and King's College, later Columbia University. Also considered is the state of science and technology in early American colleges, along with two key figures in the history of King's College: James Renwick and Wolcott Gibbs.

Keywords:   history, Columbia University, School of Engineering and Applied Science, engineering schools, engineering, King's College, science and technology, colleges, James Renwick, Wolcott Gibbs

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