Synopses & Reviews
is a collection of ten key essays selected from the latest historical scholarship. The coverage ranges from the colonial period to the modern day with the essays exploring major technological themes including agricultural tool ownership, working environments, the engineering profession, and the intersection of race and gender in technology debates.
Each chapter contains an introduction by the editor, a major article, and supporting primary documents that provide vivid images and testimony from the historical events covered in the articles. Also included are a general opening essay on the field by the editor, and further reading lists, making this an ideal resource for students of the social and cultural history of American technology.
"Carroll Pursell continues his groundbreaking venture into the social history of technology. His selection of essays for American Technology will challenge conventional technological enthusiasm and stimulate constructive controversy." Thomas P. Hughes, author of American Genesis and Rescuing Prometheus
"This is a wonderful supplementary text for courses in American history that focus on technological, economic, and social change." Ruth Schwartz Cowan, State University of New York at Stony Brook
American Technology brings together ten fascinating and important stories of the ways in which Americans, from colonial times to the present, have embraced, rejected, interacted with, and understood the technologies with which they have lived and worked. Topics include the colonial home, the shop floor, the doctor's office, and the telephone exchange, as well as New England mill-sites, nuclear power, and the Internet. Each scholarly account is accompanied by primary documents and a list of further readings.
About the Author
Carroll Pursell is Adeline Barry Davee Professor and Chair of the History Department at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of White Heat: People and Technology (1994) and The Machine in America: A Social History of Technology (1995), and the editor of Technology in America: A History of Individuals and Ideas (second edition, 1990).
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Preface.
"So Much Depends Upon a Red Wheelbarrow: Agricultural Tool Ownership in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic": Judith A. McGaw.
Document: Selections from American Colonial Wealth: Documents and Methods: Alice Hanson Jones.
Dam-Breaking in the 19th-Century Merrimack Valley: Water, Social Conflict, and the Waltham-Lowell Mills: Theodore L. Steinberg.
Documents A: Winnipissiogee Lake Company v. Worster.
Document B: Great Falls Manufacturing Company v. Worster.
Working Environments: An Ecological Approach to Industrial Health and Safety: Arthur F. McEvoy.
Document A: Nicholas Farwell vs. The Boston and Worster Rail Road Corporation.
Document B: Edison L. Bowers, Is It Safe to Work? A Study of Industrial Accidents.
Document C: Edward J. Beshada et al. V. Johns-Manville Products Corporation.
Socially Camouflaged Technologies: The Case of the Electromechanical Vibrator: Rachel Maines.
Documents A: U.S. Patent No. 175,202, dated March 21, 1876, granted to George H. Taylor for an "Improvement in Medical Rubbing Apparatus.".
Document B: M[ary] L.H. Arnold Snow, Mechanical Vibration and Its Therapeutic Application.
Document C: Moble M. Eberhart, A Brief Guide to Vibratory Technique.
Document D: A. Dale Covey, Profitable Office Specialtie.
Document E: "Enjoy Life!", as for White Cross Vibrator.
Local History and National Culture: Notions on Engineering Professionalism in America: Bruce Sinclair.
Document A: J.A.L. Waddell, "Some Notes on Vocational Guidance".
Document B: J.P.H. Perry, "New York Engineers' Successful Efforts to Relieve Unemployment".
Out of the Barns and into the Kitchens: Transformations in Farm Women's Work in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: Christine Kleinegger.
Document A: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Social and Labor Needs of Farm Women, Report No. 1903.
Document B: Guy E. Tripp, Electric Development as an Aid to Agriculture.
Document C: Newell Leroy Sims, Elements of Rural Sociology.
Advertising the Atom: Michael Smith.
Document A: U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Atomic Power Development and Private Enterprise.
Document B: U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Environmental Effects of Producing Electric Power, Hearings.
Document C: U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power.
Race and Technology: African American Women in the Bell System, 1945-1980: Venus Green.
Documents A: Cover, The Telephone Review.
Document B: Table 8-1.
The Rise and Fall of the Appropriate Technology Movement in the United States, 1965-1985: Carroll Pursell.
Documents A: Harry S. Truman, "Technical Assistance for the Underdeveloped Areas of the World".
Document B: State of California, Press Release, "Office of Appropriate Technology: Purpose, Organization, and Activities," June, 1976.
Document C: State of California, logo of Office of Appropriate Technology.
Document D: U.S. Department of Energy, National Center for Appropriate Technology, "An Introduction and a History".
Document E: Allen L. Hammond and William D. Metz, "Solar Energy Research: Making Solar After the Nuclear Model?".
Hacking Away at the Counterculture: Andrew Ross.