Experience and experiment: The domestic cultivation of silkworms in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland

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Abstract

This article explores the home as a site of ‘scientific’ enquiry in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland via the experiences of female experimenters. The focus of their investigation was the cultivation of silkworms for the purposes of making silk and substituting expensive foreign imports with domestic manufacture. This research argues that enquiry was just one of many domestic practices and that the relationship between domestic labour and intellectual work was enmeshed. The spaces and objects of home, alongside the tacit knowledge of its inhabitants, provided a flexible context for experiment, which was accessible to a broad section of eighteenth-century society.
Original languageEnglish
Journalcultural and social history
Early online date21 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 21 Sep 2018

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eighteenth century
Ireland
intellectual work
experiment
inhabitant
import
experience
labor
Experiment
Society
Labor
Import
Experimenter
Tacit Knowledge

Keywords

  • domestic space
  • intellectual enquiry
  • gender
  • Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Dublin Society

Cite this

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