STS.001 | Spring 2006 | Undergraduate
Technology in American History

Lecture Notes

The following table presents a selection of lecture outlines.

1 Introduction  
2 What is Technology? What is Technology? (PDF)
3 Technologies of Colonization and Conquest Technology in Colonial America (PDF)
4 Crafts and Craftsmanship in Early America Crafts and Craftsmanship in Early America (PDF)

Discussion of Film The Gunsmith of Williamsburg (PDF)

5 Paul Revere: Technologist?

Guest Speaker: Prof. Rob Martello (Olin College)

6 Politics and Early American Industrialization Technology and Nationalism, 1789-1825 (PDF)
7 The Role of the State in Early American Industry From Swords to Ploughshares: The Development of Interchangeable Parts, 1798-1850 (PDF)
8 Social and Political Implications of the New Technology Technology and Politics (PDF)
9 The Transportation and Communications Revolution

First Reading Quiz

‘System/Order/Uniformity’: Army Engineers and the Rise of Modern Management (PDF)
10 Art and Industrialization The Railroad as a Technological Symbol in American Art (PDF)
11 The Emerging Culture of Engineering in America  
12 Technology in the Civil War Era Technology, Civil War, and the War’s Larger Implications (PDF)
13 Technology in the Civil War Era (cont.)  
14 Human Machines? Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management  
15 Automobility and Mass Production “Henry Ford and the Advent of Mass Production” (PDF)
16 Second Reading Quiz  
17 Mass Production  
18 Hobbyist Worlds and Technological Enthusiasm in Modern America

Guest Speaker: Kieran Downes (MIT)

19 Aeronautics and the Systems Approach

Guest Speaker: Dr. Deborah Douglas (MIT Museum)

Guest lecture by Dr. Deborah Douglas, MIT Museum. (PDF) (Courtesy of Dr. Deborah Douglas. Used with permission.)
20 Technology and Art at the Apex of the Machine Age  
21 World War II: A Technological Turning Point?

Guest Speaker: Dr. Brendan Foley (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)

22 World War II: A Technological Turning Point? (cont.)  
23 A New World: Technology in Cold War America  
24 Computers and Control: The Apollo Program

Guest Speaker: Sandy Brown (MIT)

25 Nature’s Revenge: Technology and the Environment  
26 The Brave New World of Biotechnology

Guest Speaker: Victor McElheny (MIT Knight Fellows Program)

Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2006