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American Technology

Carroll Pursell (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-21997-2
374 pages
February 2001, ©2001, Wiley-Blackwell
American Technology (0631219978) cover image
American Technology brings together ten fascinating and important stories of the ways in which Americans, from colonial times to the present, have embraced, rejected, interacted with, and understood the technologies with which they have lived and worked. Topics include the colonial home, the shop floor, the doctor's office, and the telephone exchange, as well as New England mill-sites, nuclear power, and the Internet. Each scholarly account is accompanied by primary documents and a list of further readings.
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1. Introduction.

"So Much Depends Upon a Red Wheelbarrow: Agricultural Tool Ownership in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic": Judith A. McGaw.

2. Introduction.

Dam-Breaking in the 19th-Century Merrimack Valley: Water, Social Conflict, and the Waltham-Lowell Mills: Theodore L. Steinberg.

3. Introduction.

Working Environments: An Ecological Approach to Industrial Health and Safety: Arthur F. McEvoy.

4. Introduction.

Socially Camouflaged Technologies: The Case of the Electromechanical Vibrator: Rachel Maines.

5. Introduction.

Local History and National Culture: Notions on Engineering Professionalism in America: Bruce Sinclair.

6. Introduction.

Out of the Barns and into the Kitchens: Transformations in Farm Women's Work in the First Half of the Twentieth Century: Christine Kleinegger.

7. Introduction.

Advertising the Atom: Michael Smith.

8. Introduction.

Race and Technology: African American Women in the Bell System, 1945-1980: Venus Green.

9. Introduction.

The Rise and Fall of the Appropriate Technology Movement in the United States, 1965-1985: Carroll Pursell.

10. Introduction.

Hacking Away at the Counterculture: Andrew Ross.

Further Reading.

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Carroll Pursell is Adeline Barry Davee Professor and Chair of the History Department at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of White Heat: People and Technology (1994) and The Machine in America: A Social History of Technology (1995), and the editor of Technology in America: A History of Individuals and Ideas (second edition, 1990).
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  • Contains ten key essays by leading scholars on the social and cultural history of American technology, from the colonial period to the present.
  • Includes general and sectional introductions, primary documents, and further reading lists.
  • Explores major themes of American technology, including agricultural tool ownership, working environments, and the intersection of race and gender in technology debates.

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"Carroll Pursell continues his groundbreaking venture into the social history of technology. His selection of essays for American Technology will challenge conventional technological enthusiasm and stimulate constructive controversy." Thomas P. Hughes, author of American Genesis and Rescuing Prometheus

"This is a wonderful supplementary text for courses in American history that focus on technological, economic, and social change." Ruth Schwartz Cowan, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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