PhD, History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, 2010
MA, History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, 2005
BS, Aerospace Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 1996

Eric S. Hintz is a historian with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. He develops exhibitions and public programs; coordinates the Center’s fellowship and grant programs; and assists in the collection of historically significant artifacts and documents. His research explores the history of invention, innovation, and R&D. Prior to becoming a historian, Eric worked in the Bay Area as a high school teacher and technology consultant for Accenture, a leading services firm.

Research Specialties: 

invention, innovation, and R&D; US business-economic history; high-tech clusters and economic geography; science, technology, and invention in sports; science, technology, and religion (especially Catholicism)



Currciulm Vitae: EricSHintz_CV_June2021.pdf


Convener: Conferences and Symposia

Coordinator: Lemelson Center Fellowship Programs

Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 
  • Smithsonian Excellence in Exhibitions Award, for Places of Invention (2017)
  • Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibitions, for Places of Invention, Society for the History of Technology (2016)
  • Finalist, Herman E. Krooss Dissertation Prize, Business History Conference (2011)
  • Levinson Prize (best unpublished manuscript), Society for the History of Technology (2007)
  • K. Austin Kerr Prize (best debut paper), Business History Conference (2007)
Professional Affiliations: 
  • Society for the History of Technology
  • Business History Conference
  • Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Blog Posts


(in preparation) Game Changers: Inventors and Technology in Sports. A multi-author companion volume to the forthcoming NMAH exhibition (expected 2023).
(in preparation) “Moneyball: The Computational Turn in Professional Sports Management." Peer-reviewed article (expected 2022). 
American Independent Inventors in an Era of Corporate R&D (MIT Press, 2021).
Does America Need More Innovators? Edited by Matthew Wisnioski, Eric S. Hintz, and Marie Stettler Kleine (MIT Press, 2019).
“Failed Inventor Initiatives from the Franklin Institute to Quirky.” In Does America Need More Innovators?, edited by Matthew Wisnioski, Eric S. Hintz, and Marie Stettler Kleine (MIT Press, 2019): 165-189.
“Susan Kare: Design Icon.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 40, no. 2 (April-June 2018): 48-61.
“The ‘Monopoly’ Hearings, Its Critics, and the Limits of Patent Reform in the New Deal.” In Capital Gains: Business and Politics in Twentieth-Century America, edited by Richard R. John and Kim Phillips-Fein (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017): 61-79.
“Remembering Apple’s ‘1984’ Super Bowl Ad.” In Digital Marketing Fundamentals, Course One, by Shawn Moore and Adam Wilkins, edited by Rebecca Saloustros (Mujo Learning Systems, 2016): 44-46.

Reprint of NMAH blog post from January 22, 2014.

“Hartford, CT (Late 1800s): Factory Town Puts the Pieces Together in Explosive New Ways.” In Places of Invention, edited by Arthur P. Molella and Anna Karvellas (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2015): 110-135.
“Silicon Valley (1970s-1980s): Suburban Garage Hackers + Lab Researchers = Personal Computing.” In Places of Invention, edited in Arthur P. Molella and Anna Karvellas (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2015): 14-41.
“’Selling the Research Idea’: The Pre-History and Genesis of the Industrial Research Institute, 1916-1945.” Research-Technology Management 56, no. 6 (November-December 2013): 46-50.
“Inventing the Surveillance Society.” Center for the Future of Museums blog, American Alliance of Museums, 10 October 2013.
“Miniature Power.” Chemical Heritage 30, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 8-9.
“Going Solo: Reconsidering the Role of the Lone Inventor.”, June 7, 2012.
“The Post-Heroic Generation: American Independent Inventors, 1900-1950.” Enterprise & Society 12, no. 4 (Dec 2011): 732-748. 

A published summary of my dissertation, which was a finalist for the Business History Conference's Krooss Dissertation Prize (2011). 

“Creative Financing: The Rise of Cash Prizes for Innovation Is a Response to Changing Business Conditions–and a Return to a Winning Strategy.” Wall Street Journal, 27 September 2010, p. R8.
“Portable Power: Inventor Samuel Ruben and the Birth of Duracell.” Technology and Culture 50, no. 1 (January 2009): 24-57.
“‘Heroes of the Laboratory and the Workshop’: Invention and Technology in Books for Children, 1850- 1900.” In Enterprising Youth: Social Values and Acculturation in Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Literature, edited by Monika Elbert (Routledge, 2008): 197-211.
Selected posts from the Lemelson Center blog:
Essay and Book Reviews: