Rensselaer Libraries

ITEC 1210-01 Histories and Chronologies of Technology

Posted: Jan 9, 2009

Guides to the History of Technology (print) | History & Development of Technology (online) | Chronologies and Time Lines

History and Development of Specific Technologies | Media Coverage | Social & Cultural Implications | Cost of Living | Google

Guides to the History of Technology

The Libraries have many guides to the history of technology. These books are useful to determine dates of inventions and may also provide brief histories of specific technologies. Some of these include:

  • New and improved ... : inventors and inventions that have changed the modern world
    T 15 .B27

  • Science and technology breakthroughs : from the wheel to the World Wide Web
    Ref Q 173 .B896 1998

  • Scientific American inventions and discoveries : all the milestones in ingenuity--from the discovery of fire to the invention of the microwave oven
    T15 .C378 2004
  • World of Invention
    Ref T 15 W82 1999

  • The Libraries have many other books on the history of technology. Search in the online catalog using keywords such as:

    • inventions
    • inventions AND history
    • technology AND history
    • discoveries AND science
    • technological AND innovations

Chronologies provide descriptions of events and conditions in chronological order. Another general term for this kind of information is "time line." Use these books to gain a perspective on the time period in which a specific technology was developed, by viewing the political, social, and cultural events of the same time period.

  • Almanac of American history
    Ref E 174.5 A45

  • Asimov's Chronology of science and discovery
    Q 125 A765 1994

  • Chronology of world history
    Ref D11 .M39 1999

  • Day by Day:
    • The Sixties, Ref D 848 .P27
    • The Seventies, Ref D848 .L4
    • The Eighties, Ref D848 .M45
  • Encyclopedia of American facts and dates
    Ref E 174.5 C3 1993
  • Great events from history II. Science and technology
    Ref Q125 .G825 1991
  • History of science and technology : a narrative chronology.
    Q125 .S43713 1988

  • Timetables of science : a chronology of the most important people and events in the history of science
    Ref Q125 .H557 1991

  • Wilson chronology of science and technology
    Q125 .O26 1997

  • Illustrated London News (ILN) timeline "which was first printed in 1842 is the finest pictorial example of a historic social record of British and world events up to the present day."

  • Technology Chronology: "Based on Vaclav Smil, Energy in World History (Boulder, CO; Westview Press, 1994)." Part of a larger World History Chronology, a project of the History Dept. at Northpark University.

  • Timelines of History : "Timelines of World History contains numerous files arranged first in universal files by date, then by country, then by assorted subjects as listed on the main page. Also included are Today in History files."

  • timelinescience : "one thousand years of scientific thought"

  • Timelines of Inventions and Technology : "Invention and technology timelines tell the history of famous 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century events."

  • World History Online puts world history, by culture or by geographic area, in a timeline that covers prehistory to the present.

  • How Stuff Works : " HowStuffWorks is widely recognized as the leading source for clear, reliable explanations of how everything around us actually works." Many articles include a "Lots More Information" section with links to relevant history sites.

The History and Development of Technology

  • The History and Primitive Technology Page. ..."the place to explore, discuss, and exchange information on matters pertaining to history from the stone-age to the turn of the century."

  • History of Science Society links to research, publications, meetings, member services. Includes the "History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Database: The definitive international bibliography for the history of science, technology, and medicine."

  • Making of America Project, University of Michigan and Cornell University MOA page. The Making of America Projects is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the ante-bellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 1,600 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints. .

  • Science Odyssey : from PBS. Web site to accompany the TV series, about the People and Discoveries of the 20th century.

  • Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. The Lemelson Center’s mission: "To document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation."

The History and Development of Specific Technologies

  • Adventures in CyberSound: Technology and Society : Related Essays.

  • Computing Machines : Links to details on diverse information technologies: all types of computers (from the Mark I to Russian mainframes), ATMs, cryptographic, the typewriter and the keyboard -- and to a "Mousesite" for exploring the history of human computer interaction.

  • Engineering Successes and Failures : list of some engineering successes and failures from the Pyramids of Egypt in BC 2800 to modern times.

  • History of Newspaper Technology. From the, that focuses "primarily on how newspapers and the press covered major, and not so major, events in American history."

  • History of Silicon Valley and the Technology Behind it : local history of Silicon Valley from 1776 to the present.

  • History of Sound Recording Technology : "The Sound Recording Technology History Site explores the history and impact of the inventions that changed the way we listen."

  • IEEE History Center, Preserving, Researching and Promoting the Legacy of Electrical Engineering and Computing. Provides links to photographs, oral histories, publications.

  • The Media History Project: "promoting the study of media history from petroglyphs to pixels". Provides information on early, print, electrical, mass, and digital media.

  • NASA Kennedy Space Center Historical Archives includes Space History, detailed information on Manned Missions, recollections by astronauts, Apollo images. NASA History Office links to current events, publications, historical subjects, and other resources.

  • National Air & Space Museum includes images and information that are designed to give the user the opportunity to see and learn about many of the Smithsonian's most popular and important objects and exhibits.

  • Time : systems of time defined by U.S. Naval Observatory

  • Walk Through Time : evolution of time measurement developed by NIST Physics Laboratory. Describes ancient calendars, early clocks, revolution in timekeeping, the atomic age, world time scales, and NIST time calibration.


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