Publications

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

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.

"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.

“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.

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.

"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.

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.

"Bibliography of Historical Studies Covering Federal Research Agencies since 1945." In Bibliography of Studies and Reports on Science Policy and Related Topics, 1945–1985, Background Report No. 2—Part A, 217-21, prepared for the Task Force on Science Policy of the House Committee on Science and Technology. 99th Cong., 2d sess., 1986.

A compilation of works addressing the history of U.S. federal agency efforts to advance scientific research since World War II.

"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.

"United States Army Corps of Engineers." In Government Agencies, Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions, edited by Donald R. Whitnah, 513–16. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1983.

A brief history of the world’s largest engineering organization and how its missions have evolved in accord with shifting public values.

“Natural Resources and Environmental Policy.” In The Reagan Presidency: Pragmatic Conservatism and Its Legacies, edited by W. Elliot Brownlee and Hugh Davis Graham, 233–56. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003.

A historical assessment of President Ronald Reagan’s environmental record.

“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.

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.

“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.

"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.

“Placing Environmental History on Display.” Environmental History 7 (October 2002): 566–88.

Discusses how and why environmental history should be integrated into exhibitions developed at both cultural and scientific institutions. The essay is a revised version of the author’s presidential address before the American Society for Environmental History.

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.

"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.

“The Green House.” Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy 15 (Fall 2000): 113–14.

A review essay of Dennis L. Soden’s edited book, The Environmental Presidency, which deals with the changing attitudes and actions toward natural resources among America’s chief executives.

"Regulating Wetlands in the 1970s: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Organizations." Journal of Forest History 27 (April 1983): 60–75.

A history of how the federal government came to regulate the destruction of wetlands in the United States and the unsuccessful efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restrict the new police responsibilities entrusted to it. Recipient of the Forest History Society’s 1984 Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Award.

"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.

Pages