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  • Organizational Notes: The Baltimore Meeting, 15–18 October 1998

The fortieth annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology was held 15–18 October 1998 at the Baltimore Sheraton North in Towson, Maryland. The meeting was supported by the Dibner Fund, Loyola College, the Johns Hopkins University Press, and the Department of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Brett Steele chaired the program committee; other members were Miriam Levin and Hans Weinberger. Members of the local arrangements committee were Kelly DeVries (chair), John Breihan, and Wayne L. Elban of Loyola College; Joseph N. Tatarewicz and David A. Jone of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Dennis Zembala and Ann E. Steele of the Baltimore Museum of Industry; John Ott of the B&O Railroad Museum; Stuart W. Leslie of Johns Hopkins University; Robert Brugger of Johns Hopkins University Press; and Nancy Diamond of Goucher College.


WITH an Eye to the Future: Reassessing Directions in the History of Technology
Organizers: Amy Bix, Iowa State University, and Molly Berger, Case Western Reserve University
Chair: Ruth Schwartz Cowan, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Panelists: Carroll Pursell, Case Western Reserve University; Arwen Mohun, University of Delaware; Ruth Oldenziel, University of Amsterdam; Nina Lerman, Whitman College; Angela Lakwete, University of California at San Diego; Amy Bix

Tinkering in the Twentieth Century: The Cultural Work of Technological Knowledge
Organizer: Kathleen Franz, Brown University
Chair: Carolyn Goldstein, National Building Museum
Papers: “The Heathkit Barrier: Culture, Gender, and Technology,” Linda Caporael, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; “‘Tinkeritis’: Normal Automotive Practice or Virulent Social Disease? Tinkering with Cars, 1900–1940,” [End Page 638] Joseph Corn, Stanford University; “Ingenious Conversions: Travelers Redesign the Automobile, 1915–1933,” Kathleen Franz, Brown University
Commentator: Carroll Pursell, Case Western Reserve University

The Honest Body, the Lying Mind, and Technologies of Truth
Organizer: Ken Alder, Northwestern University
Papers: “Physiognomies of Accusation: Precision Measurement, Psychology, and Criminality in the French Third Republic,” Robert Brain, Harvard University; “The Electrifying Margery, or, The Siren and the Galvanometer,” Deborah Coon, University of New Hampshire; “Lies, Damn Lies, and Polygraphs: Technology and the Marketing of American Expertise,” Ken Alder
Commentator: Michael Sokal, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the National Science Foundation

Mechanizing German Homes under Different Political Systems from the 1920s to the 1960s
Organizer and chair: Ulrich Wengenroth, Technische Universität München
Papers: “The Discovery of Durable Consumer Goods by German Industry during the Interwar Years,” Martina Heßler, Technische Universität Darmstadt; “From ‘Plaything’ to ‘Sweetheart’ to ‘Goebbels Mush’: On the Beginnings of Radio as a Household Communication Medium in Germany, 1923–45,” Uta Schmidt, University of Bonn; “The ‘Consumistic Syndrome’: Environmental Issues and the Democratization of the Consumption of Technology,” Arne Andersen, Technische Universität Darmstadt; “The East German ‘Aktiv für Haushaltstechnik’ (Working Group for Household Technology): An Attempt to Inscribe a New Social Structure in the Design of Technology,” Karin Zachmann, Technische Universität Dresden
Commentator: Ruth Oldenziel, University of Amsterdam

New Approaches to Understanding the Evolution of Chemical Technologies
Organizers: Leo Slater, Chemical Heritage Foundation, and Ann Johnson, Fordham University
Chair: David Sicilia, University of Maryland, College Park
Papers: “The Chemical Sciences and the Role of Technology,” Ann Johnson; “Quality Control in Metal Production with Spectrochemical Analysis: Some Instrumental Developments, 1935–1955,” Davis Baird, University of South Carolina; “Reactions of War: Arthur A. Noyes and the Quest for Nitrogen Compounds in the First World War,” David Brock, Princeton University; “Quinine, Malaria Chemotherapy, and the Pharmaceutical [End Page 639] Industry,” Leo Slater; “Chemical Shareware?: The Peculiar Pattern of Petrochemical Proliferation, 1940–1970,” John Smith, Lehigh University
Commentator: Arnold Thackray, University of Pennsylvania

Uncovering the Complexities of Categorized Men
Chair: W. David Lewis, Auburn University
Papers: “The Odd Engineering of General Louis Duportail: Military or Engineering Science?” Janis Langins, University of Toronto; “The Industrialist as a Boy: Henry Ford,” Peter Eckstein, independent scholar; “Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Aeronautical Engineering Research at the University of Manchester,” Kelly Hamilton, Saint Mary’s College; “William Laurence and the Creation of Popular Consensus for Postwar Science,” Stephen Bromage, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Commentator: Stuart W. Leslie, Johns Hopkins University

Technologies as Vehicles of Culture
Chair: Rosalind Williams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Papers: “Distributed Benefits: Power...

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