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1
Anna Martin, Project Manager
Villain of Steam Project
anna@marlinspikepublishing.co.uk
Dionysius Lardner overview
World famous in his day
His books and lectures inspired many including Darwin and
Jevons to tak...
Marlborough Street, Dublin
Born Dublin c.1793
Son of a Marlborough
Street Whig lawyer
Decided age 19 to seek a
career as a...
Educated at Trinity College Dublin
TCD students - The Royal Dunsink Observatory
Frances
Bacon
William
Petty
The importance of
science to a
successful society...
Babbage, Hershel,
Whewell and
Cambridge Analyticals
Lardner and
Dublin Analyticals
Newton
Fluxions (Dot
Notation)
(Arthur)...
Babbage, Hershel,
Whewell and
Cambridge Analyticals
Lardner and
Dublin Analyticals
Newton
Fluxions (Dot
Notation)
(Arthur)...
Dionysius Lardner by Daniel Maclise
William Rowan Hamilton trained using textbooks
Goes on to apply Analytical calculus to...
Lardner suggests using mathematics in economics
“…I have of late been devoting a small portion of time to a science
as new...
Cambridge Analyticals
Babbage, Hershel,
Whewell and (?)
Lardner
Cournot
Ellet and
Dupuit
Idea of using
complicated
mathema...
Henry Brougham promotes education
Brougham
+
Fear of revolution
=
Educational reforms
Politicians and ‘scientists’ become ...
Foundation of the University of London
The rise of cheap literature
Steam Printing
invented
Economies of
scale
Mass production
A rise in demand
and literacy
Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia
Financed with
Longman and
John Taylor
Edited by Lardner
The six shillings
sciences
Monthly
c...
Augstus De Morgan
Sir Walter Scott
Mary Shelly
John Hershel
Sir Thomas Moore
Robert Southey
Passion for new inventions
Futurologist
Lecture tour in Northern
England Scientific and Literary
societies
Climax at the R...
Involvement in railway research and controversy
Lectures and book on the steam
engine
Interested in experiments with speed...
Successful crossing of
the Atlantic turns
Lardner into a laughing
stock
Much in demand showing
the aristocracy the scientific
sights
Lardner’s wife left him when he was a
grinder
He had an affair with his friend George
Darley’s sister Mary Bourciquot and
...
Can you spot:
Lardner
(centre stage)
Lady
Blessington,
Dickens,
Bulwer Lytton,
Disraeli
Gets divorced,
Seeks new
wife/life?
Runs away with the
Mary, the wife of
Captain Heavisides
and daughter of
Colonel Spicer.
Dear John letter
Punch up in a Cal...
Travel incognito to
America
Unmasked
Rejection by the
international
scientific community
Lectures in theatres
and opera houses to
a quarter of the
population of
America
Makes $40,000
Involved in a fire
It has nice pictures It is Cheap
It is written by himself.
The book goes global and inspires readers to
take up science
Ho...
Full list of references,
sources and picture credits
are given in Villain of Steam.
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)
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Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)

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Presentation given at the British Society for the History of Mathematics, Birmingham, 5th December, 2015

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Villain of Steam: Dionysius Lardner (1793-1859)

