"Le règne de la nuit désormais va finir". L'invention et la diffusion de l'éclairage public dans le royaume de France (1697-1789)

Abstract : The thesis proposes to understand the beginnings of street lighting before the invention of gas and electricity, as an object of total urban history. It analyses the process of introducing, spreading and appropriating street lighting throughout the Kingdom of France between 1697 - when public lanterns were imposed by the monarchy in the main cities of the Kingdom of France - and the revolutionary period. Although the measure was first contested by the municipalities and some of the inhabitants, from the 1770s onwards it became a mark of urbanity and an instrument of control. Based on the abundant documentation from municipal, departmental and national archives, the thesis studies the transition from "illumination" to "public lighting". The aim is to understand the decision-making process between central, provincial and local authorities, as well as the circulation of knowledge and experience in the field of lighting. The growing interest of urban populations in this new technical object led to its improvement and then to the adoption of the « réverbère » that replaced the candlelight lantern at the beginning of the Revolution. The thesis also analyses the economic, financial and social conditions of lighting development, through the figure of the entrepreneur, the street lighter and the expert. The influence of the Tourtille Sangrain company played a decisive role in the spread of urban lighting during the last third of the 18th century. Finally, it is a question of questioning the reception of innovation by city dwellers and the "cultural revolution" (D. Roche) induced in the city's night-time uses.
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Sophie Reculin. "Le règne de la nuit désormais va finir". L'invention et la diffusion de l'éclairage public dans le royaume de France (1697-1789). Histoire. Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LIL30034⟩. ⟨tel-01915183⟩

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