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Le nivellement, une mesure pour l'action autour de 1800

Abstract : The aim of this paper is to study the practice of levelling by the Ponts et Chaussées engineers around 1800. First, it shows how this practice developed in opposition to that of other professionals: by focusing on the precision of levelling, engineers presented themselves as the only legitimate decision makers for public works projects. Second, it anayses the emergence of controversies about levelling inside the Ponts et Chaussées corps as revealing a transition from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century: instead of a local practice on the spot for each specific project, some engineers began at the turn of the nineteenth century to dream of a so-called general levelling, a global approach of heights on a national scale, which would allow engineers to shift the decision making activities from the field into the office, and compare mathematically the quality of projects.
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Contributor : Frédéric Graber <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 28, 2011 - 10:42:51 AM
Last modification on : Friday, December 11, 2020 - 2:38:02 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00645474, version 1



Frédéric Graber. Le nivellement, une mesure pour l'action autour de 1800. Histoire & Mesure, EHESS, 2006, 21 (2), pp.29-54. ⟨halshs-00645474⟩



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