Profile profile for wallaceh

Harold D. Wallace Jr.


Ph.D. (2018), University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Public Policy / Policy History.
M.A. (1994), University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Public History.
B.A. (1982), University of Maryland, Baltimore County, History.

Research Specialties: 

History of electric power and lighting

Role in Museum: 

Curator of the Electricity Collections. Oversees holdings of material on electrical science, electric light and power, electrical communications (telegraphy, telephony, radio, television, magnetic recording), and associated technologies (electrostatics, lasers and masers, microelectronics, optical recording).


Current Projects: Exhibitions:

  • The Electric Dr. Franklin
  • America's Listening
  • Artifact Walls: Glass Tubes
  • Lighting a Revolution 2
  • An Electric Breeze: Fans for Consumers

Web Projects:

  • Virtual exhibition: Lighting a Revolution

Research Projects:

  • Powering A Generation (electric power deregulation)
  • Lighting The Way (energy efficient lighting)
  • Collecting the History of Fuel Cells

Past Projects: Exhibitions:

  • Solar on the Line (November 2016 - March 2018)
  • Science in the Sixties: Radar, Lasers (April 2014 - August 2015)
  • Holograms: 1964's Toy Train (April - November 2014)
  • Lasers: The First 50 Years (February 2010 - March 2012
  • Recent Acquisitions: Citizens Band Radio (November 2004 - September 2005)
  • Lighting The Way (March 2000 - June 2001)
Professional Affiliations: 
  • American Historical Association
  • American Political Science Association
  • Baltimore Museum of Industry, Collections Committee
  • International Committee for the History of Technology
  • Society for the History of Technology
  • The Thomas A. Edison Papers Project, Smithsonian Representative on Board of Oversight
  • Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, History and Heritage Committee
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engeineers, History Committee (2007-2010)


"Inventing in a Crisis: Lighting the United States after the 1973 Oil Embargo" Technology & Culture 62, no. 4 (October 2021): 1119-47.

This article examines changes in lighting system technology in the wake of the 1973 oil embargo, puts them in historical context, and describes their use in subsequent public policy.

“Fuel Cells: A Challenging History” Substantia. An International Journal of the History of Chemistry 3, no. 2, supp. 1, “History of Energy Technologies and Lessons for the Future,” ed. Seth C. Rasmussen, (26 November 2019): 83-97.

An overview of the history of fuel cells. The article presents the differing types of cells, and explores why after 180 years they remain outside the mainstream of electrical generation technology.

"Electric Lighting Policy in the Federal Government: 1880-2016." PhD diss., University of Maryland Baltimore County, 2018. Proquest (2116571661).

This interdisciplinary dissertation examines federal policies affecting electric lighting since the 1880s. After an initial introductory phase, lighting policies developed during two distinct periods separated by a time of transition. Recently enacted standards mark the start of a new transition in which policy makers should reconsider how they use lighting to achieve goals.

Great Inventions: The Light Bulb. assoc. ed. Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press, 2004.

Written for second-grade students, this book introduces both how light bulbs work and their history.

“A Different Kind of Chemistry: a History of Tungsten Halogen Lighting.” IEEE Industry Applications Magazine 7 (November–December 2001).

A look at the invention and development of this energy-efficient light source.

Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. assoc. ed. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2001.

A wide range of energy technologies are covered in this 3 volume set. Though primarily devoted to the current state of the technologies, a substantial amount of historical background (including many brief biographical sketches) is included.

Wallops Station and the Creation of an American Space Program. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration History Office, 1997.

This master's thesis explores the social and administrative history of the Wallops Island, V.A. launch facility during the early years of NASA.