Social History of American Technology

ISBN-10: 0195046056

ISBN-13: 9780195046052

Edition: 1997

Authors: Ruth Schwartz Cowan

List price: $76.95
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A Social History of American Technology is a textbook survey of American technology from the early seventeenth century to the present. The concept of technological systems is used as a unifying theme to demonstrate the notion that technological change is neither sudden nor discontinuous, but is always closely related to social developments which determine both the kinds of tools developed and the ways in which they are utilized. Cowan demonstrates that the way in which Americans have viewed technology has been as important as the scientific developments themselves, and in a fascinating final chapter she examines the vast social implications of recent technological developments such as atomic energy, birth control, genetic engineering and personal computers, and the ways in which they are causing changes in America's political, social and economic structure.
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Book details

List price: $76.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/30/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

In the Beginninga
Social History of American Technology
The Land, the Natives, and the Settlers
The Land and the Native Inhabitants
The European SettlersThe Colonial Economy
Colonial Economic Policy and Technological Change
Conclusion: Quickening the Pace for Technological Change
Husbandry and Huswifery in the Colonies
Types of Farms in the Colonial Period
The Technological System of Colonial Agriculture
Conclusion: The Myth of Self-Sufficiency
Colonial Artisans
The Apprenticeship System and Labor Scarcity
Printshops and PrintersMills, Millwrights, and Millers
Iron Foundries and Iron Workers
Conclusion: Reasons for the Slow Pace of Technological Change
Early Decades of Industrialization
Oliver Evans, Steam Engines, and Machine Shops
Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin
The Armament Industry and the American System of Manufacture
Samuel Slater and the Factory System
Conclusion: The Unique Character of American Industrialization
Transportation Revolutions
Transportation Difficulties
Toll Roads and Entrepreneurs
Canal Building and State Financing
Steamboats: Steam Power and State Power
Railroads: Completing a National Transportation System
Inventors, Entrepreneurs and Engineers
The Patent System: The Public History of Invention
Inventors: Changes between 1820 and 1920
Industrial Society and Technological Systems
Industrialization, Dependency, and Technological Systems
The Telegraph System
The Railroad System
The Telephone System
The Electric SystemThe Character of Industrialized Society
Conclusion: Industrialization and Technological Systems
Daily Life and Mundane WorkFarmers and Unexpected Outcomes
Skilled and Deskilled Workers
Unskilled Workers
Housewives and House Servants
Conclusion: Was Industrialization Good or Bad for Workers?
American Ideas about Technology
Technology and Associated Ideas
Precursors to Industrialization
Technology and Romanticism
Acceptance of Romanticism by Advocates of Industrialization
Technology and ArtConclusion: The Cultural Meanings of Technology
Twentieth-Century Technologies blessing or Curse?
Automobiles and Automobility
Who Invented the Automobile?
Henry Ford and the Mass-Produced Automobile
Alfred P. Sloan and the Mass-Marketed American Automobile
Automobility and the Road System before 1945
Automobility and the Road System after 1945
The Unexpected Consequences of Automobility
Taxpayers, Generals and Aviation
The Early Days of Aircraft and the Aircraft Industry
World War II: A Turning PointThe Military-Industrial-Academic Complex
Civilian Spin-offs and the Race into Space
Conclusion: Costs and Benefits of Military Sponsorship
Communications Technologies and Social Control
Wireless Telegraphy
Wireless Telephony
Government Regulation of Wireless Communication
Wireless Broadcasting: Radio
Electronic Components: The Vacuum Tube and the Transistor
COnclusion: The Ultimate Failure of Efforts to Control Electronic Communication
Science, Technology, and Technoscience
Hybrid CornPencillin
The Birth Control Pill
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