Technology and Culture

Technology and Culture
Volume 44, Number 1, January 2003


Contents

Articles

    Dalley, Stephanie.
    Oleson, John Peter.
  • Sennacherib, Archimedes, and the Water Screw: The Context of Invention in the Ancient World
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sennacherib, King of Assyria, d. 681 B.C.
    • Archimedes.
    • Archimedean screw -- History.
    Abstract:
      Invention of the water screw is traditionally credited to the third-century B.C. Greek scientist-engineer Archimedes, on the basis of numerous Greek and Latin texts and the technological context of Hellenistic Alexandria. An Assyrian text from the seventh century B.C. may be interpreted to show that king Sennacherib cast such a device in bronze at Nineveh, for use in his palace garden. Such an argument may be strengthened by comparison with details of Assyrian technical capabilities in large-scale casting and in making bearings, and with later Greek texts referring to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The method for casting a bronze screw implied in the Assyrian text and instructions for building a wooden water screw provided by Vitruvius were reproduced for a television program. Arguments are presented for and against the invention of the device centuries before Archimedes, together with a discussion of the social context in which such inventions took place in antiquity.
    Laird, Frank N.
  • Constructing the Future: Advocating Energy Technologies in the Cold War
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    Subject Headings:
    • Solar energy -- Political aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    • Energy policy -- Social aspects -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      The future matters, and never more than when advocates argue for their favored technologies. Conflicts over public policy for energy reflect broader conflicts over technology and the shape of future society because people advocate for systems that they believe will maintain or create the societies they desire. Between World War II and 1980, advocates for solar energy, now called renewable energy, sought to develop new energy technology systems to replace those running on fossil fuels. In particular, solar advocates critical of the broader society used energy policy as a political arena in which to contest the dominant values that undergirded conventional energy policy and, they believed, society more generally. They failed because they could not change the values that dominated energy policy and the rest of society. This historical analysis focuses on key debates over policy that took place within and between policy communities--collections of experts, activists, industry representatives, and government officials.
    Lipartito, Kenneth, 1957-
  • Picturephone and the Information Age: The Social Meaning of Failure
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    Subject Headings:
    • Video telephone -- History.
    • American Telephone and Telegraph Company -- History.
    • Business failures -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      One of the proudest achievements of Bell Telephone Laboratories in the post World War II era, the video telephone system Picturephone ended its brief life as the Labs' biggest flop. Accounts have attempted to explain this "failure" in a variety of ways. This article proposes a new approach that questions the usefulness of the categories success and failure, and instead considers Picturephone as part of a technological narrative that directed both innovators and users along a certain path or trajectory of information technology. In the end, Picturephone may have actually reinforced this path, even though the device disappeared from use. Understanding these resonate meanings and effects requires extending the time frame of innovation and problematizing notions of consumer autonomy.

Essay

    Cooper, Carolyn.
  • Myth, Rumor, and History: The Yankee Whittling Boy as Hero and Villain
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    Subject Headings:
    • Whitney, Eli, 1765-1825.
    • Inventors -- United States -- Historiography.
    Abstract:
      Myth formation and rumor formation share characteristics, due to transmission from person to person over time, of elaboration, exaggeration, simplification, fabrication, and retention of colorful detail. History formation unchecked by annotation and scrutiny also shares these characteristics, as exemplified by ascription of inventions in the nineteenth century to heroic inventors. Despite their aim of debunking myths, historians of technology are not immune from creating them, as exemplified by their demythologizing of "whittling boy" Eli Whitney as hero, only to remythologize him as villain. Myths, including recent ones, reveal more about the mythmakers' culture or subculture than about objective fact, and should be analyzed at more than one level. At some level, for instance that of the stimulus of handwork to brainwork, the "whittling boy" myth may be true, which would help account for its persistence.

On the Cover

Presidential Address

    Hafter, Daryl M., 1935-
  • The Cost of Inventiveness: Labor's Struggle with Management's Machine
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    Subject Headings:
    • Technology and civilization -- Historiography.
    • Industrial revolution -- Historiography.

