Imagined Use as a Category of Analysis: New Approaches to the History of Technology

TitleImagined Use as a Category of Analysis: New Approaches to the History of Technology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsTworek, HJS, Müller, SM
JournalHistory and Technology: An International Journal
Volume32
Issue2
Start Page105-119
Keywordsinnovation, science fiction, TECHNOLOGY, telegraphy
Abstract

This special issue explores the multiple dimensions of imagined uses of technology. Here, we use telegraphy as our case study. Telegraphy, we argue, is particularly apt for exploring the interpretive territory of imagined use. On the one hand, its price structure generated a relatively small number of users. On the other hand, news sent by telegraph reached a much greater number of people and opened up a space for imagined uses of telegraphy amongst the many who read news sent by telegraph but never entered a telegraph office. In its role as news medium the technology opened up the very information space necessary for these visions of use in the first place. Our four articles demonstrate that alongside actual use, imagined uses of a technology fundamentally become an integral part of processes of technological development, innovation and design.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2016.1218957
DOI10.1080/07341512.2016.1218957