Story Bibliography
Media for this Story
Science and Invention Bibliography
Further Reading

Aitken, Hugh G. J. The Continuous Wave: Technology and American Radio, 1900-1932. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Barnouw, Erik. A Tower in Babel: A History of Broadcasting in the United States, Volume I to 1933. New York: Oxford University Press, 1966 .

Volume I of a path breaking three-volume history of the early decades of American broadcasting

Barnouw, Erik. The Golden Web: A History of Broadcasting in the United States, Volume II–1933 to 1953. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Volume II of three-volume history of the early decades of American broadcasting.

Barnouw, Erik. The Image Empire: A History of Broadcasting in the United States, Volume III–from 1953. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.

Volume III of a three-volume history of the early decades of American broadcasting.

Berg, Jerome S. On the Short Waves, 1923-1945. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Co. , 1999.

A well-illustrated history of the early decades of short-wave radio.

Ceruzzi, Paul E. A History of Modern Computing. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.

A detailed, comprehensive history of the computer.

Conrad, Nancy, and Howard A. Klausner. Rocketman: Astronaut Pete Conrad's Incredible Ride to the Moon and Beyond. New York: New American Library, 2006.

The biography of Devon, Pennsylvania native Charles "Pete” Conrad, Jr., who as commander of Apollo 12 became the first Pennsylvanian to walk on the surface of the moon.

Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. A Social History of American Technology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

A fascinating 250-year history that explores the impact of new technologies on the American people.

Cowan, Ruth Schwartz. More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1983.

Cowan's account of how new household technologies– including washing machines, irons, electric stoves–changed the lives of American women.

Current, Richard N. The Typewriter and the Men Who Made It . Arcadia, CA: Post-Era Books, 1988.

An excellent, readable history of the history of the typewriter, with good detail on Christopher Sholes and James Densmore.

Douglas, Susan J. Inventing American Broadcasting, 1899-1922. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

An excellent history of the early history of the American broadcast industry.

Essig, Mark. Edison and the Electric Chair. New York: Walker and Company, 2003.

A fascinating account of Thomas Edison's use of the electric chair to discredit George Westinghouse during the "War of the Currents," with good background on the advent of electricity, and the seedier side of Edison and Westinghouse's corporate battle in the emerging the electrical power industry.

Flatow, Ira. They All Laughed... From Light Bulbs to Lasers: The Fascinating Stories Behind the Great Inventions That Have Changed Our Lives . New York: Harper Paperbacks, 1993.

A funny and informative history of important inventions, with chapters on Benjamin Franklin, the typewriter, the "War of the Currents," and ENIAC computers.

Hindle, Brooke. The Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, 1735-1789. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1956.

Classic study of science and invention in early America, and on the impact of the American Revolutionary War on scientific innovation.

Hindle, Brooke and Steven Lubar. Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution 1790-1860. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986.

An excellent history of the first industrial revolution, which also examines its impact upon American lives and European responses to new American technologies.

Jonnes, Jill. Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World. New York: Random House, 2003.

The history of the electrification of the United States and the impact of electricity upon American society, told through the stories of Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Pennsylvanian George Westinghouse.

Khan, B. Zorina. The Democratization of Invention: Patents and Copyrights in American Economic Development, 1790-1920 (NBER Series on Long-Term Factors in Economic Development). New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

A history of American intellectual property rights in the 1800s, with a section on women inventors and the property rights of women.

Kluger, Jeffrey. Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio. New York: Putnam Adult, 2005.

A history of the successful campaign to conquer polio in the United States.

MacDonald, Anne L. Feminine Ingenuity: Women and Invention in America. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.

An engagingly written history of American female inventors.

McGaw, Judith A.,, ed.. Early American Technology: Making and Doing Things from the Colonial Era to 1850 . Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.

A group of essays with a strong focus on Pennsylvania, which place technological innovations into their historical context.

Oshinsky, David M. Polio: An American Story . New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

An excellent history that examines the weaknesses of the American healthcare system in the early 1900s, the impact of polio on Americans, and the heroic, collective efforts that led to the disease's eradication.

Sale, Kirkpatrick. The Fire of His Genius: Robert Fulton and the American Dream. New York: The Free Press, 2001.

A broad, well-written account of the surprising life of the man who claimed to have invented the steamboat.

Sutcliffe, Andrea. Steam: The Untold Story of America's First Great Invention. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Tolles, Frederick B. "Philadelphia's First Scientist: James Logan," In Early American Science, ed. Brooke Hindle, 86-96. New York: Science History Publications, 1976.

A brief biography of James Logan, one of Pennsylvania's very first "gentleman scientists."

Trimble, William F. High Frontier: A History of Aeronautics in Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1982.

A comprehensive, history of Pennsylvania aeronautic pioneers and industries.

Worthen, Dennis B. Pharmacy in World War II. Binghamton, NY: The Hawthorn Press, 2004.

Explores the impact of new drugs during the Second World War, including excellent oral histories with penicillin technicians and the field medics who administered the drug during combat.

Web Guide

"United States Early Radio History,”

A rich collection of materials on the invention and early days of radio in the United States, including timelines, historical blurbs, biographies of important people, and articles.

Academy of Natural Sciences, "Bone Wars: The Marsh-Cope Rivalry"

This article discusses the rivalry between two famous paleontologists, Edward Cope and Othniel Marsh. It gives an overview of their accomplishments, personalities, and professional relationship. The rivalry begins when Cope mistakenly puts the head on the wrong end of Elasmosaurus platyurus.

Henry Ford Museum

The Henry Ford Museum documents the history of American technology and innovation. Online exhibitions with a wealth of materials include "Made in America," "Automobile in American Life," and "Heroes of the Sky."

Library of Congress: American Memory., "The Westinghouse World: The Companies, the People, and the Places"

An illustrated history of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, Machine Company, and Electric and Manufacturing Company, loaded with documents and images.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Includes a wealth of materials on the history of flight and online exhibitions, including a section on "Women in Aviation and Space History.”

Smithsonian National Museum of American History , "Whatever Happened to Polio"

A rich, multimedia media history of polio in American history.

The Academy of Natural Sciences

This website, from Pennsylvania's world famous natural history museum, offers a rich array of resources and digital collections, including a wealth of digital images, full text of early journals and books on natural history, online museum exhibits, and more.

The American Philosophical Society

Founded in 1743, the American Philosophical Society is the nation's oldest organization devoted to scientific research. Its website includes a rich array of materials and online exhibits on the history of American science, including "Stuffing Birds, Pressing Plants, Shaping Knowledge: Natural History in North America, 1750-1875”. The site also includes an index to the Society's extensive manuscript holdings.

The Franklin Institute

A terrific website on the history of American science and invention, packed with online exhibits, biographies, and lesson plans. "Scientists and the Institute: Making their Cases" includes stories searchable by either the scientist or the invention that made them famous. The "Pieces of Science" section has the curricula for both elementary and secondary school teachers, as well as a brief history of subjects ranging from genetic clones and Franklin's lightning rod to Joseph Priestley's physics projects and the Grumman Lunar Module.

United States Patent Office, "Significant Historical Patents of the United States,”

A listing of the 120 most important U. S. patents ever granted, including those of Samuel Hopkins, Sholes and Glidden, and Edward Acheson.

University of Pennsylvania , "Health, Medicine, and American Culture, 1930-1960,"

A good resource for teachers and classroom projects on the history of medicine's "Golden Age."

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