English technical writing clearly emerged during the Renaissance and the first decades of printing, but during the 16411700 period technical writing gained credibility and prestige. It was a valued tool for achieving the utilitarian ends of an age in which practical goals were valued more than aesthetic ones. Technical writing can be found in a range of disciplines, such as agriculture, medicine, science, as well as the major English trades and crafts. As a valued form of discourse, it illuminates the world of work in seventeenth-century England and the problems faced by the early experimenters of the Royal Society who sought to use science to solve major human, military, and economic problems while seeking to expand understanding of nature. Studying technical writing of this period allows us to track the continued development of technical writing as a distinct form of discourse.