Melvin Kranzberg founded the Society for the History of Technology and its journal in an uncommon spirit of optimism. While optimism was justified by Technology and Culture's subscribers and contributors, his hope that "the larger historical community" would embrace the journal was slow to materialize. Complaints about T&C's persistent "progress talk" and "narrow" inquiries had some substance. But this essay suggests that fifty years have given us much to celebrate. T&C garners praise for "the diversity, the tension, and the energetic spirit of inquiry of this emerging hybrid discipline." Such praise owes largely to Kranzberg's dedication and spirit. He showed strategic foresight in signaling an "interlacing" of disciplines in the journal's name, and enlisted allies from across the academic spectrum and beyond. This essay narrates his alliance with Peter Drucker, among "the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century." Drucker worked with Kranzberg into the 1970s, helping secure the institution and integrate analyses of how devices and processes work with questions about technology as part of a "complex whole." Today the journal and the society show both men's influence.


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pp. 961-994
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