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Publications (10 of 10) Show all publications
Veerart, F., Åberg, A. & Vikström, H. (2020). Creating, capturing, and circulating commodities: the technology and politics of material resource flows, from the 19th century to the present. The Extractive Industries and Society, 7(1), 1-7
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creating, capturing, and circulating commodities: the technology and politics of material resource flows, from the 19th century to the present
2020 (English)In: The Extractive Industries and Society, ISSN 2214-790X, E-ISSN 2214-7918, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Extractive resources are unevenly distributed geographically and our dependence on such resources is growing, which has led to ever increasing flows of resources across the world. This situation has caused concern for numerous actors. However, such worries are not new. Todays' feel of a deeply interconnected, rapidly changing world with global grand challenges has striking resemblances with the nineteenth century mood in the industrializing countries. In this special issue we study the temporal dynamics and multiple geographies of resource flows, and how actors have attempted to shape and control them. In five articles by historians of technology and the environment from Sweden, Russia and the Netherlands, we aim to broaden the view on resource narratives and emphasize their non-static characters by showing developments of resources as they travel through time and space. This introductory article introduces and positions five themes that are addressed in the contributions of special issue. In this special issue scholars discuss (1) the social construction of resources, (2) the importance of resources to nation states, (3) resource flows as transnational practices, (4) technopolitics of resources, and (5) resource flows as global political power hierarches, of resources such as oil, metals, iron ore, uranium and stone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2020
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History; History Of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-165609 (URN)10.1016/j.exis.2019.10.017 (DOI)000524980000001 ()2-s2.0-85075329957 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-11-29 Created: 2019-11-29 Last updated: 2020-04-24Bibliographically approved
Vikström, H. (2020). Producing Electric Light: How Resource Scarcity Affected Light Bulbs, 1880-1914. Technology and culture, 61(3), 901-922
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Producing Electric Light: How Resource Scarcity Affected Light Bulbs, 1880-1914
2020 (English)In: Technology and culture, ISSN 0040-165X, E-ISSN 1097-3729, Vol. 61, no 3, p. 901-922Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A light bulb is manufactured from resources found across the world. Knowing what role these resources play in manufacturing processes helps us understand why some technologies were successful and others were not. The glow from light bulbs depends entirely on the metals in the filament. In the late nineteenth century, manufacturers struggled to find a metal that did not melt when emitting a soft, warm glow. Only a few metals had the sought-after properties, and these became valued resources.

This article explores how the manufacturing of light bulbs affected and was affected by access to metals. Manufacturers competed fiercely to ensure they acquired the resources only found in a few places worldwide in their quest to take over the expanding lighting market. Making light bulbs in an era of protectionism affected extraction sites and politics globally.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020
National Category
History of Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-175080 (URN)10.1353/tech.2020.0078 (DOI)000565082400009 ()
Available from: 2020-09-22 Created: 2020-09-22 Last updated: 2020-09-22Bibliographically approved
Vikström, H. (2018). Is There a Supply Crisis?: Sweden’s Critical Metals, 1917–2014. The Extractive Industries and Society, 5(3), 393-403
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is There a Supply Crisis?: Sweden’s Critical Metals, 1917–2014
2018 (English)In: The Extractive Industries and Society, ISSN 2214-790X, E-ISSN 2214-7918, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 393-403Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While global metal production has increased almost exponentially over the last hundred years, actors have constantly worried about future scarcities. This article explores why state and business actors within a small country, Sweden, have perceived metals as critical and which strategies they have advanced to cope with potential shortages. It analyzes four reports and/or records of meetings from 1917, 1954, 1980 and 2014, years when the debate about resource scarcity flourished both in Sweden and internationally. The reasons why actors feared the future supply were largely connected to price increases, potential supply disruptions because of war or political instability, and soaring demand for technologies containing metals. Even Sweden, a neutral country, feared shortages because of political instability in foreign countries because of the transnational metal flows. The actors attempted to manage shortages by increased domestic production, technological development, stockpiling, international agreements and recycling. Tracing this issue over time, the article unpacks the importance of and concerns with metal flows in an age of rapid industrial, technological and geopolitical change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Critical metals, Sweden, resource scarcity, supply crisis
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156963 (URN)10.1016/j.exis.2018.03.012 (DOI)2-s2.0-85045120565 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-03-04 Created: 2019-03-04 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved
Vikström, H. (2018). Svenskt stål och turkiskt krom: historien om hur Sandviken försökte säkra sin kromförsörjning under mellankrigstiden. In: Gert Magnusson (Ed.), Med hammare och fackla: (pp. 169-176). Halmstad: Sancte Örjens gille
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Svenskt stål och turkiskt krom: historien om hur Sandviken försökte säkra sin kromförsörjning under mellankrigstiden
2018 (Swedish)In: Med hammare och fackla / [ed] Gert Magnusson, Halmstad: Sancte Örjens gille , 2018, p. 169-176Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Halmstad: Sancte Örjens gille, 2018
Series
Med hammare och fackla, ISSN 0543-2162 ; 46
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156978 (URN)
Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved
Vikström, H. (2017). Den Svenska Kromjakten i Turkiet.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Den Svenska Kromjakten i Turkiet
2017 (Swedish)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
National Category
History of Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156962 (URN)
Note

