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  • 1.
    Orrje, Jacob
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
    A Comet of the Enlightenment: Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries2016In: Isis (Chicago, Ill.), ISSN 0021-1753, E-ISSN 1545-6994, Vol. 107, no 1, p. 174-175Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Orrje, Jacob
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
    Mechanicus: Performing an Early Modern Persona2015Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis studies mechanics as a means of making men, rather than machines. Drawing on Swedish sources from 1700–50, it approaches mechanics as an exercise of a virtuous subject, known to his contemporaries as the “mechanicus”. The mechanicus was a persona, consisting of expectations of the performance of mechanics that were part of the social fabric of the early modern Swedish state. The aim of this thesis is to understand how mechanical practitioners performed in relation to this persona, and how these expectations in turn were changed by actors’ performances.

    By studying the mechanicus, I take an interest in historical ways of conceiving of mechanics. Previous research on early modern mechanics has tended to relate it to modern phenomena, such as engineers, technology and industrialism, and mechanical practitioners have been considered as agents of change, who brought traditional societies into modernity. Avoiding such long narratives, this thesis presents an alternative history. By following mechanical practitioners, who staged themselves as relevant to an early modern state, I seek to understand how mechanics was presented and justified in a pre-industrial society.

    The thesis is comprised of four studies. First, I discuss how mature mechanical practitioners imagined the exercise of mechanics to make a boy into a mechanicus. These exercises would nurture an ideal man, encompassing a range of the expected virtues of a male subject. Second, I study mechanics and geometry at the Swedish Bureau of Mines between 1700 and 1750. I show how, from  having initially been associated with the building of machines and subterranean constructions, such knowledge formed the basis of a community of mathematical men of metals. Third, I analyse the letters exchanged between the mechanical practitioner Christopher Polhammar and the Swedish king Karl XII, showing how royal patronage of mechanics shaped both men. Finally, I follow the mechanical practitioner Anders Gabriel Duhre, who first succeeded and then failed to present himself as a virtuous mechanicus to the parliament of the Swedish constitutional monarchy of the 1720s and 1730s. Taken together, these studies show how men imagined, succeeded and failed life as a mechanicus in early modern Sweden.

  • 3.
    Orrje, Jacob
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas, History of Science.
    Patriotic and Cosmopolitan Patchworks: Following a Swedish Astronomer into London's Communities of Maritime Longitude, 1759–602016In: Navigational Enterprises in Europe and its Empires, 1730–1850 / [ed] Richard Dunn & Rebekah Higgitt, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, p. 89-110Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Orrje, Jacob
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas, History of Science.
    Reading art, reading nature: How microscopic literature formed seventeenth-century readers2009In: Lychnos, ISSN 0076-1648, p. 91-116Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses how two books on microscopical observations, Experimental Philosophy (1664) by Henry Power (1623–1668) and Micrographia (1665) by Robert Hooke (1635–1703) were related to by contemporaries. These books were read by diverse readers who used microscopic observations in forming their own identities. Samuel Pepys (1633–1703), Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673) and Thomas Shadwell (1642 –1692) all read Hooke’s and Power’s books and in their responses one can discern some of the roles microscopy had in early modern English society. What attitude did these readers, who responded from their respective positions, have to the experiences in Micrographia and Experimental Philosophy?

    Samuel Pepys read the books as a way of learning the art of microscopy. He sought to fashion himself as a gentleman through microscopic observations of nature. Margaret Cavendish did not relate to microscopy in the same way as Pepys. She used the books on microscopy in her philosophical critique of the experimentalist programme, a critique based on her seeing the microscopic picture as artificial. Thomas Shadwell’s play The virtuoso depicted the fictional experimentalist Sir Gimcrack. Where Pepys succeeded in balancing experimental practice with everyday responsibilities, Gimcrack was alienated from everyday life because he focused on the artificial world of lice, mites and weeds.

    The article shows how the way these three readers related to the books on microscopy was influenced by their opinions on the microscopic experience as either natural or artificial. Furthermore, it argues that one can discern an interaction between the readers’ gender identities and their microscopic observations. In Pepys and Shadwell/Gimcrack’s case how their gentlemanliness was formed in relation to their microscopic observations, in Cavendish’s case how her critique of these observations gave her a position as a woman who published in natural philosophy.

  • 5.
    Orrje, Jacob
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas, History of Science.
    Recension av Cecilia Rosengren, "Conway. Naturfilosofi och kvinnliga tänkare i barockens tidevarv".2010In: Lychnos, ISSN 0076-1648, p. 315-316Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Orrje, Jacob
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
    Recension av David Dunér, "Tankemaskinen. Polhems huvudvärk och andra studier i tänkandets historia"2013In: Scandia, ISSN 0036-5483, Vol. 79, no 1, p. 150-151Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Orrje, Jacob
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
    Vardagens kuriositeter: Eric Alstrins besök i England vid 1700-talets början2018In: Böckerna i borgen: Ett halvsekel i Roggebiblioteket / [ed] Elin Andersson & Emil Stenback, Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket , 2018, p. 101-122Chapter in book (Refereed)
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