A Retrospective View of Science, Technology, and Material Culture in Early American History

by Brooke Hindle

HISTORY has many mansions indeed, as well as "suburbs and shantytowns, trailer parks and condominiums," and early American history has its share of most of them.1 In this essay I want to bring into view the peculiar story of a few of these edifices, selected because they are the ones within which I have lived and labored. They are the history of science, the history of technology, and the history of material culture.

The needs and attitudes of society call upon the historian for a constantly changing selection and concentration of his efforts. That is the reason nothing seems to change "more often and more quickly than the immutable past," and every change has meaning.2 History cannot attain a settled state because, as the collective memory, it serves society. For society, history is "a dialogue in the present with the past about the future."3

Early American history was our first history, appearing long before the end of the colonial period. With the progress of time, it yielded center stage to more recent histories and to those deemed to have more current meaning. Even though early American history embraced the origins of American civilization and the beginnings of the nation, promising younger scholars came to see the dialogue with later eras as more significant. Still, by the time of the Second World War, some of the most respected American historians studied that period, among them Samuel Eliot Morison, Charles M. Andrews, and Thomas J. Wertenbaker.

The Institute of Early American History and Culture was founded to encourage the development of the field at a time when it seemed to need strengthening. A group of distinguished early Americanists who served in an advisory capacity to Colonial Williamsburg talked during the war about the sort of institution that might meet the need. The presidents of "the Restoration" and the College of William and Mary participated and agreed to cosponsor the Institute, which emerged in 1943 with the new, third series of the William and Mary Quarterly as its journal.4 In the fall of 1945 Carl Bridenbaugh arrived as its first director.

It is not enough to assert that the Institute fulfilled its purpose of giving new life to the field or that it played a major role in pointing the way to the present flourishing state of early American history. Examination of the orientation of the early Institute and of a few of the directions it encouraged is more instructive. Bridenbaugh set the course, a course reflecting both his own understanding of history and the aspirations of early advisors and Council members, especially Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr., under whom he had studied. The Institute embraced all dimensions of history, but its emphasis is best indicated by the inclusion of the word culture both in its title and in the subtitle of the Quarterly. This underlines a breadth of concerns centered in social history but including art, music, religion, science, and intellectual history generally.

Bridenbaugh identified himself as a "social and intellectual" historian and, although he had written mostly of life and culture in the towns and cities, resisted being labeled an urban historian.5 He felt that every inquiry deserved to be placed in the largest historical frame. The appointment of Douglass Adair as editor of the Quarterly strengthened intellectual history, which, in his case, embraced political and lived close to social history. Significantly, the founding of the Institute coincided with the publication of the 1763 to 1830 volumes of the influential History of American Life Series, of which Schlesinger was coeditor. Schlesinger had by then become clearly recognized as the leading American social historian.

When I joined the Institute staff in 1948 as the second fellow (then known as research associate), I brought a congenial orientation, believing my interest to be the history of man in society. This approach I had accepted in undergraduate work with Bridenbaugh and graduate work with Richard H. Shryock, who himself resisted being tagged solely as a medical historian although his most important publications were in that field.6 His realm was best defined by his three-year course sequence entitled "American Social and Cultural History." These exposures had convinced me that history in the large was my objective, and social history, rather than the social science approach to history, my primary focus.7

The History of Science

To Bridenbaugh and Shryock science was one of the central threads of history, requiring study not as a perspective on current science but because the understanding of history demanded it. It was not an insulated topical field whose mysteries were restricted to the trained scientist. Shryock used the platform of the History of Science Society in 1944 to promote his approach to the inquiry in a paper entitled "The Need for Studies in the History of American Science."8 In 1946 Schlesinger issued his own call in "An American Historian Looks at Science and Technology."9

This was the atmosphere to which I returned immediately after the war; the history of science appeared a bright and rising field to which I had an acceptable entry visa. I was told that my M.I.T. study of science and engineering, plus my wartime training and assignment in radar maintenance, would permit me to understand eighteenth-century science from the inside. I undertook a dissertation on the rise of the American Philosophical Society, in the belief that it was less history of science than history that embraced science.

