Publisher Information: 1820.
Baillio-Lamothe. Manuscript notebook recording Baillio-Lamothe’s field studies as an engineering student at the École des Mines (Paris). , 3-134, pp., plus 5 loose sheets of notes, sketches, etc. in a pocket inside the back cover; lacking the first leaf [pp. 1-2]. Illustrated with numerous technical drawings of mining machinery, plans of mine layouts, etc. N.p., n.d. . 168 x 114 mm. Bound wallet-style in old vellum manuscript leaf, linen tie, some soiling. First and last leaves a bit soiled, but very good. Laid in is a letter to Baillio dated 8 April 1818, signed by Louis Becquey (1760-1849), Directeur-Général des Ponts et Chaussées et des Mines; the letter names Baillio-Lamothe an “élève externe” (external pupil) at the École.
Remarkable document from the early days of the Industrial Revolution in France, recording field studies at several European coal mines undertaken by Baillio-Lamothe, an engineering student at Paris’s École des Mines. Baillio-Lamothe’s first name and history remain obscure, but he is known to have prepared at least one illustration for the Annales des mines (Vol. 13 ).
The Industrial Revolution, which originated in Great Britain in the latter part of the 18th century, did not spread to France until the end of the Napoleonic Era in 1815. One of the major factors in this delay was the primitive state of French coal mining at that time. Technological innovations in manufacturing, such as steam-powered engines and mechanized looms, required coal for their production and use, but most of France’s coal deposits were inconveniently located and expensive to mine; moreover, during Napoleon’s reign France had prioritized war and conquest over the development of its domestic economic resources. Because the Napoleonic Wars with England cut off economic and technological communication with England, and England led the world in development of steam and manufacturing technology, France fell behind in these fields, and did not begin to catch up until after the wars were concluded. To improve France’s coal-mining industry Louis Becquey, who became Directeur-Général des Ponts et Chaussées et des Mines in 1817, established a program at the École des Mines whereby engineering students like Baillio-Lamothe were sent to mining operations in France and other countries to learn mining techniques first hand. These students were required to keep detailed written accounts of what they learned during their travels, and journals such as the one we are offering “are now a part of the [École de Mines’] great heritage” (Hatchuel, p. 24).
In April 1818 Baillio-Lamothe matriculated at the École as an “external student” (i.e., someone not from the École Polytechnique), as recorded in the letter from Becquey laid into Baillio’s notebook. Two years later he spent the weeks between 28 June and 7 August 1820 traveling to coal mines in the north of France, Belgium, and Prussia. His journal contains detailed accounts of mining machinery and operations, many illustrated with precisely executed technical drawings; these include some remarkable sketches on pp. 130-131 of a steam engine (‘machine à vapeur”) Baillio had seen in operation at Fürth. The journal also records Baillio’s encounters with fellow students Gabriel Lamé (1795-1870) and Émile Clapeyron (1799-1864), both noted mathematicians and engineers who made important contributions to these fields. Hatchuel, “École des Mines de Paris: A few lessons from a long history,” in Subrahmanian, ed., Engineering a Better Future, pp. 21-32.Book Id: 44857