The Evolution of Technical Communication in the American Iron and Steel Industry
Technical communication has always been with us. Although its widespread use is a recent phenomena, technical texts exist wherever writing exists. From the documents left by Philo of Byzantium (c. 280-220 BCE) through Arabic works in the Persian Empire to medieval and Renaissance texts, authors have been writing about technology for thousands of years. In the iron industry, technical communication can be seen in fragments from the Greek and Roman Empires [I]. Al-Kindi, Abu Yusuf Ya'qub wrote treatises on mineralogy and metallurgy in the ninth century CE [2, p. 22]. Renaissance texts were the first blossoming of technical communication about mining and metallurgy, but it wasn ' t until approximately 1850 that the texts moved out of the sphere of intellectual scribes and into the working world. The use of technical communication, both writing and drawing, to exchange information grew with the industrial revolution: technology became so complex that we had to "rise above the individual memory and to establish an organizational memory" [3, p. 6] .