Technology and Historiography

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  • (Executive Summary in First 10 Slides) Originally Presented In Completion of Requirements for the M.A. Degree in History (April 1998 Oral Exam) Rutgers University, New Brunswick History Department
  • Authors@Google: Eric Ries "The Lean Startup” Talks About Taylor and Taylorism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEvKo90qBns&t=710 Image of Nicholas Carr, Author of IT Doesn’t Matter. Periodization -- May Be Necessary to Reperiodize U.S. History With Divides at 1830 and 1917 (Age of Production/Age of Consumption) Agency -- Who are History’s Actors? Craftsmen, Laborers, Inventors, Promoters, Marketers, Consumers and Users! Themes -- Relationship Between Science and Technology is a Recurring Theme in American History and Not Unrelated to Ideology (Kasson) What is the role of experts in a democracy? (Seeley and MacKenzie) Interest in Computing Contextualized? Why Did the Internet Happen in the United States???? Role of Science-Based Research? “ Hands-on ” experience, Hacking?
  • What Can The History of Technology Teach Us About American History? Can We Use Internet Technology to Teach History Now, or Is It Too Soon? What Can American History Teach Us About Technology Today?
  • Click on the Image to go to site.
  • From Thomas Jefferson to Tench Coxe: Enlightenment Roots 19th Century American Art: Celebratory Images of Technology Avoiding Technological Determinism by Leaving Room of a History of Failure (From Jackson Lears to Current Focus on Entrepreneurship and Lean Startups) Image at the Right is “Men of Progress” Men of Progress, 1862, Oil on canvas by Christian Schussele In 1857, the inventor of a coal-burning stove, Jordan Mott, commissioned Christian Schussele to paint a group portrait of eighteen American scientists and inventors who "had altered the course of contemporary civilization." As with Schussele's celebration of American letters, Washington Irving . . . at Sunnyside, the group portrait did not mark an actual occasion but was designed to honor the achievements of American industry. The artist sketched study portraits of each of his subjects before putting them all into his final, formal composition. Men of Progress is a remarkable document of the growth of the American economy by the 1850s as it celebrates the inventions and processes of manufacturing pioneered by men such as Cyrus McCormick, Charles Goodyear, Samuel Colt, Samuel Morse, Elias Howe, and fourteen others. William Thomas Green Morton, James Bogardus, Samuel Colt, Cyrus Hall McCormick, Joseph Saxton, Charles Goodyear, Peter Cooper, Jordan Lawrence Mott, Joseph Henry, Eliphalet Nott, John Ericsson, Frederick Ellsworth Sickels, Samuel Finley Breese Morse, Henry Burden, Richard March Hoe, Erastus Brigham Bigelow, Isaiah Jennings, Thomas Blanchard, Elias Howe npgportraits.si.edu/eMuseumNPG/code/emuseum.asp?rawsearch...
  • (See the SHOT Website)
  • Interdisciplinary Nature of the History of Technology -- Open Dialogue Ability to See the “Long View” To Understand a Technology You Must Understand its Societal Context (Bijker and Pinch) Leavening Effect: Technologies Do Not Always “Revolutionize” the Way People Live -- Continuities vs. Discontinuities (Seeley) Political Culture Constrains Technology Transfer (Hughes) Technological Inventiveness May Not Be So Far Removed From the Humanistic Disciplines (Hindle) Ubiquity of Technology in Modern Life Image from Media:Scape Room IHC (Spring 2013)
  • Standard Periodization (MA)
  • Standard Periodization (PN)
  • Suitability of Harper’s Ferry Site: Engineering Considerations, Local Talent, Proximity to Other Resources
  • The “Hands-On” Colonial Experience with Technology: Seed Drills, Turpentine and Whiskey Stills, Grist and Saw Mills, and Clocks Emulation, Ben Franklin and the American System of Apprenticeship
  • Standard Periodization (MA)
  • Areas of emphasis from A People and A Nation.
