chapter
12 Pages

Introduction

Technical communication, a fonn of writing often overlooked in literary scholarship, affords us a unique view of the discourse environments that make up our world. It provides examples of complex verbal and visual interactions of real people in the context of daily working life, not divorced from the communities in which they reside. This book is an analysis of layers of communication within a single industry between the years 1810 and 1925, the time during which the amount of technical communication began to increase exponentially. Most of these documents do not have a beginning, a middle, or an end; they are instances, fragments , or parts of a larger whole. Some are fragments of ongoing conversations, some are attempts to record present physical realities, some are selfpromotion, but most are the visual and verbal remains of complex problem solving. From an analysis of technical communication at Lukens Steel, we can see that the industrial revolution would not have been possible without the attendant-and intrinsic-evolution of complex technical communication. Technical communication is a language essential to work in the modem world.