Content Categorized ‘history of technology’

Book Review: Who Owns America’s Past?

Posted on December 2, 2013 under history of technology, museums

Robert C. Post, Who Own’s America’s Past? The Smithsonian and the Problem of History.  Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013. Bob Post’s new book is a hybrid account—it covers both the history of cultural history at the Smithsonian and Post’s own career as a curator.  He traces the usual story of how Joseph Henry didn’t want to […]


Posted on April 16, 2012 under history of technology, me | 1 Comment

As perhaps you’ve noticed, I am now a contributor to The Atlantic Technology channel.  I’ve recently written about typewriter nostalgia, shorthand, and Ivan Illich’s Tools for Conviviality.  Do subscribe to the channel; there’s a continuous stream of historically inflected work there, as well as historiography of technology disguised as current tech news analysis.

SHOT report

Posted on November 8, 2011 under history of technology

Last week was the 54th annual SHOT  conference, which was co-located in Cleveland with the History of Science Society and the Society for the Social Studies of Science. I had a lovely time, and wrote up reports on three excellent papers for the Atlantic.

Beulah Henry: “I invent because I cannot help it”

Posted on October 7, 2011 under history of technology | 3 Comments

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, which “aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and math by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire.” Prolific inventor Beulah Louise Henry (1887-1973), a self-taught synesthete engineer from North Carolina, received 49 patents but is credited with over […]

Public History of Science and Technology

Posted on August 11, 2011 under history of science, history of technology, me, museums, public history | 2 Comments

Remember this conference? This great event about the Public History of Science and Technology will be happening September 11-14 at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC.  The program is up and registration will soon follow. I’ll be talking about cabinets of curiosity and contemporary museum practice on the 13th, and the program is […]

The conference of my dreams

Posted on March 3, 2011 under history of science, history of technology, public history | 2 Comments

Call for Papers: The Public History of Science and Technology University of South Carolina Columbia, SC September 11-14, 2011 What role does history play in the general public’s understanding of science and technology? History is often the tool for hooking audiences and making science relevant to daily life.  From anecdotal introductions to sidebars in science […]

“I’m so old!”

Posted on June 15, 2010 under history of technology, museums, public history | 3 Comments

At the inventive, playful and democratic new history galleries at the Oakland Museum, which I had the pleasure to visit last month, there is a section about objects.  What does it mean for an object to be in a museum?  What sounds do different objects make?  How do you tell objects apart?  Visitors can also […]

Nora Stanton Blatch, engineer and feminist

Posted on March 24, 2010 under history of technology | 5 Comments

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an internet-wide recognition and celebration of women in technology. (Here’s my post about women telegraphers from last year.)   One common narrative early women in technical professions had constructed for themselves was that of downplaying the challenges (or any role at all) of gender in their careers. Nora Stanton Blatch, a fiery women’s rights […]

Is your future in plastics?

Posted on January 27, 2010 under history of medicine, history of science, history of technology, public history jobs

A few interesting (though short-term) jobs in the public history of science, technology and medicine: Project Leader, Plastics Collection, Syracuse University Syracuse University Library invites applications for the position of Plastics Collection Project Leader. This 18 month, benefits eligible position reports to the Director of Special Collections. The successful candidate will lead an ambitious effort […]