History of technology of the Netherlands

Sitting atop the long list of the Foundation’s projects are the two renowned national research and dissemination programs about the history of technology in the Netherlands in the 19th (TIN-19) and 20th centuries (TIN-20).


Technology in the Netherlands in the nineteenth century (TIN-19)


This six-volume book series about the history of technology in the Netherlands narrates the exciting story of the societal changes that transformed the Netherlands into an industrialized country. Technology and technical sciences were crucial to this process. Fundamental changes in the field of infrastructure, communication, health care, economic structure, food, and energy supply deeply affected the life and work of Dutch citizens. These changes provide the basis for our current society.

TIN-19 consists of six Dutch-language volumes, English summaries of which can be downloaded here:



Technology in the Netherlands in the twentieth century (TIN-20) 


This seven-volume book series about the history of technology in the Netherlands in the 20th century continued the ground-breaking work of TIN-19. The series describes developments of public works, agriculture, city, transport, mass media, and medical technology in a societal context. Like TIN-19, the focus of TIN-20 is on interactions between technology and society, but from an entirely fresh perspective.


The series uses the idea of contested modernization as an overarching concept through which Dutch technological history can be understood. The modernizers of Dutch society, including engineers, management consultants, and architects, did not always agree on how to modernize. Moreover, the unruliness of specific practices often derailed or redirected the implementation. Dutch history was shaped by tensions between top-down and bottom-up modernization, and tensions between scale-enlargement and more flexible arrangements of mutual coordination and cooperation. The series examines topics such as attempts to create an industrial nation that is materially connected through infrastructure; the conflicts that came with the arrival of mass production and the emergence of a consumer society; and land-use planning in a low-lying country. TIN-20 consists of seven Dutch-language volumes


Technology and the Making of the Netherlands 

TIN 20 engels                        

In 2010, an English edition of the seventh and synthesizing volume of the TIN-20 book series presented the underlying research results for an international audience. The volume, entitled Technology and the Making of the Netherlands: The Age of Contested Modernization, 1890–1970, was co-published by MIT Press and the Dutch publisher of the series (Walburg Pers) and edited by Johan Schot, Harry Lintsen, and Arie Rip. The book describes the trajectory of modernization through technology in certain characteristically Dutch contexts, including the omnipresence of water, the pervasiveness of urbanization coupled with a high-tech agricultural sector, and the legacy of colonialism. At the same time, the book also makes it clear that Dutch struggles over technology choices, infrastructure development, mass production, and the role of government are comparable to the experiences of any industrialized Western country. Read more