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.

“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.

"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.

“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.

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.

Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans. With W. John Kress, eds. Washington: Smithsonian Books, 2017.
“Public History and the Environment.” In The Oxford Handbook of Public History, edited by James B. Gardner and Paula Hamilton, 190–206. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
"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.

Technology and Choice: Readings from Technology and Culture with Marcel C. LaFollette, eds. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991.

A collection of essays providing a spectrum of historical perspectives on how, when, or why individuals, societies, governments, and industries have made choices regarding the use of technologies. The essays offer historical accounts, some recent and some from several centuries ago, of the invention, dissemination, adoption, or rejection of technologies that range in complexity from electrical plugs to nuclear power plants.

"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.

"John Lucian Savage." In Dictionary of American Biography, supplement 8, 572–73. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988.

A biographical sketch of the prominent U.S. Bureau of Reclamation engineer who designed scores of high dams in the American West, including the record-setting Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.

“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.

"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.

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.

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.

"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, 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.

"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.

"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.

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