The rising community of scholars who were developing the history of science into a subfield of history with its own standards of rigor placed much more emphasis upon the internal, intellectual growth of science itself. George Sarton, founder of the History of Science Society, still presided as editor of its journal, Isis, and as the major figure in the field. His first graduate students were only then finishing their preparation and beginning their careers. They began with their mentor's dictum that the first requirement was competence in science; historical competence was secondary.10 Sarton had been trained as a scientist and was emotionally committed to the celebration of science. He had limited time for Shryock and Shryock's kind of history, while on the other hand Shryock once remarked, "Well, you just cannot tell him that he does not know how to write a book.''11 The difference was almost a difference of two cultures.

For the most part, this left American history beyond the range of vision of Sarton historians, who concentrated on the scientific revolution, the Middle Ages, and Arabic science. Nearly all focused on the "mainstream" of science, which did not flow through America until the relatively recent past. Little but antiquarian notes and very occasional articles on early American science appeared in Isis before the Second World War.

Then an opening for Benjamin Franklin studies was created by Bernard Cohen, a Sarton student who later succeeded him as editor of Isis. Scientists and engineers had registered an early receptivity when Franklin's was the only American name cut into stone in the 1916 complex of M.I.T. buildings, along with Aristotle, Galileo, and Newton among the ten greatest scientists. Cohen published his edition of Franklin's Experiments and Observations in 1941 and followed in 1943 with the first Franklin article in Isis. Over the next twenty-five years, Isis printed another seven articles on Franklin, nearly half of all its offerings in the early American field.12 Cohen continued to write extensively on Franklin, winning, while in the process of turning to scientific revolution studies, the Institute of Early American History and Culture's book prize for his 1956 Franklin and Newton.

By the mid-'50s, the alternative approach to the history of science, emphasizing synthesis, was developing with closer relationships to the Institute. Bridenbaugh's support had always been clear; two of his books published before and one after his Institute tenure included pioneering chapters on science.13 The first distinct publication came out of the "Needs and Opportunities" series of conferences and books launched during Lyman H. Butterfield's directorship; this was Whitfield J. Bell, Jr.'s Early American Science (1955). Bell, a Shryock student, surveyed the period to 1820 and offered a bibliographical guide to fifty individuals. Subsequently, biographies or source collections appeared for several of them, especially the naturalists. 14 In 1956 the Institute published my Pursuit of Science in Revolutionary America, a contextual synthesis developed from my dissertation. What had started as the institutional history of a scientific organization had revealed itself to me as a key to the interpretation of science and technology in a specific cultural setting.

From three Schlesinger students came similar contextual and institutional studies of science. A. Hunter Dupree provided in 1957 a chronological synthesis, Science and the Federal Government, the first chapters of which are critical for understanding the early period. In 1970 Raymond P. Stearns, long at work on the Royal Society, published Science in the British Colonies of North America. John C. Greene, whose writings have stressed the need always to keep both sides of the Atlantic in view, now has in print his account of the last segment of early American history, entitled American Science in the Age of Jefferson (1984).

Between the postwar beginnings of the history of early American science and the present, the objectives, character, and support in the held have altered drastically. The pivot point for most of the change coincides chronologically with the student rebellions of the late 1960s, the significance of which we have not begun to comprehend. Most of the "new" histories, even given earlier roots, took their start about then. The history of science was not new, but it moved in two new directions. First, scholars, especially younger scholars, demanded fundamental attention to the social meaning of science. Now the old internalist-externalist difference dissolved in a new conventional wisdom, agreed to by Sarton- and Schlesinger-oriented historians alike, that the two approaches were both essential and interrelated in ways that barred meaningful separation. Second, the push for "relevance" coincided with the rise of attention to recent science and the appearance of scholars capable of handling its internal dimensions. Concern for social meaning as well as attention to recent science strengthened the study of American science - but the benefit was overwhelmingly in favor of post-1820 studies.

Indeed, early American history of science suffered. The appearance of early American articles in Isis peaked in 1955 and trailed away through the 1960s to virtually nothing.15 Although the numbers were too small in both periodicals to offer much statistical reliability, the appearance of science in the William and Mary Quarterly followed almost precisely the same course, the peak year there being 1956.16 Book publication has been too scattered to offer a similar profile, but there, again, the best years were 1955 and 1956.

What happened? The recent history of science has grown remarkably by all of the obvious measures, and the community of historians studying American science had multiplied by 1980 to the point of establishing a separate newsletter.17 Yet these historians gave little attention to the early American field, although simultaneous developments help somewhat to account for the pattern. American science after 1820 emerged as much the most important part of the story, and at the same time the relationships of science, especially its social relations, grew in interest. Economic and business history were involved, but most significant was the history of technology.

The History of Technology

The history of technology had long relationships with several fields, its connections with the history of science being particularly instructive. From Sarton's day it had been accepted within the history of science spectrum, but it remained subordinate if not inferior. Its frequent identification as "applied science" confirmed this status, and as late as the 1960s and 1970s no more than 3 percent of Isis articles fell within the fields of technology and medicine.18 The 1958 establishment of the Society for the History of Technology provided a separate professional base, and the journal Technology and Culture followed in 1960. SHOT rested heavily upon the leadership of Melvin Kranzberg, a historian trained, as Shryock had been, in conventional history. He mobilized diverse support: engineers turning to history, business historians, museum curators, and a few general historians or historians of science working with technology. From the start, American technology was prominently represented in the new organization, and the 1960s revolutions had limited effects, some even beneficial. More obviously than science, technology had fundamental and continuing social relations both in its development and in its impacts. Technology had also been inescapably more important throughout American history than science.

The establishment of a new professional field or subfield can dramaticalIy crystallize work being done and sharpen viewpoints. Arthur C. Bining's important study of early iron technology (Pennsylvania Iron Manufacture, 1938) was carried out within the framework of economic history. So was Louis C. Hunter's seminal Steamboats on the Western Rivers (I949), but by the time Hunter published Water Power in the Century of the Steam Engine (1979), he and others saw his work as a contribution within the history of technology.

The recognition of the history of technology as a professional entity had a direct impact upon me as I finished my biography, David Rittenhouse (1964). This I understood as the study of a scientist within a cultural and political context. However, as soon as I looked at Rittenhouse through the lens of the history of technology he clearly appeared as, first of all, a mechanic - a maker of clocks and mathematical instruments. His technology was every bit as worthy of highlighting as his science. Indeed, thinking back, I recognized that my Pursuit of Science had contained a significant component of technology.

That led me to propose to Lester J. Cappon, then director of the Institute, a Needs and Opportunities conference on technology. He agreed, obtaining the joint sponsorship of the Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation. That organization had been established in 1952 at the site of the original du Pont powder mills and in cooperation with the University of Delaware had become a center for the study of the history of technology. The result was a conference held in 1965 and my book Technology in Early America.19

The book involved a question of chronology that points to continuing difficulties in integrating the history of technology into general American history. The great divide between traditional and industrial technology coincides with the American Revolution, but the traditional end date for early American history - 1815 or 1820 - coincides with nothing in the story of technology. Industrial technology has to be introduced into any early American survey, but, to make sense, it has to be run beyond 1815. My compromise date for this volume was 1850, by which time the end of the beginning of industrialization can be asserted.

This divide between traditional and industrial technology is a very real barrier that continues to separate most of those working on early American technology. One of the most thoughtful historical works on traditional technology is Bridenbaugh's Colonial Craftsman (1950), but an increasing number of contributions come from those in decorative arts folk culture, and museums. Engineers, journalists, and many others have written of industrial technology, and this is now also a primary area of concentration for professional historians of technology. Because industrialization began within the early American period, much important work has been done and is being done there. A recent synthesis by Thomas C Cochran, Frontiers of Change: Early Industrialism in America (1981), dates a significant achievement of mechanization and industrialization earlier than others have, pushing it back to perhaps 1810.

Contributions have been made to this important inquiry through various interdisciplinary approaches, particularly from economic and business history, anthropology, literary, and military history, in addition to the research of historians trained to this held specifically.20 Much of the published work relates to a few thematic questions. The transfer of technology continues to be one of these, from Carroll W. Pursell, Jr.'s 1969 steam engine study to David J. Jeremy's 1981 examination of textile technology.21 The science-technology relationship is a part of most inquiries, especially strong in Bruce Sinclair's history of the Franklin Institute and Robert C. Post's biography of Charles Grafton Page.22

