A History of Control Engineering, 1800-1930

Front Cover

Feedback is a crucial concept of modern engineering, whose use has spilled over into many other disciplines.

Dr Bennett traces the growing awareness of the importance and the significance of the concept of feedback in engineering and treats in detail the technical developments that contributed to his awareness. Beginning by studying the history of the control of prime movers, he examines in detail the 19th-century work on the stability problem.

There follows an account of the development of steam and hydraulic servomechanisms and their application to the control of ships and aircraft.In the latter part of the book the development of electrical control systems from the arc lamp to the feedback amplifier is considered. The book ends with a brief outline of the theoretical work on circuit analysis which was to provide the background for the development that took place in the 1930s of techniques for the analysis of feedback systems.


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Towards an understanding of the stability of motion
The development of servomechanisms

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About the author (1986)

Stuart Bennett lectures in control engineering at the University of Sheffield, England. After a student apprenticeship with the British Aircraft Corporation, he spent four years on research into the lubrication of components for spacecraft. He joined the Control Engineering Department of the University of Sheffield in 1968, where his main interests have been computer control and the history and development of control engineering - complementary interests that have led to his involvement in the teaching of courses on the relationship between technology and society. Dr Bennett is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.