Publications

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

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.

"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.

“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.

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.

“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.

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.

“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.

"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.

“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.

“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.

"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.

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.

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.

"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.

"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.

Pages