QCR 20171005

Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2020-01-29
Vikström, H. & Högselius, P. (2017). From cryolite to critical metals: the scramble for Greenland's minerals. In: Robert C. Thompson and Lill Rastad Bjørst (Ed.), Heritage and change in the Arctic: reources for the present, past and future (pp. 177-211). Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From cryolite to critical metals: the scramble for Greenland's minerals
2017 (English)In: Heritage and change in the Arctic: reources for the present, past and future / [ed] Robert C. Thompson and Lill Rastad Bjørst, Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag , 2017, p. 177-211Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aalborg: Aalborg Universitetsforlag, 2017
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156975 (URN)9788771126242 (ISBN)
Note

QC 20171012

Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved
Vikström, H. (2017). Jakten på Krom.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Jakten på Krom
2017 (Swedish)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
National Category
History of Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156965 (URN)
Note

QCR 20171005

Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2020-01-29
Vikström, H., Högselius, P. & Avango, D. (2017). Swedish Steel and Global Resource Colonialism: Sandviken's Quest for Turkish Chromium, 1925-1950. Scandinavian Economic History Review, 65(3), 307-325
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish Steel and Global Resource Colonialism: Sandviken's Quest for Turkish Chromium, 1925-1950
2017 (English)In: Scandinavian Economic History Review, ISSN 0358-5522, E-ISSN 1750-2837, Vol. 65, no 3, p. 307-325Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses Swedish industry’s attempts to secure strategic raw materials in an era of global resource colonialism. More precisely, it tells the story of how Sandvikens Jernverk – a leading Swedish steel producer – set out to secure its need for chromium ore during the Interwar Era. Up to the late 1920s, Sandviken sourced its chromium from British and French colonies. However, the company feared the British Empire’s growing dominance in the global chromium ore market. In 1928, then, Sandviken joined forces with several other Swedish steel producers, forming a consortium that, with ample help from Swedish foreign policy actors, managed to establish an independent source of chromium ore in Turkey. This project, however, which took the form of an Istanbul-based mining company, made big losses and was abandoned after only a few years. The project failed because of changes in the world chromium market, the global economic crisis, conflicts with the company’s Turkey-based managing director and the Swedish reluctance to scale up mining in such a way that the chromium ore might compete with Rhodesian, New Caledonian and Baluchistani ore.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keywords
Resource scarcity, strategic metals, chromium, colonialism, Swedish-Turkish relations
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156977 (URN)10.1080/03585522.2017.1369152 (DOI)000423987600008 ()2-s2.0-85029414617 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Sweden and the origins of global resource colonialism
Funder
Swedish Research Council, C0104501
Note

QC 20171011

Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2020-01-29Bibliographically approved
Vikström, H. (2017). The specter of scarcity: experiencing and coping with metal shortages, 1870-2015. (Doctoral dissertation). Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The specter of scarcity: experiencing and coping with metal shortages, 1870-2015
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In spite of an ever-growing supply of metals, actors have long feared metal shortages. This thesis – departing from an understanding that metals scarcity is not an objective geological fact, but an experience, a fear of a shortage – explores why business and state actors have experienced metals as scarce and how they coped with scarcity from 1870 to 2015.

The underlying reasons for scarcity experiences originated in high prices, a lack of substitutes, domestic unavailability, limited infrastructure and increased demand. In the view of businesses and the state, a shortage of metals could hinder successful industrialization. Defining metals as scarce was a first step in their attempts to ensure access through exploration, recycling, substitution, and trade agreements.

This dissertation presents five case studies which provide insights into three selected aspects of metals scarcity that have been overlooked in previous studies. First, while small countries experienced and coped with metals scarcity in a similar way to large nations, they were more vulnerable because of their dependence on transnational flows controlled by larger countries. Yet if they remained neutral in international conflicts, they could enjoy other opportunities to import resources than their larger rivals. Second, industries experienced metals scarcity before World War I; with the onset of the Second Industrial Revolution, at the very latest, new technologies were often dependent on metals which had never before been used commercially – there were not yet any extraction systems in place. However, once these metals began to circulate, state actors became aware of the international traffic and began to classify certain metals as critical. Thirdly, technological change has affected – and been affected by – metals scarcity. If a metal was scarce, manufacturers were likely to embark on a different path to production. Inversely, sometimes new technologies were able to alleviate perceptions of scarcity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. p. 106
Series
TRITA-HOT, ISSN 0349-2842 ; 2075
Keywords
scarcity, critical metals, Sweden, small countries, strategic metals, metal shortages, history of technology, experiences of scarcity, coping with shortages, technological trends, World War I, resource crisis, construction of resources
National Category
History of Technology
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156971 (URN)978-91-7729-610-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-01-19, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-02-03 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2023-02-03Bibliographically approved
Vikström, H. (2016). The Transnational Light Bulb.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Transnational Light Bulb
2016 (English)Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Keywords
Light bulb
National Category
History of Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-156973 (URN)
Note

QC 20161024

Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-09-09 Last updated: 2020-01-29
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-9558-4621

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