  • Areas of emphasis from Making America.
  • Areas of emphasis from Making America.
  • Social Control and Republican Virtue/Need to Avoid England’s “Satanic Mills” and Proletariat
  • The Role of Arms Manufacture and the Armory System -- Special Purpose Machine Tools Used Sequentially to Produce Interchangeable Parts
  • Apprenticeship: How the American Environment Encouraged Inventiveness Through Emulation
  • Inventions and Patents: Cotton Gin, Steam Boat, Telegraph
  • Standard Topical Organization (MA)
  • From a People and a Nation
  • From a People and a Nation and Making America. People and a Nation takes a broader look at the period, Making of America gets into more detail.
  • 1880-1920 Evolution of Regional Power Systems in the US, England and Germany
  • The Mechanization of Comfort, Furniture for an “Informal Posture” Slaughterhouse Mechanization as “Mechanical Disassembly”: Mass Production of Animals, Refrigeration Cars, Mechanical Hog Scraping
  • Marx Points to Dialectical Relationship Between Economic and Technical Developments Early Capitalism: Expanding Markets Interact With Technology of Navigation in Colonization Later Capitalism: Capital Goods Industries Benefit From Accumulation of Capital, Make Industrialization and Factory System Possible … hence technologies move control out of the workers’ hands.
  • Standard Periodization (MA) Special Areas of Focus in Textbook Accounts From Making America Prosperity Decade (1920s) The Best of Times (1950s) From A People and a Nation American Society During the Postwar Boom, 1945-1970
  • The Model T: Ford’s Car “For the Masses” as the Fulfillment of the American System of Manufacture Ford’s Assembly Line Single-Purpose Machine that Create Interchangeable Parts Conveyor Belts Workers Dedicated to “Feeding the Machines” Limits of Ford’s Manufacturing System Maximum Production at Minimum Cost Fails to Meet Need For Variety The GM Challenge “Flexible Mass Production” Move from Model T to Model A http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_ford http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_ford_1919.jpg
  • Boss Kettering is a study in Individualism, Invention and Corporate Culture Inventions in the Early Years Electric Cash Register at National Cash Register (NCR) and Self-Starting Engine at Delco Focus on the Market, Not the Engineers Head of Research At GM Leadership in R & D in Corporate America Ex. Rubber vs. Freon (Focusing the Engineers) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Kettering http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Time-magazine-cover-charles-kettering.jpg
  • The Associative State in the 1920s and Early 1930s BPR under Thomas MacDonald State Agencies Look to Federal Government (BPR) for Advice, Engineering Studies of Materials, etc. Cooperative Effort With State Highway Associations
  • Special Issue of Technology and Culture in 2001 concentrated on the nexus of gender, class and technology. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tech/summary/v043/43.3smith.html
  • Details of Electrical Lighting The Great White Way and Artistic Portrayals of Electric Lighting Transforms Conception of the City Streetcars Private vs. Public Control of Electrical Industry Fosters Advertising, Department Stores and Amusement Parks
  • Standard Periodization (MA)
  • Could do more with The Best of Times (1950s) Suburban and Consumer Culture Family Culture Another View of Suburbia The Trouble With Kids
  • Margaret Graham ’s Consulting Firm: The Winthrop Group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CRVDisc.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videodisc
  • http://edison.rutgers.edu/
  • Simple PPT exports to slides, but one of the first to make these slides available in the 1990s. Notes on Sources: Monographs, Articles and Multimedia M.A. Reading List (Monographs) Exemplary Syllabi: Some Existing Resources Include: Syllabi, Book Reviews (H-Net), Journal Articles On-Line (T&C), Primary Source Materials (OTA Records) H-Net Interactive Teaching Resources SHOT Syllabi in the History of Technology Random Syllabi Found Via Google Search UCLA: Naomi Lamoreaux ’s “History of American Enterprise” MIT: David A. Mindell and Charles Leiserson ’s “The Structure of Engineering Revolutions” UMSL: Robert O. Keel ’s “Society and Technology
  • Click on the Image to go to site.
