A detailed discussion of experimental and theoretical work, based on Ph.D. dissertation.
The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.
By measuremnt and analysis of published accounts it is possible to determine the voltage levels of these machines and (by measuremnets on Leyden jars) their energy output.
A look at how practice was determined (or not determined) by the design of the instruments.
A history of submarine telegraphy with emphasis on the period from the 1850s to the 1950s, including speculation about what people in the 1860s might reasonably have projected the impact of the cables to be.
This is an anlaysis of the symbolic use of the incandescent lamp in religious writings, cartoons, art (including Picasso's Guernica).
There are over 1500 entries in this international survey, with author and subject indexes.
Edison was supported in his work at Menlo Park by a number of assistants. This is an analysis of their backgrounds and their reasons for coming and leaving.
These are short, pointed essays in a book that provides a definitive account of Edison's invention.
A discussion of the history of these museums, followed by a bibliography (partially annotated).
Comments on ways that private collections have affected the development of public institutions.
Experiments with Bell's instruments (and reproductions of them), combined with remarks made in his notebooks, provide fresh insights into the origins of his invention.
A discussion of how and why exhibitions at technical museums have increasingly had the potential to be controversial.
Word analysis is used to speculate on where Franklin got some of his ideas.
There are several essays on the history of electronics, with an emphasis on the importance of loking at objects. There is also a section on museums with electrical collections.
Discusses the role of archival records, especially audio-visual materials, in such popular business history forms as exhibitions, licensed product reproductions, and print publications.
Greeting cards are associated with gift exchange and sentimentality while simultaneously belonging to a vast consumer industry.
Information and communications technologies have transformed the archival enterprise, changing the way we work and our relationship with the wider society. Access to archives has increased immeasurably and spurred demand for use of archives. At the same time, in a painful irony, public support for archival work is under attack. Archivists must continue to assert the case for archives in our larger civic life.
Comments on eight papers that examine issues in the acquisition of artifacts and archival materials by museums and archives. Urges attention to the social and civic role of our institutions and their holdings.
A close examination of the origins of the ammonia beam maser within the military-sponsored Columbia Radiation Laboratory in the early 1950s, together with an examination of the term ‘gadget’ in the parlance of American physicists of that era as indicative of the uneasy relation between their disciplinary self-image and their laboratory practice.
An essay review of A. Megill, ed., Rethinking objectivity (1994); J. Appleby, L. Hunt, and M. Jacob, Telling the truth about history (1994); S. Shapin, A social history of truth (1994);T. Porter, Trust in numbers (1995). It makes the point that as challenges to belief in truth and in objectivity have escaped from academic discussion, becoming axioms of popular culture, many scholars who previously contributed to undermining that belief are becoming alarmed at the consequences of wholesale voluntarism.
A critical examination of the concepts and assumptions regarding radiation fields and their interaction with matter underlying the invention of the ammonia beam maser by Charles Townes and his collaborators at Columbia University in the early 1950s, emphasizing particularly that the merits of the device as ‘atomic clock’ were not anticipated, and that until it actually worked the maser was not a priority project in Townes laboratory.
An overview of the exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ Dibner Gallery in the Museum, August 1993 to May 1994. The last exhibition to be curated by Ellen Wells, it traced the history of tunneling technology, from antiquity to the present, with particular emphasis on the 19th century.
Consideration of the signal/noise ratio became widespread, indeed mandatory, in physical research only in the years following World War II, largely as a result of analyses and techniques developed to detect a ‘real’ signal in the noisy output of a radar receiver. "Lock-in detection,” most influentially embodied in R. H. Dicke’s microwave radiometer, 1943, is a procedure for noise reduction through subtraction of inputs followed by frequency specific amplification and detection.