David A. Hounshell

David Allen Hounshell (born 1950) is an American academic, and David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Department of History, and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is known for his work of the history of research and development and industrial research in the United States,[1] particularly at DuPont.[2]


Hounshell studied electrical engineering at Southern Methodist University, receiving the B.S. in 1972. He then changed fields and enrolled in the University of Delaware's history program earning the M.S. in 1975. He continued his studies at Delaware completing his Ph.D. in 1978.

Hounshell started his academic career at the University of Delaware, where in 1983 he got promoted to associate professor of history. In those days he was also curator of technology at the Hagley Museum. In the year 1987/88 he was a Marvin Bower Fellow at Harvard Business School. In 1991 he moved to the Carnegie Mellon University, where he is appointed David M. Roderick Professor of Technology and Social Change in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Department of History, and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy.

Hounshell has worked with National Research Council and the National Science Foundation to study the effects of the Cold War on science and engineering research.

His From the American System to Mass Production, 1800–1932 was awarded 's 1987 Dexter Prize by the Society for the History of Technology.[3] In 2007 the Society for the History of Technology also awarded him its highest prize, the Leonardo da Vinci Medal.

Selected publications

  • Hounshell, David A. (1984), From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States, Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-2975-8, LCCN 83016269
  • Hounshell, David A., Smith, John Kenley. Science and Corporate Strategy. DuPont R&D, 1902–1980, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988, ISBN 978-0-521-02852-3.


  1. ^ Cohen, Wesley M., Richard R. Nelson, and John P. Walsh. "Links and impacts: the influence of public research on industrial R&D." Management science 48.1 (2002): 1–23.
  2. ^ Freeman, Christopher, and Luc Soete, eds. The economics of industrial innovation. Psychology Press, 1997.
  3. ^ "The Dexter Prize," Technology and Culture 29, no. 3 (July 1988), 641–43.

External links

Abbott Payson Usher

Abbott Payson Usher (1883 – June 18, 1965) was an American economic historian. The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) has awarded the Abbot Payson Usher Prize, named in his honor, annually since 1961.In the late 1920s Usher, the American historian Lewis Mumford and the Swiss art historian Sigfried Giedion began to systematically investigate the social consequences of technology. In A History of Mechanical Inventions Usher argued that technological innovation was a slow, collective process with many contributors, not relying on the genius of great inventors.In 1963 Usher was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Medal by the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT).

Bertrand Gille (historian)

Bertrand Gille (March 29, 1920, Paris – November 30, 1980) was a French archivist and historian of technology.

Although best known for his work on technology, Gille also wrote on diverse subjects including the history of French banking and Russian economics. After teaching at the university of Clermont-Ferrand, he became a director of studies at the École pratique des hautes études, as well as giving a course on the history of technology at the University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne.

David E. Nye

David E. Nye is Professor of American History at the University of Southern Denmark. He is the winner of the 2005 Leonardo da Vinci Medal of the Society for the History of Technology.Nye is the author of

The invented Self : An Anti-biography, from Documents of Thomas A. Edison (1983)†

Image Worlds: Corporate Identities at General Electric, 1890-1930 (1985)

Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940 (1990)

American Technological Sublime (1994)

Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies (1997)

Narratives and Spaces: Technology and the Construction of American Culture (1997)**

Technologies of Landscape: From Reaping to Recycling (1999)*

America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings (2003)

Technology Matters: Questions to Live With (2006) (for which he received the 2009 Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology)

When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America (2010)

America's Assembly Line (2013)all published by the MIT Press, except *University of Massachusetts Press; **Columbia University Press; and †Odense University Press.

David Landes

David Saul Landes (April 29, 1924 – August 17, 2013) was a professor of economics and of history at Harvard University. He is the author of Bankers and Pashas, Revolution in Time, The Unbound Prometheus, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, and Dynasties. Such works have received both praise for detailed retelling of economic history, as well as scorn on charges of Eurocentrism, a charge he openly embraced, arguing that an explanation for an economic miracle that happened originally only in Europe must of necessity be a Eurocentric analysis.

DuPont Experimental Station

The DuPont Experimental Station is the largest research and development facility of DuPont. Located on the banks of the Brandywine Creek in Wilmington, Delaware, it is home to some of the most important discoveries of the modern chemical industry.

Eugene S. Ferguson

Eugene Shallcross Ferguson (January 24, 1916 – March 21, 2004) was an American engineer, historian of technology and professor of history at the University of Delaware, particularly known for his 1992 work Engineering and the Mind's Eye.


Hounsell is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Alan Hounsell (born 1947), New Zealand cricketer

Barbara Hounsell (born 1951), Canadian swimmer

Colin Hounsell (born 1955), Australian footballer

Patrick Hounsell (born 1958), New Zealand cricketer

William Hounsell (1820–1903), English cricketer

Joel A. Tarr

Joel A. Tarr (born 1934) is an American historian, currently the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. His research includes environmental and urban development and systems and their effects.

John Ulric Nef (economic historian)

John Ulric Nef (1899–1988) was an American economic historian, and the co-founder of the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought. He was associated with the University of Chicago for over half a century, and co-founded the Committee there in 1941.

