Publications

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

"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.

"Schreib- und Rechenmaschinenschätze der Smithsonian Institution." Translation by Hartmut Keil. Historische Bürowelt 10 (July 1985): 7–10.

Survey of historically significant typewriters and calculators in Smithsonian collections for a German audience.

"Before Standard Time: Distributing Time in 19th-Century America." Vistas in Astronomy 28 (July 1985): 113–118.

Brief survey of time signals distributed by telegraph, with special emphasis on the Harvard College Observatory.

Inventing Standard Time. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American History, 1983.

Booklet that accompanied a temporary NMAH exhibition of the same name.

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.

“Evidence of Technology’s Past: The Collections of the National Museum of American History” with John Fleckner. In Clio in Museum Garb: The National Museum of American History, the Science Museum and the History of Technology. London: Science Museum Papers in the History of Technology, 1997.

Essay on the relationship of object and archival collections at the Smithsonian Institution, with special emphasis on recent collecting.

“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.

“Science and its Stakeholders: The Making of ‘Science in American Life,’” with Arthur Molella. Athlone 6 (Exploring Science Museums 1996): 95–106.

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.”

“Naturwissenschaftliche Bilding ist Kein Luxus: Die Austellung ‘Science in American Life’ in Washington.” with Arthur Molella. Translation by Andrea Lucas. Kultur & Technik 4 (1995): 51ff.

Key themes and objects in NMAH exhibition Science in American Life for a German audience.

"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.

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.

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.
“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.

Congressional Hearings on Science and Technology Issues: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Suggested Improvements with Marcel C. LaFollette. Background report prepared for the Committee on Science, Technology, and Congress. New York: Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, 1990.

Examines the various ways in which the U.S. Congress has used hearings to receive, question, and debate scientific and technical information.

“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.

"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.

“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.

"Fulfilling the Science and Technology Advisory Needs of Congress." In Science and Technology Advice to the President, Congress, and Judiciary, edited by in William T. Golden, 443–46. New York: Pergamon Press, 1988.

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.

“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.

A History of Science Policy in the United States, 1940–1985. Background Report No. 1, prepared for the Task Force on Science Policy of the House Committee on Science and Technology. 99th Cong., 2d sess., 1986.

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.

“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.

"Government Funding of Scientific Instrumentation: A Review of U.S. Policy Debates since World War II," with Gregory A. Good. Science, Technology, & Human Values 11 (Summer 1986): 34–46.

A history of the evolving instrumentation needs of science and the various programs proposed and/or put in place by the federal government to help meet those needs.

“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.

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