  • Click on the Image to go to site.
  • Carnegie Mellon University Program in Cold War Science and Technology Studies Click on the Image to go to site. Example Materials The Cold War and Beyond The Rise of Industrial Research and Development Guide to Cold War Web Sites
  • Click on the Image to go to site.
  • Stanford University History of Science and Philosophy Program http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/ Gabriela Hecht’s Sample Courses: “ Technology, Work and Culture in Comparative Perspective” “ Technology and Society” “ Technology and Culture in the 20th Century”
  • Merritt Roe Smith’s Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology John Kasson’s “The Factory as Republican Community,” “Technology and Imaginative Freedom” and “The Aesthetics of Machinery” in Civilizing the Machine (Chapters 3 and 4) Ruth Schwartz Cowan’s “The Invention of Housework” in More Work for Mother (Chapter 3)
  • David Hounshell’s “The American System in the Antebellum Period” and “The Sewing Machine and the American System of Manufactures” in From the American System to Mass Production (Chap. 1 and 2) Brooke Hindle’s Emulation and Invention Brooke Hindle and Steven Lubar’s Engines of Change Anthony Wallace’s Rockdale Judith A. McGaw’s Most Wonderful Machine
  • Thomas P. Hughes’ Networks of Power David Hounshell’s “Mass Production in the Woodworking Industries”, “”The McCormick Reaper Works” and “The Bicycle Industry” in From the American System to Mass Production (Chapters 3-5) Siegfried Giedeon’s “The Constituent Furniture of the 19th Century” and “Mechanization and Death: Meat” in Mechanization Takes Command
  • John Kasson’s “Technology and Utopia” in Civilizing the Machine (Chapter 5) Nathan Rosenberg’s “Marx as a Student of Technology” in Inside the Black Box
  • David Hounshell’s “The Ford Motor Company & The Rise of Mass Production in America” “The Limits of Fordism” and “The Ethos of Mass Production” From the American System to Mass Production (Chapters 6, 7 and 8) Stuart Leslie’s Boss Kettering Bruce E. Seeley’s Building the American Highway System See also Review of MacKenzie’s Inventing Accuracy in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
  • Claude S. Fischer’s America Calling David Nye’s Electrifying America Roslyn L. Feldberg and Evelyn Nakano Glenn’s “Technology and Work Degredation” in Machina ex dea Ruth Oldenziel’s "Boys and Their Toys” in Technology and Culture (January 1997) Donald MacKenzie’s Inventing Accuracy Margaret Graham’s RCA and the Videodisc
  • Technology and Historiography

    1. 1. Rethinking the History of American Technology A Vantage Point at the Juncture of Historiography and Lessons Learned By Michael E. Dobe, Sr. Last Updated: July 2013
    2. 2. The Craft of the Historian and the Popular Imagination
    3. 3. Questions to Address About Technology as History
    4. 4. Example of the Uses of History Winthrop Group Research On Corporate Histories
    5. 5. Does Technology Drive History? The Problematic Nature of “Progress”
    6. 6. Technology’s Storytellers And the Philosophy of History
    7. 7. What to Study and Why? Historians Who Broadened the Focus
    8. 8. What to Study and Why? Historians Who Broadened the Focus
    9. 9. What to Study and Why? Historians Who Broadened the Focus
    10. 10. How to Study the Social Construction of Technological Systems
    11. 11. Thomas P. Hughes The Evolution of Large Technological Systems
    12. 12. Technology in Today’s World
    13. 13. Beginning Chronologically European Roots & Pacey’s Maze of Ingenuity
    14. 14. Beginning Chronologically European Roots & Gimpel’s Medieval Machine
    15. 15. Colonial Technologies, 1492-1770
    16. 16. American Revolution and Early Republic, 1763-1800
    17. 17. Emergence of Republican Technology
