Document Type


Publication Date



Johns Hopkins University Press


The relatively stable contribution of technological change to aggregate growth masks technological trajectories which are, at the sectoral level, often highly discontinuous. For decades, even centuries, the capabilities used to produce a particular good or service may continue essentially unchanged or with relatively minor evolutionary modifications. Sometimes without much warning a breakthrough innovation will create a new technological paradigm, along with an accompanying "gale of creative destruction," which is then followed by a period of consolidation within a maturing framework.


Copyright © 1994 Society for the History of Technology. This article first appeared in Technology and Culture 35:2(1994), 315-347. Reprinted with permission by Johns Hopkins University Press.

Included in

Economics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.