  1. 1. 1 Anna Martin, Project Manager Villain of Steam Project anna@marlinspikepublishing.co.uk
  2. 2. Dionysius Lardner overview World famous in his day His books and lectures inspired many including Darwin and Jevons to take up science as a career Involved in a very famous scandal and his name became a taboo Forgotten today except for half remembered quotes: “A successful steam boat passage across the Atlantic was about as likely as a man walking on the moon”, Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 1999 “If a train travelled as sixty miles an hour all the passengers would be asphyxiated” (i.e. suffocate).
  3. 3. Marlborough Street, Dublin Born Dublin c.1793 Son of a Marlborough Street Whig lawyer Decided age 19 to seek a career as a TCD professor
  4. 4. Educated at Trinity College Dublin
  5. 5. TCD students - The Royal Dunsink Observatory Frances Bacon William Petty The importance of science to a successful society The importance of scientific education The importance of scientific publication The importance of systematic experiment Woodhouse Babbage John Brinkley Bartholomew Lloyd The value of Analytical calculus
  6. 6. Babbage, Hershel, Whewell and Cambridge Analyticals Lardner and Dublin Analyticals Newton Fluxions (Dot Notation) (Arthur) Brown (St Johns, Cambridge) (Philip ?)Hudson Supported the value of Newton’s Fluxions Leibnitz d’Alembert, Euler Lagrange and Laplace Taught the value of Analytical calculus (Algebreic notation) Rowan Hamilton Darwin Rowan Hamilton Mallet, Jevons Re-wrote the textbooks and syllabus (Dublin 1813, Cambridge 1817) Re-wrote science
  7. 7. Babbage, Hershel, Whewell and Cambridge Analyticals Lardner and Dublin Analyticals Newton Fluxions (Dot Notation) (Arthur) Brown (St Johns, Cambridge) (Philip?)Hudson Supported the value of Newton’s Fluxions Leibnitz d’Alembert, Euler Lagrange and Laplace Taught the value of Analytical calculus (Algebreic notation) Rowan Hamilton Darwin Rowan Hamilton Mallet, Jevons Re-wrote the textbooks and syllabus (Dublin 1813, Cambridge 1817) Re-wrote science
  8. 8. Dionysius Lardner by Daniel Maclise William Rowan Hamilton trained using textbooks Goes on to apply Analytical calculus to invent Quaternions Highly regarded by economists for his late masterwork Railway Economy mentioned in Das Kapital First use of a graph in an economics book
  9. 9. Lardner suggests using mathematics in economics “…I have of late been devoting a small portion of time to a science as new … to me as it is interesting. I mean Political Economy. I am quite fascinated with it and cannot persuade myself that it is not susceptible of all the rigor of mathematical reasoning. Nay I see no positive reason why the language and operations of analysis should not be applied to it.” Lardner to Babbage, TCD, April 8, 1826 Babbage Correspondence British Library MsADd37183, f.274 Babbage’s On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers, was published in 1835 .
  10. 10. Cambridge Analyticals Babbage, Hershel, Whewell and (?) Lardner Cournot Ellet and Dupuit Idea of using complicated mathematics in economics Marginal Untilitarians Marx Lardner’s Railway Economy Re-wrote economicsJevons Idea of price differentiation Idea of changing figures into a graph Idea of allowing for maintenance Whewell Group
  11. 11. Henry Brougham promotes education Brougham + Fear of revolution = Educational reforms Politicians and ‘scientists’ become partners Brougham’s 1825 pamphlet starts a nationwide craze for mechanics’ institutes and the diffusion of useful knowledge The funding of the London University and the SDUK
  12. 12. Foundation of the University of London
  13. 13. The rise of cheap literature Steam Printing invented Economies of scale Mass production A rise in demand and literacy
  14. 14. Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopaedia Financed with Longman and John Taylor Edited by Lardner The six shillings sciences Monthly collectible volumes built into libraries Publihsed by authoritative writers
  15. 15. Augstus De Morgan Sir Walter Scott Mary Shelly John Hershel Sir Thomas Moore Robert Southey
  16. 16. Passion for new inventions Futurologist Lecture tour in Northern England Scientific and Literary societies Climax at the Royal Institution, where Ada Lovelace attended and was inspired Article in the Edinburgh Review inspires real life Scheutz calculating Engine
  17. 17. Involvement in railway research and controversy Lectures and book on the steam engine Interested in experiments with speed and wind resistance Expert witness in the Atmospheric railway, Box Hill and Broad Gauge controversies Tried to guess the effects of air in tunnels Tried to guess whether steam ships could cross the Atlantic
  18. 18. Successful crossing of the Atlantic turns Lardner into a laughing stock
  19. 19. Much in demand showing the aristocracy the scientific sights
  20. 20. Lardner’s wife left him when he was a grinder He had an affair with his friend George Darley’s sister Mary Bourciquot and fathered Dion Boucicault (Dionysius Lardner Boucicault)
  21. 21. Can you spot: Lardner (centre stage) Lady Blessington, Dickens, Bulwer Lytton, Disraeli Gets divorced, Seeks new wife/life?
  22. 22. Runs away with the Mary, the wife of Captain Heavisides and daughter of Colonel Spicer. Dear John letter Punch up in a Calais hotel Sued for £13,000 damages
  23. 23. Travel incognito to America Unmasked Rejection by the international scientific community
  24. 24. Lectures in theatres and opera houses to a quarter of the population of America Makes $40,000 Involved in a fire
  25. 25. It has nice pictures It is Cheap It is written by himself. The book goes global and inspires readers to take up science Horace Greeley loves the lectures The New York Tribune writes up all his articles and turns them into a book, later reworked as “Dr Lardner’s Museum of Science and Art’.
  26. 26. Full list of references, sources and picture credits are given in Villain of Steam.

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