Publications

The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.

“Naturwissenschaftliche Bilding ist Kein Luxus: Die Austellung ‘Science in American Life’ in Washington.” with Arthur Molella. Translation by Andrea Lucas. Kultur & Technik 4 (1995): 51ff.

Key themes and objects in NMAH exhibition Science in American Life for a German audience.

"Videohistory at Waltham Clock Company, Waltham, Massachusetts: An Evaluation." In Terri Schorzman, ed., The Smithsonian Videohistory Project: A Handbook, 1993.

Essay on the experience and utility of recording operating machinery and employee interviews for documenting technical, nonverbal thinking.

On Time: How America Has Learned to Live by the Clock. Boston: The Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown, 2002.

Book that accompanies the NMAH exhibition of the same title.

American Clocks with Otto Mayr. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American History, 1990.

Highlights booklet containing photos and descriptions of twenty of the most interesting clocks in the collections of the Smithsonian.

“Revolution on Your Wrist,” with Maggie Dennis and Amanda Dillon. Increase and Diffusion Web site. 1997.

Web site article exploring the shift from pocket watches to wristwatches in the early 20th century, and the subsequent shift to electronic timekeeping in the 1970s.

"Astronomy as Public Utility: the Bond Years at the Harvard College Observatory." Journal of the History of Astronomy 21(1990): 21-36. Reprinted in Owen Gingerich and Michael Hoskins, Two Astronomical Anniversaries: HCO & SAO (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 1990), pp. 21–36.

Article about the period between 1839 and 1865, when the observatory provided the U.S. federal government with observations for determining basic latitudes and longitudes and offered the local community a time service.

"The U.S. Topographical Engineers and Their Scientific Instruments: A Research Opportunity." Rittenhouse 4 (February 1990): 61–63.

Research note describing records at the U.S. National Archives rich in information about the use of instruments during the mid 19th-century.

"Clockwork History: Monumental Clocks and the Depiction of the American Past, 1875–1900" with O'Malley, Michael. Bulletin of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors 32 (February 1990): 3–15.

Describes the 19th-century phenomenon of very large clocks depicting scenes from American history, with special emphasis on one in NMAH’s collections.

"The Impact of the Telegraph on Public Time in the United States, 1844–1893.” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 8 (March 1989): 4–10.

Describes the use of the telegraph and development of special technologies for sending time signals for commercial, industrial and community purposes.

"Partners in Time: William Bond & Son of Boston and the Harvard College Observatory." Harvard Library Bulletin 35 (Fall 1987): 351–384.

Outlines the interlocking interests of a Boston watch and clock firm with the Harvard College Observatory in the mid-19th century.

“Engineering Time: Inventing the Electronic Watch” with Maggie Dennis. British Journal for the History of Science (2000): 477–497. The article has also been published in translation in the Journal of the Horological Institute of Japan, thanks to the efforts of Kouji Kubota at the Seiko Institute of Horology.

History of the earliest quartz watches made in Switzerland, Japan and the United States. The full text of this article has been posted on the Web site of the IEEE’s UFFC Society.

"The Most Reliable Time': William Bond, the New England Railroads, and Time Awareness in 19th-Century America." Technology & Culture 30 (January 1989): 1–24.

Describes the growth of a time service and a standard time for New England in the mid-19th century in response to the needs of regional railroads and the availability of reliable time from the Harvard College Observatory.

“From Little Machines to Big Themes: Clocks, Watches and Time at the National Museum of American History.” Material History Review (Fall 2000): 44–58.

Essay on the history of collecting and exhibiting timepieces at the Smithsonian Institution.

"A Place for Public Business: The Material Culture of the Nineteenth-Century Federal Office” with Steven Lubar. Business and Economic History, Second Series, 15 (1986): 159–173.

Describes office furnishings and machines developed in response to the growing needs of an expanding federal bureaucracy.

"Schreib- und Rechenmaschinenschätze der Smithsonian Institution." Translation by Hartmut Keil. Historische Bürowelt 10 (July 1985): 7–10.

Survey of historically significant typewriters and calculators in Smithsonian collections for a German audience.

"Before Standard Time: Distributing Time in 19th-Century America." Vistas in Astronomy 28 (July 1985): 113–118.

Brief survey of time signals distributed by telegraph, with special emphasis on the Harvard College Observatory.

Inventing Standard Time. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American History, 1983.

Booklet that accompanied a temporary NMAH exhibition of the same name.

“Evidence of Technology’s Past: The Collections of the National Museum of American History” with John Fleckner. In Clio in Museum Garb: The National Museum of American History, the Science Museum and the History of Technology. London: Science Museum Papers in the History of Technology, 1997.

Essay on the relationship of object and archival collections at the Smithsonian Institution, with special emphasis on recent collecting.

Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans. With W. John Kress, eds. Washington: Smithsonian Books, 2017.
“Public History and the Environment.” In The Oxford Handbook of Public History, edited by James B. Gardner and Paula Hamilton, 190–206. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
America's Forested Wetlands: From Wasteland to Valued Resource. Durham, N.C.: Forest History Society, 2008.

A history of society's changing perceptions, values, actions, and laws pertaining to wetland environments in the United States.

"Carmen E. Turner." APWA Reporter 60 (February 1993): 26–27. (Reprinted in People Making Public Works History: A Century of Progress, 1894–1994, edited by Robert D. Bugher, 336-37. Kansas City, Mo.: American Public Works Association, 1998.)

A biographical sketch of the first woman to manage a major transit system in the United States. Turner headed the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority from 1983 to 1990.

Going Underground: Tunneling Past, Present, and Future with Howard Rosen, eds. Kansas City, Mo.: American Public Works Association, 1998.

A collection of essays addressing the history of tunnels and tunneling from ancient times to the present, including discussions of the politics and construction of the Channel Tunnel and the ill-fated Super-conducting Super Collider. This richly illustrated volume also includes a detailed account of the Smithsonian’s Tunnels! exhibition.

“APWA: Using History to Advance Appreciation of Public Works.” APWA Reporter 79 (June 2012): 86-87.

Reflections on how popular opinions about the appropriate role of public enterprises have devolved since the founding of the American Public Works Association in 1937, and how historical inquiry can contribute to society’s understanding of this trend and its consequences.

"Scientific Instrumentation as an Element of U.S. Science Policy: National Science Foundation Support of Chemistry Instrumentation." In Invisible Connections: Instruments, Institutions, and Science, edited by Robert Bud and Susan E. Cozzens, 238–63. Bellingham, Wash.: SPIE Optical Engineering Press, 1992.

A history of the U.S. government’s support of chemistry instrumentation, 1950–1990.

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