Scientific Instruments for Education in Early Twentieth-Century Spain

Annals of Science 65 (4):519-527 (2008)

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Summary 1898 marked a crucial point in the end of the nineteenth-century Spanish crisis. The military defeat ending the Spanish-American War was seen as proof that the country was in terminal decline. With the ideals of regeneration spreading throughout Spanish society, the State became more interested in supporting and sponsoring science and technology, as well as in creating a modern educational system. The resulting reforms reflected this strong interest in scientific education, and consequently, the first decades of the twentieth century saw a turning point in the development of science and technology in Spain. Some recent papers have discussed various initiatives taken by Spanish governments, particularly in the creation of new official institutions. Such institutions played an important role in the development of science and technology, but their activity in the promotion of scientific education was very limited. However, other governmental initiatives were taken in order to develop this area, particularly focusing on the acquisition of scientific instruments. Scientific instruments were needed not only to improve Spanish scientific research but also to improve the teaching of experimental sciences. These instruments were specifically adapted for use by students. This paper aims to present some of the lesser-known individuals and firms who, in the new social and cultural context, provided scientific instruments for educational centres in order to meet the increasing demand for this material in Spanish educational institutions during these years
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DOI 10.1080/00033790801971752
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