Essays in Honor of Melvin Kranzeberg

Stephen H. Cutcliffe, ed. and Robert C. Post, ed.

In Context presents fourteen essays written in honor of Melvin Kranzberg, the prime mover in founding the Society for the History of Technology and its quarterly journal Technology and Culture some three decades ago. Reflecting on the past, present, and future of the history of technology as a scholarly discipline, the contributors all share in the perception that technology cannot be understood or properly analyzed apart from its sociocultural surroundings—theapproach that has been termed "contextual" by John M. Staudenmaier, who contributed one of the volume's essays.


Aside from that key precept, the essays cover a diversity of topics including the roots of the Industrial Revolution; the relationship between science and technology; the value of particular types of sources; the writings of philosopher-historians such as Abbott Payson Usher, Lewis Mumford, Sigfried Giedion, and Jacquel Ellul; the concept and utility of gender studies in the history of technology; and analyses of currently influential books in the field of scholars such as Thomas P. Hughes, David A. Hounshell (both contributors to the volume), David Noble, and Ruth Cowan.


The volume's contributors also include Edwin T. Layton, Jr., Robert P. Multhauf, Eugene S. Ferguson, Bruce Sinclair, Arthur P. Molella, Paul T. Durbin, Merritt Roe Smith and Steven C. Reber, Judith A. McGaw, Joan Rothschild, Darwin H. Stapleton with Liz Paley, and Brooke Hindle. There is an opening appreciation by Carroll W. Pursell, Jr., as well as a "last word" from Melvin Kranzberg himself, a delightful essay concluding with an affirmation—in which all of the contributors would


concur—or "the significance in human affairs of the history of technology and the value of the contextual approach in understanding technical developments."


Out of Print

0934223033 (AUP)
Lehigh University Press - In Context: History and the History of Technology