Next to Bridenbaugh and Shryock, the man who had the greatest influence on the direction of my thought was Cyril S. Smith, a metallurgist who became a historian and who asks the biggest questions. One of these has to do with the ultimate motivation behind technology. Smith took this to be aesthetic - or the same motivation as for art; indeed, he felt that science similarly depended upon aesthetic motivation. This seemed to me to hold significant truth, but I was also influenced by those who emphasized the nonverbal element in thought about technology as well as by experiments and studies leading to the concept of bimodal thinking in the bicameral brain. The classic experiments on brain physiology and function that began to clarify hemispheric specialization in the brain were performed by Roger W. Sperry in the 1960s. It is now clear that the left hemisphere is specialized to process sequential information, notably speech, and it deals best with language, arithmetic, logic, and analysis. By contrast, the right hemisphere is the primary seat for simultaneous and related inputs; it handles best spatial patterns, systems, and synthesis. This functional distinction between verbal and nonverbal thinking seemed to me to provide the causative base for the great importance of spatial or visual thinking in creative technology - which the historical record made abundantly clear. My Emulation and Invention (1981) examined spatial thinking in technological creativity, using the steamboat and the telegraph as case studies.23

Technological change is a pervasive theme that has received much attention, especially in regard to the American system of manufacturers or the manufacture of interchangeable parts. Under this method, specialpurpose machines produced multiple copies of parts to such close tolerances that they could be used interchangeably. Diverse views of the American system are offered in the conference proceedings edited by Otto Mayr and Robert C. Post, and, on the same topic, Merritt Roe Smith's Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology: The Challenge of Change received wide acclaim. As anthropologist Anthony F. C. Wallace had done in Rockdale, Smith fitted a careful examination of hardware into a community study that falls congenially within current patterns of historiography.24

Technology has fundamental relationships to several areas of fresh historical interest - to the new social history, the new labor history, and the new economic history. Aspects of technology can be readily quantified, and historians from the new areas of activity have recently applied themselves to the early period, especially to the time since the onset of industrialization. A hint of this increased interest shows in the William and Mary Quarterly, where the very occasional technology articles have been outnumbered in the past eight years by articles with a secondary interest in technology and a primary focus upon another field, such as economic or social history.

The meaning of this pattern may be clarified by comparing books published on early technology with Technology and Culture articles. Books produced during the past eight years have multiplied five times over those published in the preceding eight-year period, but, among them, books with a secondary interest in technology have had by far the greatest growth. In the same intervals, early American articles in T & C dropped to one-third the number. Why? A reasonable explanation would seem to be that the books published most recently come out of research and study begun in the preceding interval - which often appeared first as articles. However, what does the recent drop in T & C articles mean?

A conjectural answer to this is twofold. First, the interest in technology that is rising in related fields is not heavily represented in T & C. It shows up instead in general historical journals and in those serving the primary fields of these historians. Second, at the same time that early American articles in T & C> have declined, those treating late nineteenth- and twentieth-century technology have increased. So, indeed, have articles specialized in the new centers of concern within social history - but few of them examine the early period. The recent decrease in articles forecasts a near-term decrease in books, but probably only in early American books giving primary attention to technology. The broadened interest in technology from other fields will show in books relating two or more fields.

Given the clear increase of interest in technology among economic and social historians, the limited representation of Marxist and new left approaches requires notice. Why did Dirk J. Struik present the early period with seeming affection in 1948, and why did David F. Noble in 1978 look back so favorably from his examination of later American history?25 Apparently, Marxist advocacy history has to present the early era as a golden age, in contrast to the later development of industrial capitalism. Most such advocacy historians, therefore, see more advantage to studying the later period.26

A final component of the history of technology is the use of technological artifacts as historical sources. Faith in this approach is strong in museums, but it has been applied successfully only in occasional instances. The best foundation here is the collection and publication of source materials, the photographs and measured drawings of engineering structures of the Historic American Engineering Record being particularly useful. The best published contribution is The Engineering Drawings of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, edited by Darwin Stapleton in 1980. The importance and potential use of three-dimensional sources for many fields of history have hardly been hinted at yet.

Material Culture History

How historians should confront objects - indeed, confront all material vestiges of the past - remains unresolved, but a new approach has just begun to emerge, generally tagged as material culture history. Into this category fall artifacts, machines, costumes, buildings, bridges, and even the man-made landscape, all of them products of technology. Their meaning in interpreting the life of an era is not a primary concern of most historians of technology, and it is no concern at all of most other historians. Such artifacts are known best to museums, historic villages, and antique collectors, and also, we now begin to recognize, to decorative arts and architectural historians, folklorists, anthropologists, and archaeologists.

