Publications

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

"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.

“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.

"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.

“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.

"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.

"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.

"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.

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.

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.

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.

"Eugene J. Houdry." In Dictionary of American Biography, supplement 7, 367–69. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981.

A biographical sketch of the chemical engineer renowned for his contributions to the refining of gasoline and aviation
fuels.

“Two Defenders of Wild Lands.” Environmental History 12 (April 2007): 375–77.

A discussion of two prize-winning documentaries—Kelly Duane’s Monumental: David Brower’s Fight for Wild America and Bonnie Kreps’s Arctic Dance: The Mardy Murie Story—and the contributions of film biographies to the teaching of environmental history.

"Technology, Pollution, and the Environment." with Joel A. Tarr, eds. A special theme issue of Environmental History Review 18 (Spring 1994).

A collection of essays that explore the reciprocal influences of technology and the environment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

"Industrial Technology and the American West: The Transformation of Hard Rock Mining." Midwest Review 3 (Spring 1981), 30–33.

A review essay of Mark Wyman’s book, Hard Rock Epic: Western Miners and the Industrial Revolution, 1860–1910.

“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.

"Technology and the Environment: The Historians' Challenge" with Joel A. Tarr. Environmental History Review 18 (Spring 1994): 1–7.

Reflections on the research opportunities that exist for those historians willing to analyze the interconnections between technology and the natural environment.

"M.M. O'Shaughnessy." APWA Reporter 46 (March 1979), 4–5. (Reprinted in People Making Public Works History: A Century of Progress, 1894–1994, Robert D. Bugher, 261-62. Kansas City, Mo.: American Public Works Association, 1998.)

A biographical sketch of the San Francisco engineer best known for his work on the controversial dam built in Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy valley.

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.

“Technology, Policy, and a Passion for Shad: John McPhee, The Founding Fish. Technology and Culture 45 (October 2004): 830–33.
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.

“American Chestnut Trees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.” With Stephen VanHoven. In Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2004): 66–67.
"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.

“Beach Preservation Washout.” Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy 13 (Fall 1998): 107–108.

A review essay of Orrin H. Pilkey and Katherine L. Dixon’s critique of coastal engineering and beach restoration, The Corps and the Shore.

Pages