This study explores the technological dimension of American life from the birth of American industry in the late 18th century to the industrial systems of the late 20th century. Emphasizing a societal context for technology, this collection demonstrates both the manner in which cultural, political and economic forces shape innovation and the ways that technology has influenced society and shaped its values. Individual essays explore the importance of textile manufacturing in American industrialization, the role of the federal government in regulating new modes of transport, the development of interchangeable parts in production, the process of innovation, the notion of technological systems, and the relationship between technological change and work in the factory, on the farm and in the home.
Introduction Stephen H. Cutcliffe, Terry S. Reynolds. Technology in American Context Stephen H. Cutcliffe, Terry S. Reynolds. Brandywine Borrowings from European Technology Norman B. Wilkinson "Drive That Branch": Samuel Slater, the Power Loom, and the Writing of America's Textile History James L. Conrad, Jr Raw Materials Supply and Technological Change in the American Charcoal Iron Industry Richard H. Schallenberg, David A. Ault. Bursting Boilers and the Federal Power John G. Burke Who Turned the Mechanical Ideal into Mechanical Reality? Robert B. Gordon From Iron to Steel: The Recasting of the Jones and Laughlins Workforce between 1885 and 1896 David Jardini Technology and the Market: George Eastman and the Origins of Mass Amateur Photography Reese V. Jenkins A New Role for Professional Scientists in Industry: Industrial Research at General Electric, 1900-1916 George Wise Custom Design, Engineering Guarantees, and Unpatentable Data: The Air Conditioning Industry, 1902-1935 Gail Cooper "Touch Someone": The Telephone Industry Discovers Sociability Claude S. Fischer Farmers Deskilled: Hybrid Corn and Farmers' Work Deborah Fitzgerald The "Industrial Revolution" in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the 20th Century Ruth Schwartz Cowan Research, Engineering, and Science in American Engineering Colleges: 1900-1960 Bruce Seely Technology in the Seamless Web: "Success" and "Failure" in the History of the Electron Microscope Gregory C. Kunkle Momentum Shifts in the American Electric Utility System: Catastrophic Change - or No Change at All? Richard F. Hirsh, Adam H. Serchuk.