IHPST Jan Hua-Henning publishes new article in Technology and Culture, "Opening the Red Box"

November 2, 2021 by Adriana Leviston

Jan Hua-Henning,

“Opening the Red Box: The Fire Alarm Telegraph and Politics of Risk Response in Imperial Germany, 1873–1900," Technology and Culture 62 (3): 685-708.

Jan demonstrates how the design of the fire alarm telegraph allowed Prussian authorities and urban liberals to propagate their concept of risk in the German city of Frankfurt. The article positions fire-alarm technology as a material contract between authoritarianism and liberalism in the nineteenth century, exploring how the technology facilitated cooperation between city and state in urban governance and thereby helped to solve conflict between competing national and local interests.