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Technology and American History

A Historical Anthology from Technology and Culture

Technology and American History explores the technological dimension of American life from the birth of American industry in the late eighteenth century to the massive industrial systems of the late twentieth century.

Emphasizing a societal context for technology, this carefully organized collection demonstrates both the manner in which cultural, political, and economic forces shape innovation, and the ways that technology has influenced society and shaped its values. Individual essays explore the importance of textile manufacturing in American industrialization, the role of the federal government in regulating new modes of transport, the development of interchangeable parts in production, the process of innovation, the notion of technological systems, and the relationship between technological change and work in the factory, on the farm, and in the home.

The essays were selected to be accessible to both the general reader and the undergraduate student.

448 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1997

History: General History, History of Technology

Table of Contents

Introduction
Stephen H. Cutcliffe, Terry S. Reynolds.
Technology in American Context
Stephen H. Cutcliffe, Terry S. Reynolds.
Brandywine Borrowings from European Technology
Norman B. Wilkinson
"Drive That Branch": Samuel Slater, the Power Loom, and the Writing of America’s Textile History
James L. Conrad, Jr
Raw Materials Supply and Technological Change in the American Charcoal Iron Industry
Richard H. Schallenberg, David A. Ault.
Bursting Boilers and the Federal Power
John G. Burke
Who Turned the Mechanical Ideal into Mechanical Reality?
Robert B. Gordon
From Iron to Steel: The Recasting of the Jones and Laughlins Workforce between 1885 and 1896
David Jardini
Technology and the Market: George Eastman and the Origins of Mass Amateur Photography
Reese V. Jenkins
A New Role for Professional Scientists in Industry: Industrial Research at General Electric, 1900-1916
George Wise
Custom Design, Engineering Guarantees, and Unpatentable Data: The Air Conditioning Industry, 1902-1935
Gail Cooper
"Touch Someone": The Telephone Industry Discovers Sociability
Claude S. Fischer
Farmers Deskilled: Hybrid Corn and Farmers’ Work
Deborah Fitzgerald
The "Industrial Revolution" in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the 20th Century
Ruth Schwartz Cowan
Research, Engineering, and Science in American Engineering Colleges: 1900-1960
Bruce Seely
Technology in the Seamless Web: "Success" and "Failure" in the History of the Electron Microscope
Gregory C. Kunkle
Momentum Shifts in the American Electric Utility System: Catastrophic Change - or No Change at All?
Richard F. Hirsh, Adam H. Serchuk.

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