    18. 18. Regional Interests and Military Needs
    19. 19. The Machine in the New Nation
    20. 20. Engines of Change: Resources
    21. 21. Engines of Change: Agriculture and “Farmer Artisans”
    22. 22. The American Middle Period, 1800-1865
    23. 23. Railroads, Markets, and Mills: The North and the West
    24. 24. The Transportation Revolution
    25. 25. The Mechanization of Northern Society
    26. 26. Harper’s Ferry Armory and the New Technology
    27. 27. The Factory as Republican Community
    28. 28. Housework and Industrialization
    29. 29. The American System of Manufactures
    30. 30. Emulation and Invention
    31. 31. Engines of Change
    32. 32. Rockdale: A Case Study In Early Industrialization
    33. 33. Response to Industrialization, 1865-1900
    34. 34. The Machine Age, 1877-1920 Topics in People and a Nation
    35. 35. Special Areas of Focus in Making America Textbook
    36. 36. Foundation for Industrialization (MA)
    37. 37. Railroads and Economic Growth (MA)
    38. 38. Entrepreneurs and Industrial Transformation (MA)
    39. 39. Railroads, Mining, and Agribusiness (MA)
    40. 40. The Vitality and Turmoil of Urban Life, 1877-1920 (PN)
    41. 41. The New Urban Environment (MA)
    42. 42. Agricultural Distress and Political Upheaval (MA)
    43. 43. Networks of Power Comparative International View
    44. 44. Sewing Machines, Reapers and Bicycles
    45. 45. Material Culture: Furniture and Meat Processing
    46. 46. Karl Marx and Technology
    47. 47. Twentieth Century America, 1900-1945
    48. 48. Prosperity Decade (1920s)
    49. 49. Henry Ford and Mass Production
    50. 50. Boss Kettering
    51. 51. Building the American Highway System
    52. 52. Technology and Masculinity: Boys and Their Toys
    53. 53. Social History of the Telephone
    54. 54. The Culture of Electricity
    55. 55. Twentieth Century America, 1945-Present
    56. 56. Society During the Postwar Boom, 1945-1970
    57. 57. Successful Technologies Nuclear Guidance Systems
    58. 58. Failed Technologies Videodiscs
    59. 59. Questions? Thanks to My Advisors, Dr. Robert A. Rosenberg and Dr. Paul Israel of the Thomas Edison Papers, For Their Generosity With Their Time and Knowledge. Completion of The MA Requirements Simply Would Not Have Been Possible Without Their Kindness and Understantng. Resources Consulted and Citations Included on the Following Slides
    60. 60. Textbooks Consulted in 1998: Now Kindle Print Replicas (2013) •(MA) Miller, Egerton, Berkin, Cherny, Gormly, and Woestman. Making America: A History of the United States, Brief. 6 edition. Wadsworth Publishing, 2013. •(PN) Norton, Bailey, Sheriff, Blight, Chudacoff, and Logevall. Cengage Advantage Books: A People and a Nation: A History of the United States. 9 edition. Wadsworth Publishing, 2013. •(EV) Clark, Rieser, Boyer, Kett, Hawley, Salisbury, Sitkoff, and Woloch. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Concise. 6 edition. Wadsworth Publishing, 2013.
    61. 61. Sources: P. Thomas Carroll Online Digital History Pioneer
    62. 62. H-Net Resources
    63. 63. Sources: SHOT Resources
    64. 64. Web Resources for the History of the Cold War: David Hounshell
    65. 65. Example of Museum Exhibit Engines of Change at the Smithsonian
    66. 66. Sources: Stanford University History & Philosophy of Science & Technology
    67. 67. Historiography: The Role of Interpretation Bijker, Wiebe E, Thomas Parke Hughes, and T. J Pinch. The Social Construction of Technological Systems New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987. Smith, Merritt Roe. Does Technology Drive History?: The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994. Staudenmaier, John M. Technology’s Storytellers Reweaving the Human Fabric. Cambridge, Mass: Society for the History of Technology and the MIT Press, 1985.
