Scholar in Residence

In June-July 2021, I worked as a scholar-in-residence at the Eisenbibliothek (Iron Library), near Schaffhausen, Switzerland. My project was entitled “Johann Conrad Fischer and Watchmaking”. I examined those activities of metallurgist Johannn Conrad Fischer (1773-1854) that contributed to watchmaking in Switzerland, England, France and elsewhere. The time-period in which Fischer was active coincides more or less with the so-called Sattelzeit, a transitional period when new, dynamic forces of industrialisation were unfolding all over Europe. I used the resources and facilities of the Eisenbibliothek, in particular Fischer’s diaries and related documents, in order to illuminate his transnational and collaborative activities in the domain of watchmaking. The outcome of the research will be a publication on know-how exchanges in Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century, with special reference to watchmaking.

The article resulting from this research is entitled “Materials expertise and networks: The case of Johann Conrad Fischer (1773-1854)” and has been published in the journal Antiquarian Horology, Volume 43, No. 3 (September 2022), pp. 374-386.