• 1923
    (b.) - ?


An American Historian of Technology, he is an emeritus Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and is a visiting Professor at MIT and Stanford. He earned his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and his Master's degree in History from the University of Virginia, after which he did his graduate work in European History, receiving his Ph.D. in 1953. He, along with John B. Rae, Carl W. Condit, and Melvin Kranzberg, are responsible for the establishment of the Society for the History of Technology and he is a recipient of its highest honor, the Leonardo Da Vinci Medal. He has contributed to the concepts of technological momentum, technological determinism, large technical systems, social construction of technology, and has introduced systems theory into the history of technology. He has published books on American and European history with special attention to the history of modern technology, science, and culture; among which are Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-8018-4614-5; Edited with Wiebe E. Bijker and Trevor J. Pinch, eds. The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press, 1987; Edited with Renate Mayntz. The Development of Large Technical Systems. Frankfurt am Main: Boulder, CO: Campus Verlag; Westview Press, 1988, American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970. New York, NY: Viking, 1989. Which was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist; Edited with Agatha C. Hughes. Lewis Mumford: Public Intellectual. New York: 1990; Rescuing Prometheus. 1st ed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998; and Human-Built World: How to Think About Technology and Culture. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2004. ISBN 0-226-35933-6
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    Co-established the Society for the History of Technology
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