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Science/ Technology

Photograph of a large ship loaded with shipping containers
Teaching

Short Teaching Module: Using Ships as Guides for Transnational Adventures through World History

Ships travel across oceans and in doing so connect people in disparate places across the globe. In this essay, Brandon Tachco explains how a focus on ships as a theme can add much to the study of world history.

Painting of a Chinese junk at sea with the emperor and several functionaries on deck
Source

Chinese Junk, early 18th century

Junks encompass a range of different ships that were essential for maritime trade in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean for centuries. Original junks built in China were likely inspired by the design of ships visiting Chinese ports from Austronesia and Southeast Asian archipelagos.

Photograph of a ship with three masts tied to a dock.
Source

Balclutha

Balclutha was built in 1886 on the River Clyde near Glasgow, Scotland, for Robert McMillan, a Glaswegian shipbuilder who occasionally owned ships as a side-business.

Photograph of a large ship loaded with shipping containers
Source

HMM Algeciras

As of the beginning of 2021, the Algeciras class is the largest container vessel in the world, able to carry nearly 24,000 TEU (twenty-foot long containers). It is constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and owned by Hyundai Merchant Marine.

Gold sculpture of a bird with it's head turned backwards
Methods

Primer: Technology

Technology, broadly defined, denotes not only transformative innovations but the whole spectrum of tools, skills and artifacts with which human societies construct their worlds.

Map showing railways across Eastern China, Korea, and Japan
Source

Southern Manchuria Railway (1906-1945)

The world’s earliest locomotive-operated railroads, short stretches transporting coal and ore locally from mines to factories and furnaces, were developed in Britain between 1800 and 1825.

Gold sculpture of a bird with it's head turned backwards
Source

Akan Gold-Weight in the Shape of the Sankofa Bird

These intricate figurines, made by skilled West African smiths, were measuring instruments central to world flows of capital and commerce through medieval and early modern times.

Image of typed emmerton letter
Teaching

Short Teaching Module: Shared Space, Shared Experiences: Transnational Water Management around the Great Lakes

World historians sometimes work within a single sub-field, such as migration history or gender history, but they can also bring sub-fields together, as their perspectives, methods, and subject matter cross boundaries.

Image of typed emmerton letter
Source

Emmerton Letter, 1926

Between 1919 and 1935, citizens of the U.S. and Canada complained about industrial pollution from an American company called the Solvay Process Company (also called the Michigan Alkali Corporation), which dumped its wastes on Fighting Island, in the Detroit River.

Source

Pound Homestead

This historic homestead was built in the mid-nineteenth century near modern-day Dripping Springs, Texas. It belonged to the family of Joseph M. Pound, a doctor who provided medical services to the local community, including the indigeous peoples (such as the Tonkawa).