American Technology / Edition 1

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Carroll Pursell continues his groundbreaking venture into thesocial history of technology. His selection of essays for AmericanTechnology will challenge conventional technological enthusiasm andstimulate constructive controversy." Thomas P. Hughes,author of American Genesis and Rescuing Prometheus

"This is a wonderful supplementary text for courses in Americanhistory that focus on technological, economic, and social change."Ruth Schwartz Cowan, State University of New York atStony Brook

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Product Details

Meet 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).

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface.


1. Introduction.

"So Much Depends Upon a Red Wheelbarrow: Agricultural ToolOwnership in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic": Judith A.McGaw.

Document: Selections from American Colonial Wealth: Documentsand Methods: Alice Hanson Jones.

Further Reading.

2. Introduction.

Dam-Breaking in the 19th-Century Merrimack Valley: Water, SocialConflict, and the Waltham-Lowell Mills: Theodore L. Steinberg.

Documents A: Winnipissiogee Lake Company v. Worster.

Document B: Great Falls Manufacturing Company v.Worster.

Further Reading.

3. Introduction.

Working Environments: An Ecological Approach to IndustrialHealth and Safety: Arthur F. McEvoy.

Document A: Nicholas Farwell vs. The Boston and Worster RailRoad Corporation.

Document B: Edison L. Bowers, Is It Safe to Work? A Study ofIndustrial Accidents.

Document C: Edward J. Beshada et al. V. Johns-ManvilleProducts Corporation.

Further Reading.

4. Introduction.

Socially Camouflaged Technologies: The Case of theElectromechanical 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 RubbingApparatus.".

Document B: M[ary] L.H. Arnold Snow, Mechanical Vibration andIts Therapeutic Application.

Document C: Moble M. Eberhart, A Brief Guide to VibratoryTechnique.

Document D: A. Dale Covey, Profitable OfficeSpecialtie.

Document E: "Enjoy Life!", as for White Cross Vibrator.

Further Reading.

5. Introduction.

Local History and National Culture: Notions on EngineeringProfessionalism in America: Bruce Sinclair.

Document A: J.A.L. Waddell, "Some Notes on VocationalGuidance".

Document B: J.P.H. Perry, "New York Engineers' SuccessfulEfforts to Relieve Unemployment".

Further Reading.

6. Introduction.

Out of the Barns and into the Kitchens: Transformations in FarmWomen's Work in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: ChristineKleinegger.

Document A: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Social and LaborNeeds of Farm Women, Report No. 1903.

Document B: Guy E. Tripp, Electric Development as an Aid toAgriculture.

Document C: Newell Leroy Sims, Elements of Rural Sociology.

Further Reading.

7. Introduction.

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, Committeeon Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy Conservation andPower.

Further Reading.

8. Introduction.

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.

Further Reading.

9. Introduction.

The Rise and Fall of the Appropriate Technology Movement in theUnited States, 1965-1985: Carroll Pursell.

Documents A: Harry S. Truman, "Technical Assistance for theUnderdeveloped Areas of the World".

Document B: State of California, Press Release, "Office ofAppropriate Technology: Purpose, Organization, and Activities,"June, 1976.

Document C: State of California, logo of Office of AppropriateTechnology.

Document D: U.S. Department of Energy, National Center forAppropriate Technology, "An Introduction and a History".

Document E: Allen L. Hammond and William D. Metz, "Solar EnergyResearch: Making Solar After the Nuclear Model?".

Further Reading.

10. Introduction.

Hacking Away at the Counterculture: Andrew Ross.

Further Reading.


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