Exhibit Review

Classics Revisited

    Meikle, Jeffrey L., 1949-
  • Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden
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    Subject Headings:
    • Marx, Leo, 1919- Machine in the garden: technology and the pastoral ideal in America.
    • United States -- Civilization.

Book Reviews

    Bulliet, Richard W.
  • Paper before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Bloom, Jonathan (Jonathan M.) Paper before print: the history and impact of paper in the Islamic world.
    • Paper -- Middle East -- History.
    Hammonds, Evelynn Maxine.
  • Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Carney, Judith Ann. Black rice: the African origins of rice cultivation in the Americas.
    • Rice -- Southern States -- History.
    Lawrence, Christopher, 1947-
  • Machines in Our Hearts: The Cardiac Pacemaker, the Implantable Defibrillator, and American Health Care (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jeffrey, Kirk. Machines in our hearts: the cardiac pacemaker, the implantable defibrillator, and American health care.
    • Cardiac pacing -- History.
    Josephson, Paul R.
  • Atomic Bomb Cinema: The Apocalyptic Imagination on Film (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shapiro, Jerome Franklin, 1958- Atomic bomb cinema: the apocalyptic imagination on film.
    • Nuclear warfare in motion pictures.
    Larson, John Lauritz, 1950-
  • Listening to Nineteenth-Century America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Smith, Mark M. (Mark Michael), 1968- Listening to nineteenth-century America.
    • United States -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
    Klein, Maury, 1939-
  • Internal Improvement: National Public Works and the Promise of Popular Government in the Early United States (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Larson, John Lauritz, 1950- Internal improvement: national public works and the promise of popular government in the early United States.
    • United States -- Economic policy -- To 1933.
    Stover, John F.
  • Merging Lines: American Railroads, 1900-1970 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Saunders, Richard, 1940- Merging lines: American railroads, 1900-1970.
    • Railroads and state -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Divall, Colin.
  • Railways in the Netherlands: A Brief History, 1834-1994 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Veenendaal, A. J. Railways in the Netherlands: a brief history, 1834-1994.
    • Railroads -- Netherlands -- History.
    Conway, Erik.
  • First to Fly: North Carolina and the Beginnings of Aviation (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Parramore, Thomas C. First to fly: North Carolina and the beginnings of aviation.
    • Aeronautics -- North Carolina -- History.
    Bednarek, Janet R. Daly (Janet Rose Daly), 1959-
  • Airlines and Air Mail: The Post Office and the Birth of the Commercial Aviation Industry (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Van der Linden, F. Robert. Airlines and air mail: the post office and the birth of the commercial aviation industry.
    • Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States.
    Warren-Findley, Jannelle.
  • Expanding the Envelope: Flight Research at NACA and NASA (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gorn, Michael H. Expanding the envelope: flight research at NACA and NASA.
    • Aeronautics -- Research -- United States.
    Guilmartin, John Francis.
  • Computers Take Flight: A History of NASA's Pioneering Digital Fly-By-Wire Project (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Tomayko, J. E. (James E.), 1949- Computers take flight: a history of NASA's pioneering digital fly-by-wire project.
    • Fly-by-wire control -- Research -- United States -- History.
    Higham, Robin D. S.
  • Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909-1941 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Peattie, Mark R., 1930- Sunburst: the rise of Japanese naval air power, 1909-1941.
    • Japan. Kaigun -- Aviation -- History -- 20th century.
    Houchin, Roy F.
  • The $5 Billion Misunderstanding: The Collapse of the Navy's A-12 Stealth Bomber Program (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Stevenson, James Perry. $5 billion misunderstanding: the collapse of the Navy's A-12 stealth bomber program.
    • Attack planes -- Research -- United States -- History.
    Wu, Tim.
  • Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mueller, Milton. Ruling the root: Internet governance and the taming of cyberspace.
    • Internet -- Government policy.
    Kidwell, Peggy Aldrich.
  • Origins of Cyberspace: A Library on the History of Computing, Networking, and Telecommunications (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Hook, Diana H., 1955- Origins of cyberspace: a library on the history of computing, networking, and telecommunications.
    • Norman, Jeremy M.
    • Computer science -- History -- Bibliography.
    Coleman, Gabriella.
