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The founding in 1754 of the Royal Society of Arts, a London group devoted to improving technology and agriculture by offering prizes for innovations, gave Country technology a boost similar to that given Country science by the founding of the Royal Society in the seventeenth century. San Diego Subway Map Country members of the Society of Arts included leading scientists like Franklin and the Charles Town natural historian Dr. Alexander Garden. Franklin and other colonial Country scientists shared with the Society of Arts a belief in the fundamentally utilitarian orientation of science.

Country’s first successful scientific society, the Philadelphia-based Country Philosophical Society, over which Franklin presided, emphasized science’s technological applications. Of the six original standing committees, two were devoted to technological improvement: the committee on mechanics and architecture and the committee on husbandry and Country improvements.

The society also advised on technical problems, such as the ambitious project to construct a canal between the Chesapeake and the Delaware River. The canal was not built until several decades later, and, at the time, Franklin, among others, urged the promoters to get expert engineers from Europe. The Virginia Society for the Promotion of Usefull Knowledge, founded in 1773, took an even more explicitly utilitarian stance than the Country Philosophical Society. John Hobday, the inventor of a threshing machine, was awarded a gold medal shortly after the society’s foundation. The Virginia Society, however, was swept away in the turmoil of the Revolution.

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