40th History of Technology Conference 2017

"Colors in Technology - Technology of Colors"
17 and 18 November 2017

On November 17 and 18, the Iron Library held the 40th Conference on the History of Technology (TGT) entitled "Colors in Technology - Technology of Colors". 60 participants from Austria, China, Czechia, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States attended this year’s TGT.

After the official opening of the Conference by Yves Serra, CEO of Georg Fischer Ltd., 15 speakers gave an impressive proof to Friedrich Steinle's (Berlin) statement that color is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the history of technology.

The thematic spectrum ranged from Regina Lee Blaszczyk's (Leeds) inspiring Keynote Speech "Visibly invisible: Color, Commerce, and Consumer Culture" to Robert Fuchs's (Cologne) presentation about the invention of color production in Ancient Egypt. Annapurna Mamidipudi (Berlin) and BuYun Chen (Berlin) gave insights into the role of color in traditional dyeing techniques in South India and on the Okinawa Islands respectively. Tracey Panek (San Francisco) gave an overview of "The Global Blue Jeans Transformation".

Sven Dupré (Utrecht/Amsterdam) gave a talk about "The Making of Glass Colors in the 17th Century" and Barbara Flückiger (Zurich) introduced the audience to the "Technology, Analysis and Restoration of Film Colors". The last presentation by Jean-José Paccaud (Geneva) familiarized the astonished listeners with current and future technologies and applications of "Laser Nanostructuring" as developed by GF Machining Solutions New Technologies.

An oustanding hightlight of the program was the demonstration out of the paintbox of pigment researcher Stefan Muntwyler. He demonstrated the process of working the raw material up to the point where the pigment is poured into a watercolor pan.


Prof. Regina Lee Blaszczyk, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Visibly Invisible: Color, Commerce, and Consumer Culture

Dr. BuYun Chen, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany
Dyeing for Permanence: Communities of Practice and the Making of Bingata

Prof. Dr. Sven Dupré, Universities of Utrecht and Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Making of Glass Colors in the 17th Century

Prof. Dr. Barbara Flueckiger, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Technology, Analysis and Restoration of Film Colors

Prof. Dr. Robert Fuchs, TH Cologne, Germany
The Invention of Color Production in Antiquity: Pigments in Ancient Egypt and among the Greeks and Romans

Dr. Ai Hisano, University of Kyoto, Japan
The Co-Creation of Standardized Colors in the American Food Industry, 1870s–1930s

Dr. André Karliczek, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Germany
Color Standards in Early Science: The Phenomenon of Color as a Phenomenon of Nature around 1800

Dr. Annapurna Mamidipudi, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany
Telling Color by Smell, Memory and Song: The Innovation of Traditional Dyeing Craft in South India

Stefan Muntwyler, color researcher and pigment collector, Windisch, Switzerland

Dr. Doris Oltrogge, TH Cologne, Germany
Production and Use of Colors in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

Jean-José Paccaud, GF Machining Solutions, Meyrin/Geneva, Switzerland
Laser Nanostructuring: Adding Colors or trapping Light

Tracey Panek, Levi Strauss & Co., San Francisco, USA
The Global Blue Jeans Transformation

Denise Ruisinger, ETH Zurich and University of Applied Sciences and Arts Lucerne, Switzerland
Tipping the Scales through Color: Textile Design and Color Standardization 1850–1930

Prof. Dr. Kim Siebenhüner, University of Berne, Switzerland
Knowledge, Knowledge Transfer and the Art of Dyeing in Switzerland’s Indienne Industry in the 18th Century

Dr. Klaus Staubermann, National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Final comment

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Steinle, TU Berlin, Germany
Colors in the 18th Century: Practical Areas and Systematic Approaches

Prof. Dr. Yvonne Zimmermann, Philipps University Marburg, Germany
Forms and Functions of Color in Industrial Films