    68. 68. European Background For Colonial Technologies Gimpel, Jean. The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977. Pacey, Arnold. The Maze of Ingenuity: Ideas and Idealism in the Development of Technology. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992.
    69. 69. Relevant Readings: 1492-1770 Labor History & Native American History Innes, Stephen. Labor in a New Land: Economy and Society in Seventeenth-century Springfield. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1983. Malone, Patrick M. The Skulking Way of War. Madison Books, 2012. McGaw, Judith A. Early American Technology: Making and Doing Things from the Colonial Era to 1850. Chapel Hill: Published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
    70. 70. Relevant Readings: 1763-1800 Kasson, John F. Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America, 1776-1900. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. Smith, Merritt Roe. Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology the Challenge of Change. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1977. Emulation and Invention. ACLS Humanities E-Book, 2008. Hindle, Brooke, and Steven D Lubar. Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution, 1790-1860. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986.
    71. 71. Relevant Readings: 1800-1865 Cowan, Ruth. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Heart to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books, 1999. Kasson, John F. Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America, 1776-1900. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. Smith, Merritt Roe. Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology the Challenge of Change. Ithaca, N.Y: Cornell University Press, 1977. Emulation and Invention. ACLS Humanities E-Book, 2008. Hindle, Brooke, and Steven D Lubar. Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution, 1790-1860. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986.
    72. 72. More Relevant Readings: 1800-1865 Hounshell, David A, and American Council of Learned Societies. From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932 the Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. McGaw, Judith A. Most Wonderful Machine: Mechanization and Social Change in Berkshire Paper Making, 1801-1885. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1987. Wallace, Anthony F. C. The Growth of an American Village in the Early Industrial Revolution. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.
    73. 73. Relevant Readings: 1865-1900 Giedion, S, and American Council of Learned Societies. “Mechanization Takes Command,” 1948. Hounshell, David A, and American Council of Learned Societies. From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932 the Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. Hughes, Thomas Parke. Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.
    74. 74. More Relevant Readings: 1865-1900 Kasson, John F. Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America, 1776-1900. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. Rosenberg, Nathan. Inside the Black Box: Technology and Economics. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
    75. 75. Relevant Reading: 1900-Today Hounshell, David A, and American Council of Learned Societies. From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932 the Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985. Leslie, Stuart W. Boss Kettering. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983. Seely, Bruce Edsall. Building the American Highway System: Engineers as Policy Makers. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987. Fischer, Claude S. America Calling: a Social History of the Telephone to 1940. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.
    76. 76. More Relevant Readings: 1900-Today Graham, Margaret B. W. RCA and the VideoDisc: The Business of Research. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986. MacKenzie, Donald A. Inventing Accuracy: a Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993. Nye, David E. Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990. Rothschild, Joan. Machina Ex Dea: Feminist Perspectives on Technology. New York: Pergamon Press, 1983. Smith, Stephanie. “Boys and Their Toys?: Masculinity, Class, and Technology in America (review).” Technology and Culture 43, no. 3 (2002): 634–635.
    77. 77. Photo Credits (Book Covers From LibraryThing.com) Cliff. Men of Progress, August 26, 2008. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/3406981893/. “File:CRVDisc.jpg.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed July 9, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CRVDisc.jpg. “File:Henry Ford 1919.jpg.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed July 9, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_ford_1919.jpg. “File:Time-magazine-cover-charles-kettering.jpg.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Accessed July 9, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Time-magazine-cover-charles- kettering.jpg. Fleischmann, Sandy. SDIM8501 Telecosm Conference, Nicholas Carr, June 4, 2008. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann/2551295514/.

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