  • Artifacts: An Archaeologist's Year in Silicon Valley (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Finn, Christine, 1959- Artifacts: an archaeologist's year in Silicon Valley.
    • Santa Clara Valley (Santa Clara County, Calif.) -- Civilization -- 20th century.
    Volti, Rudi.
  • Technology Transfer and International Production: The Development of the Electronics Industry in Korea (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cyhn, Jin W., 1972- Technology transfer and international production: the development of the electronics industry in Korea.
    • Electronic industries -- Korea (South)
    Rau, Erik.
  • Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Greenberg, Daniel S., 1931- Science, money, and politics: political triumph and ethical erosion.
    • Federal aid to research -- United States.
    Westfall, Catherine.
  • Scientists, Business, and the State, 1890-1960 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • McGrath, Patrick J. (Patrick Joseph), 1961- Scientists, business, and the state, 1890-1960.
    • Science and state -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
    Crumpton, Amy C.
  • Scientists in the Classroom: The Cold War Reconstruction of American Science Education (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rudolph, John L., 1964- Scientists in the classroom: the cold war reconstruction of American science education.
    • Science -- Study and teaching -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Barnhart, Megan.
  • Neither Dead nor Red: Civil Defense and American Political Development During the Early Cold War (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Grossman, Andrew D. Neither dead nor red: civil defense and American political development during the early Cold War.
    • Civil defense -- United States.
    Berger, Molly W.
  • Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wharton, Annabel Jane. Building the Cold War: Hilton International hotels and modern architecture.
    • Architecture, Postmodern -- Middle East.
    Peters, Tom F. (Tom Frank), 1941-
  • Building in China: Henry K. Murphy's "Adaptive Architecture," 1914-1935 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cody, Jeffrey W. Building in China: Henry K. Murphy's "adaptive architecture," 1914-1935.
    • Murphy, Henry Killam, 1877-1954.
    Seely, Bruce Edsall, 1953-
  • Reinforced Concrete and the Modernization of American Building, 1900-1930 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Slaton, Amy E., 1957- Reinforced concrete and the modernization of American building, 1900-1930.
    • Reinforced concrete construction -- United States -- History.
    Schrag, Zachary M.
  • Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gandy, Matthew. Concrete and clay: reworking nature in New York City.
    • Urban ecology -- New York (State) -- New York.
    Williams, James C., 1942-
  • California Earthquakes: Science, Risk, and the Politics of Hazard Mitigation (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Geschwind, Carl-Henry, 1965- California earthquakes: science, risk, and the politics of hazard mitigation.
    • Earthquake hazard analysis -- California -- History.
    Quivik, Fred.
  • The Subterranean Forest: Energy Systems and the Industrial Revolution (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sieferle, Rolf Peter. Subterranean forest: energy systems and the Industrial Revolution.
    • Power resources -- Germany -- History.
    Kiesling, Lynne L.
  • Energy and the Rise and Fall of Political Economy (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Beaudreau, Bernard C., 1955- Energy and the rise and fall of political economy.
    • Economic history.
    Knowles, Anne Kelly.
  • Wealth, Waste, and Alienation: Growth and Decline in the Connellsville Coke Industry (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Warren, Kenneth. Wealth, waste, and alienation: growth and decline in the Connellsville coke industry.
    • Coke industry -- Pennsylvania -- Connellsville -- History.
    Pratt, Joseph A.
  • Redefining Efficiency: Pollution Concerns, Regulatory Mechanisms, and Technological Change in the U.S. Petroleum Industry (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gorman, Hugh S. (Hugh Scott), 1957- Redefining efficiency: pollution concerns, regulatory mechanisms, and technological change in the U.S. petroleum industry.
    • Petroleum industry and trade -- Environmental aspects -- United States.
    Downey, Gregory John.
  • The Moment of Complexity: Emerging Network Culture (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Taylor, Mark C., 1945- Moment of complexity: emerging network culture.
    • Complexity (Philosophy)
    Koukal, D. R.
  • American Philosophy of Technology: The Empirical Turn (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Achterhuis, Hans, 1942-, ed. American philosophy of technology: the empirical turn.
    • Crease, Robert P., tr.
    • Technology -- Philosophy.

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