Christopher Polhem: Tekniska innovationer och det metaforiska tänkandet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


Christopher Polhem (1661-1751), called the father of Swedish mechanics, is the most famous figure in Swedish history of technology and our nation's foremost inventor ever. Remarkably enough, a close survey in a monograph has never been written on this inventor who in many ways initiated the technical and industrial development of Sweden. In this project will Polhem for the first time get a broad and deeper description and analysis. The planned research is based on cognitive semantics, a research field that takes it departure in the human ability to think in metaphors. A central question will be to find out the metaphorical mind's significance for technical innovations. A great part of the project concerns Polhem and the Swedish mine industry, and the inventions in connection to this. Further, about one of the very first industries in Sweden, Stjärnsund's manufacture works in Dalecarlia. This will get an insight to how creative, technical environments are established. Polhem's other technical projects get also attention, such as the dock in Karlskrona and Göta canal. But beside these technical aspects shall Polhem's other sides get into the light, sides that until now have been more or less unknown. It concerns Polhem as a natural philosopher, his theories on the inner structure of matter, the creation of the world, the processes of life, language, education, and the relation between theory and practice. Summarized will this give an overall picture of a many-sided thinker.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History of Ideas


  • Christopher Polhem, history of technology
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. Årsberättelse 2005
PublisherStiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch