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.

"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.

“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.

"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.

“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.

"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 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.

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.

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.

“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.

“Me, Myself and Infrastructure: Private Lives and Public Works in America, at the National Building Museum, Washington, D. C.” Technology and Culture 44 (October 2003): 778–85.

An evaluation of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ sesquicentennial exhibition, which explores the profound—and frequently unappreciated—contributions of public works to the functioning of modern society.

Twenty Years of Science in the Public Interest: A History of the Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship Program. Washington: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1994.

Examines the combined efforts of the nation’s leading scientific and engineering societies to provide technically trained staff to the U.S. Congress and its support agencies.

"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.

"The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Evolution of Cultural Resources Management." The Public Historian 14 (Spring 1992): 7–30.

Traces the changes in the documentation and preservation of cultural heritage sites as influenced by the cultural resources management strategies employed during the construction of the nation’s largest water project in the 1970s and 1980s. Recipient of the National Council on Public History’s 1993 G. Wesley Johnson Prize.

A History of Science Policy in the United States, 1940–1985. Background Report No. 1, prepared for the Task Force on Science Policy of the House Committee on Science and Technology. 99th Cong., 2d sess., 1986.

An examination of the policy issues and debates that shaped the relationship between government and science in the United States since 1940. Special attention is paid to the evolution of science policy planning mechanisms, along with the ongoing development of Executive agency science programs and the periodic attempts to coordinate the nation’s overall research efforts.

"Russell G. Cone." In Dictionary of American Biography, supplement 7, 135–36. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981.

A biographical sketch of the civil engineer involved in the design and construction of several major suspension bridges in the United States, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Nelson P. Lewis and the City Efficient: The Municipal Engineer in City Planning during the Progressive Era. Essays in Public Works History, no. 11. Chicago: Public Works Historical Society, 1981.

A biography of the New York City engineer who championed the contributions of engineers to city planning during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

“American Chestnut Trees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.” With Stephen VanHoven. In Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2004): 66–67.
“George Washington Goethals.” In American National Biography, vol. 9, 163–65. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

A biographical sketch of the civil engineer best known for his work on the Panama Canal.

Mixing the Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Akron, Ohio: The University of Akron Press, 1993.

This history of the largest and most controversial water project ever built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers interweaves analyses of changing environmental values, engineering, and pork-barrel politics. Recipient of the Public Works Historical Society’s 1994 Abel Wolman Award and the 1995 Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.

"Environmental Policy during the Carter Presidency." In The Carter Presidency: Policy Choices in the Post-New Deal Era, edited by Gary M. Fink and Hugh Davis Graham, 179–201. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

A historical assessment of President Jimmy Carter’s environmental record. Recipient of the Society for History in the Federal Govern-ment’s 1999 Charles Thomson Prize.

Congressional Hearings on Science and Technology Issues: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Suggested Improvements with Marcel C. LaFollette. Background report prepared for the Committee on Science, Technology, and Congress. New York: Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, 1990.

Examines the various ways in which the U.S. Congress has used hearings to receive, question, and debate scientific and technical information.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Issues in the Twentieth Century: A Bibliography. with Michael C. Robinson, eds. Environmental History Series. Washington: GPO, 1984.

A compilation of books, articles, government reports, newspaper stories, and unpublished items that address the environmental implications of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works and regulatory activities.

"Professionalism vs. Special Interest: The Debate over Engineering Education in Nineteenth Century America." Potomac Review 26–27 (1984–1985): 72–94.

A study of how engineering changed from a craft-oriented occupation to a professional occupation in the United States during the nineteenth century.

“Epilogue.” In Echoes from the Poisoned Well: Global Memories of Environmental Injustice, edited by Sylvia Hood Washington, Paul C. Rosier, and Heather Goodall, 409–10. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.

Reflections on the expansion and internationalization of environmental justice as a field of study.

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