Technology in America, Third Edition

A History of Individuals and Ideas

ISBN: 9780262364423 | Copyright 2018

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The new edition of a popular collection that traces the history of American invention from the age of the artisan to the era of Silicon Valley.

This volume traces the history of American technology—its inventions and inventors—from the age of the artisan to the era of Silicon Valley. The focus on inventors acknowledges that technology is a fundamental form of human behavior and that, ultimately, it is people who have the ideas, design the machines, and build the institutions. These accessible and succinct essays chronicle the work of the famous—among them, Thomas Jefferson, Eli Whitney, and Thomas Alva Edison—and of the sometimes forgotten—including Ellen Swallow Richards, the founder of the home economics movement. One illuminating essay shows how Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin helped Americans confront the modern technological age.
This third edition retains the content of the first two editions and adds three new essays: on Rachel Carson and the rise of the environmental movement; on A. C. Gilbert and the development of an American toy industry; and on Lewis Latimer and the struggle of African Americans to gain recognition as professional inventors and engineers.

Lawrence Badash, George Basalla, Robert V. Bruce, Jean Christie, Gail Cooper, Ruth Schwartz Cowan, James J. Flink, Barton C. Hacker, Samuel P. Hays, Brooke Hindle, Thomas Parke Hughes, Reese V. Jenkins, John A. Kouwenhoven, Edwin T. Layton Jr., W. David Lewis, Hugo A. Meier, Carroll Pursell, Adam Rome, Bruce Sinclair, Merritt Roe Smith, Darwin H. Stapleton, John William Ward, James C. Williams

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Contents (pg. vii)
Preface to the Third Edition (pg. xi)
Preface to the Second Edition (pg. xiii)
Preface (pg. xv)
1 Technology in America: An Introduction (pg. 1)
2 The Artisan during America’s Wooden Age (pg. 7)
3 Thomas Jefferson and a Democratic Technology (pg. 17)
4 Benjamin Henry Latrobe and the Transfer of Technology (pg. 33)
5 Eli Whitney and the American System of Manufacturing (pg. 43)
6 Thomas P. Jones and the Evolution of Technical Education (pg. 59)
7 Cyrus Hall McCormick and the Mechanization of Agriculture (pg. 67)
8 James Buchanan Eads: The Engineer as Entrepreneur (pg. 77)
9 James B. Francis and the Rise of Scientific Technology (pg. 89)
10 Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude (pg. 101)
11 Thomas Alva Edison and the Rise of Electricity (pg. 113)
12 Lewis Latimer and the Role of Black Inventors (pg. 125)
13 George Eastman and the Coming of Industrial Research in America (pg. 135)
14 Ellen Swallow Richards: Technology and Women (pg. 147)
15 Gifford Pinchot and the American Conservation Movement (pg. 155)
16 Frederick Winslow Taylor and Scientific Management (pg. 167)
17 Henry Ford and the Triumph of the Automobile (pg. 181)
18 A. C. Gilbert, Toys, and the Boy Engineer (pg. 193)
19 Peter L. Jensen and the Amplification of Sound (pg. 203)
20 Charles A. Lindbergh: His Flight and the American Ideal* (pg. 223)
21 Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin: The Silent Film’s Response to Technology (pg. 239)
22 Morris L. Cooke and Energy for America (pg. 249)
23 Enrico Fermi and the Development of Nuclear Energy (pg. 259)
24 Robert H. Goddard and the Origins of Space Flight (pg. 273)
25 Rachel Carson and the Challenge of Greening Technology (pg. 285)
26 Frederick E. Terman and the Rise of Silicon Valley (pg. 297)
For Further Reading (pg. 313)
Contributors (pg. 325)
Index (pg. 329)
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