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Title: Not For Want Of Go-Aheadism In Field And Factory: The Technological Trajectory Of The Guyana (British Guiana) Sugar Industry From 1800 To The 1930s
Authors: Stoll , Allyson
Keywords: British Guiana
sugar technology
cane culture
built environment
steam power
Issue Date: 31-Jan-2011
Abstract: British Guiana was an anomaly among British Caribbean sugar colonies during the nineteenth century. Annual exports exceeded those of its island counterparts and it became well-known for 'Yellow' and 'Demerara Crystals', two high-quality specialty sugars. Production rose steadily throughout the century despite persistent setbacks and impediments. While larger plantations and a more amenable cultivation environment were conducive to relatively higher output, mitigating other geographical limitations demanded more capital and labor than on the islands. The limitations might have constrained British Guiana's productive capacity more severely had it not been for a culture of technological innovation that is largely unacknowledged in extant literature. The primary questions underlying this inquiry into the historical technology of the sugar industry of British Guiana are: what were the socio-economic and political underpinnings of its nineteenth century modernization thrust? How were the cane fields and sugar factories transformed and to what extent was technological change conditioned by local innovation and invention? Fundamentally, despite allegations, there is little evidence of inertia, rampant conservatism and incompetence. Instead, notwithstanding various constraints, the industry showed remarkable persistence and creative variation in its efforts to improve agriculture and factory processing during the period under review.
Committee Chair: Tomlan, Michael Andrew
Committee Member: 
Lewis, David B
Discipline: City & Regional Planning
Degree Name: Ph.D. of City & Regional Planning
Degree Level: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Grantor: Cornell University
No Access Until: 2016-06-01
Appears in Collections:Cornell Theses and Dissertations

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