The Persistence of Technology
Histories of Repair, Reuse and Disposal
Repair, reuse and disposal are closely interlinked phenomena related to the lives and persistence of technologies. When technical artefacts become old and outworn, decisions have to be taken: is it necessary, worthwhile or even possible to maintain and repair or to reuse or dismantle them – or must one dispose of them? These decisions depend on factors such as the availability of second-hand markets, repair infrastructures and dismantling or disposal facilities. Telling the stories of, among others, China's power grid, Colombian roads, American telephones, German automobiles and India's ship breaking business, the contributions in this volume stress the long lives of technologies and show that maintenance and repair are not obsolete in modern industries and consumer societies.