Leo Marx

Leo Marx (born November 15, 1919) is an American professor who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was an author known for his works in the field of American studies. His work in American studies examines the relationship between technology and culture in 19th- and 20th-century America. He graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in History and Literature and a PhD in the History of American Civilization in 1950.

Leonardo da Vinci Medal

The Leonardo da Vinci Medal is the highest award of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), and was first given in 1962. In general this award is granted annually to scholars who have contributed outstandingly to the history of technology through research, teaching, publication or other activities. The prize consists of a certificate and a medal.

Louis de Tousard

Louis de Tousard (1749-1817) was a French artillerist who served in the American Continental Army under La Fayette, and later was given a US commission. Tousard wrote two very influential books: one was a proposal for a school for officers that became the blueprint for West Point, and the other was a manual for artillery officers that became standard in the young army.

Merritt Roe Smith

Merritt Roe Smith (1940) is an American historian. He is the Leverett and William Cutten Professor of the History of Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Otto Mayr

Otto Mayr (born November 2, 1930) is a German mechanical engineer, historian of technology, curator, museum director, and author. He is particularly known for his work on "The origins of feedback control" and "authority, liberty, & automatic machinery in early modern Europe."

Pamela O. Long

Pamela O. Long (born 1943) is an independent American historian specializing in late Medieval and Renaissance history and the history of science and technology.

In 2007, she was chosen as a Guggenheim Fellow and in 2014, she was made a MacArthur Fellow.Long graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, and from Catholic University of America.

Putting-out system

The putting-out system is a means of subcontracting work. Historically, it was also known as the workshop system and the domestic system. In putting-out, work is contracted by a central agent to subcontractors who complete the work in off-site facilities, either in their own homes or in workshops with multiple craftsmen.

It was used in the English and American textile industries, in shoemaking, lock-making trades, and making parts for small firearms from the Industrial Revolution until the mid-19th century; however, after the invention of the sewing machine in 1846, the system lingered on for the making of ready-made men's clothing.The domestic system was suited to pre-urban times because workers did not have to travel from home to work, which was quite impracticable due to the state of roads and footpaths, and members of the household spent many hours in farm or household tasks. Early factory owners sometimes had to build dormitories to house workers, especially girls and women. Putting-out workers had some flexibility to balance farm and household chores with the putting-out work, this being especially important in winter.

The development of this trend is often considered to be a form of proto-industrialization, and remained prominent until the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century.

At that point, it underwent name and geographical changes. However, bar some technological advancements, the putting-out system has not changed in essential practice. Contemporary examples can be found in China, India, and South America, and are not limited to the textiles industry.

Ruth Schwartz Cowan

Ruth Schwartz Cowan (born 1941) is an American historian of technology noted for research on how household technologies such as home appliances affected expectations of women and housework.

Society for the History of Technology

The Society for the History of Technology, or SHOT, is the primary professional society for historians of technology. SHOT was founded in 1958 in the United States, and it has since become an international society with members "from some thirty-five countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa." SHOT owes its existence largely to the efforts of Professor Melvin Kranzberg (1917-1995) and an active network of engineering educators. SHOT co-founders include John B. Rae, Carl W. Condit, Thomas P. Hughes, and Eugene S. Ferguson. SHOT's flagship publication is the journal Technology and Culture, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Kranzberg served as editor of Technology and Culture until 1981, and was succeeded as editor by Robert C. Post until 1995, and John M. Staudenmaier from 1996 until 2010. The current editor of Technology and Culture is Suzanne Moon at the University of Oklahoma. SHOT is an affiliate of the American Council of Learned Societies and the American Historical Association and publishes a book series with the Johns Hopkins University Press entitled "Historical Perspectives on Technology, Society, and Culture," under the co-editorship of Pamela O. Long and Asif Azam Siddiqi. Pamela O. Long is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" for 2014.The history of technology was traditionally linked to economic history and history of science, but its interactions are now equally strong with environmental history, gender history, business history, and labor history. SHOT annually awards two book prizes, the Edelstein Prize and the Sally Hacker Prize, as well as the Kranzberg Dissertation Fellowship and the Brooke Hindle Postdoctoral Fellowship. Its highest award is the Leonardo da Vinci Medal. Recipients of the medal include Kranzberg, Ferguson, Post, Staudenmaier, Bart Hacker, and Brooke Hindle. In 1968 Kranzberg was also instrumental in the founding of a sister society, the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) in 1968. The two societies complement each other.

The Society for the History of Technology is dedicated to the historical study of technology and its relations with politics, economic, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science, and the arts. The society now numbers around 1500 members, and regularly holds annual meetings at non-North-American venues. SHOT also sponsors smaller conferences focused on specialized topics, often jointly with other scholarly societies and organizations.

William Davis Ticknor Sr.

William Davis Ticknor Sr. (January 11, 1881 – March 24, 1938) was president and chairman of the board of Commercial Solvents Corporation. He was also president of Commercial Pigments Corporation.


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