August 2022: Technology History

History of Technological and Industrial Moments

1) “Mill Girls” and Labor Movements: Integrating Women’s History into Early Industrialization Studies, by Shelia Kirschbaum (Magazine of History, March 2005) 

  • Kirschbaum discusses how to center women in discussions of Labor Movements in surveys and Industrialization focused U.S. History courses. 

2) Working in the Digital Age: Why Information Technology May Be Re-skilling the Labor Process, by Hector Postigo (The American Historian, February 2016)

  • This article looks at how labor in the digital field has sometimes been exploited by employers due to it’s hard to define output. It also looks at strategies digital workers have used to combat unfair labor practices.

3) Hoboken is Burning: A Conversation on Gentrification, Arson, and Displacement, by Dylan Gottlieb (Process History Blog, 2019) 

  • An interview of Dylan Gottleib’s work and article in the September 2019 issue of the JAH, in which they discuss the central story in New York City that centralizes the role of market forces in dispossession and violence. 

4) “Who Remembers the Panic of 1819?” by Jessica Lepler (Process History Blog, 2019) 

  • A critical look into the panic of 1819 and the role of government and industrialization in causing recessions. 

5) Where Infrastructure Takes Us, by Zachary Callen (Process History Blog, 2017) 

  • “When we fail to look seriously at infrastructure, we are actually failing to take seriously core questions about economic development, equality, and our relationship to technology that have far reaching implications.” 

6) The End of Three Mile Island, by Natasha Zaretsky (Process History Blog, 2019) 

  • A history of atomic dangers filtered through the Three Mile Island incident. 

7) Paul Revere Recycled: How More than Two Centuries of Material Reuse Informs the Future Success and Failure of Environmental Services Industrial Society, by Carl A. Zimring (Process History Blog, 2017) 

  • A history of recycling told through its early days in the revolutionary and second world wars. 

8) Technology and the City, by Josef W. Konvitz, Mark H. Rose, and Joel A. Tarr (Magazine of History, 1990) 

  • An article on the intersection of technological history and urban history. 

9) From Sputnik to SCOT: The Historiography of American Technology, by Steven W. Usselman (Magazine of history, 2010) 

  • A ‘state of the field’ style essay about the history of Technology. 

Inventions and Film History 

1) Controversy Surrounding the “100 Best American Films,” by Peter Rollins and Jessie Lemisch (Talking History, 1998) 

2) Atomic Bomb Cinema, by Jerome Shapiro (Talking History, 2000) 

  • A talk with historian Jerome Shapiro on the use of the Atomic Bomb as the central theme for movies. Shapiro is the resident Cinema Studies scholar at Hiroshima University in Japan.

3) Film and History, by Robert Rosenstone and Jerome Shapiro (Talking history, 1999) 

4) Toys, by Gary Cross and Don Foster (Talking History, 2000)     

  • For Christmastime, a talk with professor Gary Cross of Penn State University. Cross is the author of Kids’ Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood. The program contains an op-ed by professor Don Foster about the real authorship of the poem “Visit From St. Nicholas” (a.k.a. “The Night Before Christmas”). Foster is the author of Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous.

5) Air Conditioning, by Field Nielsen and marsha Ackerman (Talking History, 2002) 

  • As many of us deal with what seems to be a never-ending string of days of scorching heat, we thank our lucky stars for air conditioning. What better time to pause and consider its history–which is what Talking History’s Fred Nielsen will do with his guest, Marsha Ackermann.

6) History of the Screw and Screwdriver, by Witold Rybczynski (Talking History, 2002) 

  • One of man’s most basic tools and perhaps one of the most significant inventions in the past 1,000 years, at least Witold Rybczynski thinks so. He is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Architecture and author of One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and Screw.

7) Reel History: Smithsonian/NEH History Film Forum Explores History on the Screen, by Christopher Wilson (Process History Blog, 2015) 

  • An article on the various benefits and shortcomings of documentaries and historical films and how the SMithsonian and NEH are working to increase access. 

8) Sands of War: Patton’s Desert Training Center on Film, by Matt Bischoff (Process History Blog, 2016) 

  • An article on the coordination for the film Sands of War that centers a push for more green energy and desert solar power. 

9) Fargo History Project, by Angela Smith (Process History Blog, 2015) 

  • Angela Smith discusses the digital history project focused on a North Dakota CIvil War Battle and a brothel operated by a black madam, in addition to other sites, that became the Fargo History Project. 

10) Eye Appeal is Buy Appeal: Business Creates the Color of Foods, by Ai Hisano (Process History Blog, 2016) 

  • An interview with Ai HIsano about their book on the changing color of food and how the food industry invented the ‘natural’ color of foods. 

Minority Voices in STEM 

1) Beyond Amelia Earhart: Teaching about the History of Women Aviators, by Amy Sue Bix (Magazine of History, July 2010) 

  • A case for expanding discussions of women in technology beyond the big names – especially women in aviation. 

2) Flipping the Narrative on MOOCs in the Nation’s Largest University System, by Christopher Endy and Bridget Ford (Process History Blog, 2016) 

  • A discussion of the unequal access of massive open online courses in the California State University system. 

3) How We Get Our Daily Bread, Or The History of Domestic Technology Revealed, by Ruth Schwaitz Cowan, (Magazine of History, 1998) 

  • An essay on how the history of technology is entirely too masculine and ought to include more domestic technology history and voices from in the home. 

4) Teaching about Technology and African American History, by Bruce Sinclair (Magazine of History, 1998) 

  • An article arguing for more discussion of Race in the History of Technology. 

5) What Does an Engineer Look Like? Women Engineers and the Movement for Social Change, by Laura Micheletti Puaca (The American Historian, February 2016)

  • An article detailing the history of women engineers and scientists.


Exclusively Teaching Resources

1) Holding History: Teaching with Technological Artifacts, by Jeff Schramm (Magazine of History, 2010) 

  • Teaching resources for teaching several key moments in the history of technology. 

2) Technology, the Potomac Canal, and National Unity, by Clair W. Keller (Magazine of History, 1989) 

  • A lesson plan for teaching the relationship between the technology of canal building and river navigation, and the movement toward national unity. 

3) History of Science and Technology: AN ERIC/ChESS Sample, by Matthew Paris (Magazine of history, 1998) 

  • An index of ERIC/ChESS resources for teaching the history of science and technology. 

4) Teaching a Broader View of Technology, by Carroll Pursell (Magazine of History, 1998) 

  • An article on  how to expand the teaching of the history of technology. 

5) The Vindex Special: Learning about Technology through Advertising, by Susan Smulyan, Carlita Kosty, and Shiela Brennan (Magazine of History, 1998) 

  • A lesson plan for teaching about the history of technology through primary source advertisements. 

6) Science/Technology/Society in the Social Studies, by Phillip A. Health (Magazine of History, 1989)

  • Educational Resources for teaching about science and technology in elementary and secondary schools. 

7) Handling History: Using material Culture to Create New Perspectives on the Role of Technology in Society, by Edward Jay Pershey (Magazine of History, 1998) 

  • An article arguing for more artifact analysis in the study of the history of technology. 

8) New Forms of History: Critiquing Data and Its Representations, by Frederick W. Gibbs (The American Historian, 2016)

  • An article that argues for the importance of making the visual representation of data clear and cogent.