Telegraph, Wireless -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Naval research -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Austin, Louis W. (Louis Winslow), b. 1867.
Radio wave propagation -- History.
In 1910 and 1913, the U.S. Naval Wireless Telegraphic Laboratory led by Louis Winslow Austin conducted a series of trans-Atlantic tests for the high-power spark-gap and electric-arc dischargers of the navy's Arlington wireless station. The experimental data that were supposed to verify the equipment's engineering specifications led to a scientific fact. Austin and his colleague Louis Cohen synthesized an empirical formula from the data-the "Austin-Cohen formula-that would be an important phenomenological law for the science of radio-wave propagation. The Austin-Cohen formula was transformed from an engineering rule for specific devices into a general fact of nature through the active mediation of the scientifically trained naval experimenters, and such a transformation succeeded because the formula became a crucial empirical reference for the theoretical debate between the surface diffraction hypothesis and the atmospheric reflection hypothesis.
Redwood preservationists' mid-twentieth century shift from promoting to opposing highway improvements in Humboldt County, California, reveals the complexity of the technology- nature relationship. In the 1920s Save-the Redwoods League and California voters embraced Redwood Highway. The road's sublime, nostalgic aesthetic appealed to auto-tourists, functioning as wish image. It helped organize the vast, impenetrable Redwood landscape: old-growth rainforest groves now lined highway. In the 1950s Highway 101 upgrades, designed for logging trucks and fast cars, changed tourists' scenic experience. Redwood Parks Freeway distanced and dwarfed the redwoods. Seasoned redwood advocate Newton Drury, as well as newcomers like the Sierra Club, agitated against new road-construction within Redwood State Parks. Three studies of material culture-- Wolfgang Schivelbusch on railroads and visual consciousness; David Nye on the technological sublime; and Walter Benjamin on commodity fetishism-- shed light on preservationists' initial enthusiasm for combining Redwoods and automobiles, and failure to anticipate the ensuing conflict.
Solvents -- Environmental aspects -- United States.
Groundwater -- Pollution -- United States.
Novel technologies often introduce new chemicals for which the human toxicity and environmental effects may be unknown to the industry responsible and unsuspected by public health agencies. In this context, I discuss the introduction of vapor-degreasing by manufacturing industries in the 1930s and the use of chlorinated solvents for degreasing metal parts prior to assembly of automobiles, aircraft, etc. The release of such chemicals to the subsurface and the subsequent contamination of groundwaters were not appreciated until the late 1970s when their widespread presence was finally recognized. The lack of a technical paradigm explaining the processes of contamination and the potential adverse health effects prevented the anticipation of this problem. Furthermore, it identifies the need for use-inspired basic research, such as that which identified the process of stratospheric ozone depletion, so that such environmental problems may be anticipated and public policy developed to mitigate the effects.
Punched card systems -- Political aspects -- France -- History -- 20th century.
Carmille, René, 1886-1945.
France. Armée -- History -- 20th century.
France -- Registers -- History -- 20th century.
Monitoring people by use of punched cards was a tool for governments to exploit the potentials of modern mass society, which they started to develop in the 1930s. In France, René Carmille promoted this possibility. He worked to mechanise the army's conscript and mobilisation administration, which was only implemented by the autocratic French regime after the country had been conquered by Germany in 1940. For this end a national register of people was established by use of punched cards. However, this register also improved the possibilities to control and locate individuals, for example Jews, which Carmille only gradually realised. This predicament added to Carmille's dilemma between his loyalty to the French government and his detestation of the German Nazis. After the German occupation of the last part of France in late 1942, he rebelled against the French collaborative regime, was arrested by the Germans and died in a concentration camp.
Crossbows -- Great Britain -- History -- John, 1199-1216.
Crossbows -- Great Britain -- History -- Henry III, 1216-1272.
Great Britain -- History, Military -- 1066-1485.
Although the crossbow served as the primary hand-held missile weapon in the armies of England during the thirteenth century, very little is known currently about the types and designs that were available for use. This study sheds light on three important questions relating to the construction and use of crossbows during the reigns of King John (1199-1216) and Henry III (1216 1272). First, an effort is made to identify the variety of materials employed in the construction of crossbows. Second, this study examines the means by which these weapons were spanned. Finally, this study suggests the relative frequency with which the several types of crossbows used by English troops were deployed by the royal government. --
Technology and Culture