The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.
Research note describing records at the U.S. National Archives rich in information about the use of instruments during the mid 19th-century.
Describes the 19th-century phenomenon of very large clocks depicting scenes from American history, with special emphasis on one in NMAH’s collections.
Describes the use of the telegraph and development of special technologies for sending time signals for commercial, industrial and community purposes.
Outlines the interlocking interests of a Boston watch and clock firm with the Harvard College Observatory in the mid-19th century.
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.
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.
Essay on the history of collecting and exhibiting timepieces at the Smithsonian Institution.
Book that accompanies the NMAH exhibition of the same title.
Describes office furnishings and machines developed in response to the growing needs of an expanding federal bureaucracy.
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.
Survey of historically significant typewriters and calculators in Smithsonian collections for a German audience.
Brief survey of time signals distributed by telegraph, with special emphasis on the Harvard College Observatory.
Booklet that accompanied a temporary NMAH exhibition of the same name.
Essay on the relationship of object and archival collections at the Smithsonian Institution, with special emphasis on recent collecting.
Essay on the battles involved in presenting the history of science in an exhibition at the National Museum of American History during the “culture wars.”
Key themes and objects in NMAH exhibition Science in American Life for a German audience.
Essay on the experience and utility of recording operating machinery and employee interviews for documenting technical, nonverbal thinking.
Highlights booklet containing photos and descriptions of twenty of the most interesting clocks in the collections of the Smithsonian.
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.
A history of society's changing perceptions, values, actions, and laws pertaining to wetland environments in the United States.
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.
A historical overview of the U.S. Congress’s growing dependency on scientific and technical advice, and the methods by which it has sought to obtain reliable, independent information.
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.
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.