Publications

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

"The Authority of History: The Changing Public Face of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography CXIV (1990), pp. 37–66.
“Revolutionary Consent,” The Boston Review, 29 (Feb/Mar 2004), pp. 20–25.
After the Revolution: The Smithsonian History of Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century (New York: Pantheon Press, 1985).
Museum Review, the Yorktown Victory Center, William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd Ser., Vol. 54, No. 2. (Apr. 1997), pp. 440–442.
Response to Nathan Huggins, "The Deforming Mirror of Truth: Slavery and the Master Narrative of American History," Radical History Review 49 (Winter 1991), pp. 56–59.
Review of “We the People: Creating a New Nation, 1765-1820,” Chicago Historical Society exhibition, The Journal of American History, Vol. 76, No. 1. (Jun. 1989), pp. 198–202.
"Sports Innovator Howard Head" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, September 8, 2020.

The engineer behind Head skis and Prince tennis rackets revolutionized both sports.

"The Devil is in the Details: Researching an Inventor's Biography" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, November 16, 2016.

The quest to confirm biographical details about the life and work of radar researcher and microwave oven inventor Percy Spencer.

"Spencer, Percy LeBaron." In American National Biography, April  26, 2018.

Online biographical profile of inventor Percy Spencer (1894-1970), who is best known for his discovery of microwave cooking but also earned the US Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his magnetron research at Raytheon.

"Disaster Board Games" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, April 9, 2020.

Board game inventions can help us cope with crises like Covid-19.

"The Summer Olympics Starring Scientists and Engineers" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, August 11, 2016.

The unsung heroes behind the 2016 Summer Olympics are the scientists and engineers whose inventions and innovations help these athletes strive toward the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

"How Do We Know Exactly When the New Year Begins?" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, December 30, 2019.

Appreciating the invention of standardized time zones as the calendar turns to 2020.

"Exploring Sports and Innovation at the Lemelson Center" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, June 9, 2016.

 

“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” This often paraphrased quote inspired me to think about the “how” in terms of sports and innovation.

"Inspirational 'Innovative Lives'" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, August 13, 2019.

Celebrating twenty-four years—and counting—of highlighting diverse inventors and innovators in the Lemelson Center’s “Innovative Lives” program series.

"The Electric Guitar: How We Got From Andres Segovia to Kurt Cobain." American Heritage of Invention and Technology 20, no. 1 (summer 2004): 12–21.

The magazine's cover article about the invention and development of the electric guitar and how it changed the world of music during the 20th century. Features guitarists, makers, and innovators who played important roles in the evolution of the instrument and helped influence popular music styles including rock and roll. Reprinted iRegional Cultures in American Rock 'N' Roll: An Anthology, edited by David Stuart and Scott Anderson (2011).

"Human Computation Pioneer Luis von Ahn" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, April 3, 2019.

Meet Guatemalan-born Luis von Ahn, winner of the 2018 Lemelson-MIT Prize honoring world-changing inventors!

“Medical Alley, Minnesota (1950s): Tight-Knit Community of Tinkerers Keeps Hearts Ticking.” In Places of Invention, edited by Arthur P. Molella and Anna Karvellas, 86-109, Washington, DC Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2015.

Places of Invention tells the stories of people who lived, worked, played, collaborated, adapted, took risks, solved problems, and sometimes failed--all in the pursuit of something new. It dispels the myth of the lone inventor and shows that invention and innovation abound--not just in the Silicon Valleys of America but in hometowns across the country.

"Lost Histories of African American Inventors" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, February 2, 2018.

In a book written especially for kids, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shares fascinating stories you probably don't know about 16 historical and contemporary African American inventors.

"Game Changers Inventor Spotlight: Tahira Reid Smith" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, http://invention.si.edu/blog, February 18, 2021.

Engineering professor Dr. Tahira Reid Smith has been inventive since childhood and is best known for her automated double-Dutch jump rope machine.

"Meet Lonnie Johnson, the Man Behind the Super Soaker" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, January 26, 2017.

Get to know engineer Lonnie Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Research and Development Co., who invented the wildly-popular Super Soaker water gun, worked on high-performance Nerf dart guns, and focuses today on inventions related to clean energy.

"Irons," "Stoves," and "Washing Machines." In Facts on File Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Society, edited by Rudi Volti. New York: Facts on File, 1999.

Entries in specialized science and technology encyclopedia about the invention and development of irons, stoves, and washing machines in America, with links to other inventions featured in the publication.

Journal of Museum Education Co-published by the Museum Education Roundtable and Left Coast Press.

Monica Smith served as the Editor in Chief of  the Journal of Museum Education from 2005 to 2008.

"Inspiring Inventor: Stephanie Kwolek (1923-2014)" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, June 24, 2014.

Monica Smith pays homage to Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of Kevlar® and a great friend to the Lemelson Center, who passed away in 2014.

"Invention at Play: An Award-winning Traveling Exhibition" In Museums at Play: Games, Interaction and Learning, edited by Katy Beale, 440-58. Edinburgh, Scotland: MuseumsEtc., 2011.

This chapter examines how the Lemelson Center's first major exhibition evolved into an exhibition focused on play, and the research, implementation, and evaluation processes along the way, to hopefully provide inspiration for future play-related museum initiatives.

"Who Invented Labor Day?" From the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center Blog Series, https://invention.si.edu/blog, August 30, 2013.

Labor Day is "dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers." But who invented the holiday?

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