This returns us by a circular route to the Institute, one of whose joint sponsors is Colonial Williamsburg, the first of the great restorations and still, perhaps, the most influential. In the early years of the restoration, historians viewed its accomplishments with mixed, if not jaundiced, feelings. Wesley Frank Craven was as restrained as he usually was in remarking that a small part of the money poured into Colonial Williamsburg would have produced more valuable results if invested in fellowships and conventional historical research.27 Today at Williamsburg, Cary Carson and his colleagues are applying historical scholarship to material culture in a manner that will improve significantly the patterns of interpretation.

Colonial Williamsburg and other centers within which interest in material culture has grown, notably the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, have necessarily been concerned with the products of traditional or pre-industrial technology. Winterthur was primarily concerned with the decorative arts, and the significant efforts made there to place them in larger, historical contexts underlay the continuing professionalization of this field and the rise of material culture. In 1964 the Institute joined with Winrerthur, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Archives of American Art in sponsoring a Needs and Opportunities conference that engendered Walter Muir Whitehill's The Arts in Early American History. This book considered pre-industrial material culture primarily from the viewpoint of the art historian, although taking note of such early historic archaeology as that of Ivor Noel Hume at Williamsburg.

Winterthur has continued to develop material culture, adding in 1979 the subtitle of A Jonrnal of American Material Culture to its Winterthur Portfolio. Two of its published conference proceedings, especially Material Culture and the Study of American Life (1978), have also given direction to the movement.28 It has produced additional, specific publications, as have the Smithsonian Institution, Sleepy Hollow Restorations, and Colonial Williamsburg.29 The conferences, at one of which I gave a lead paper primarily on industrial material culture, did move well beyond pre- industrial decorative arts. Together, the separate publications and confer ence proceedings constitute a useful corpus but are insufficient to shape material culture into a coordinated field. Elements that ought to be comprehended continue to move in their own orbits, notably the material culture of industrial life, which is well represented in the Society for Industrial Archaeology.30 Similarly, the Association of Living Historical Farms and Agricultural Museums has become an organization uniting many of the outdoor museums.31 A continuing deficiency has been a satisfactory academic or professional base.

The relationship of material culture to the community of historians has remained a glancing one. The very term, material culture, was intended as a counterpoise to literary culture - the normal mode of the humanistic historian. An excellent statement on the contrasts between literary and material approaches was made in 1965 by John A. Kouwenhoven in a paper entitled "American Studies: Words or Things?"32 He stressed the limitations of verbal knowledge and the need for studying objects. This led me to develop in the following year what has been tagged the only American Historical Association session on material culture.33 In 1980 the Organization of American Historians held several sessions, properly combining material culture with the history of technology in a way not previously attained. Such efforts identify material culture as a field seeking definition and professionalization. One of the promising areas of beginning is in American studies programs in universities. The most hopeful effort has been made at Yale University, where Charles Montgomery applied a Winterthur background to a program in American Art and Material Culture - a program that might well have succeeded but for his untimely death. Thomas J. Schlereth's American studies program at Notre Dame and his writings are increasingly influential, and both the Winterthur-University of Delaware program and the Boston University program in American and New England Studies continue to develop.34 Folk studies or folk culture is a specialty that continues to grow and to make contributions to material culture. The recently announced receptivity of the William and Mary Quarterly to material culture articles is reassuring.35


Studies in the history of science, the history of technology, and material culture history within early American history have followed very different courses. It is useful to consider early Institute encouragement in relation to the current scene. One Needs and Opportunities conference and book were devoted to each field, reflecting the breadth of concern with cultural and social history evident from the Institute's founding. The history of science conference was held first, at a time when interest in early American science was nearing a peak in activity and publication. Thereafter, the history of science grew and matured professionally. Attention however, was given primarily to the later period. Early American science received recognition both among historians of science and among early Americanists, in a measure it had not had before - but it became an area of slow growth. The effort of the early leaders of the Institute to encourage more work in science - because historical understanding called for it - faded.

The history of technology conference followed the establishment of an identity for technology separated from science or economics. Early American history of technology has continued to receive attention from early Americanists and more from historians of technology. The larger continuing strength of this subfield followed both from the fact that the great chronological watershed in American technology fell within the early period and from its unavoidable intertwining with social history. Specific Institute encouragement faded here too, but the field is sufficiently developed and sufficiently related to areas of current historical strength to give it continuing vitality.

Material culture is at an early stage of professional development. Neither before nor after the Institute conference and the emphasis on nonverbal thinking did response rise quickly, except at what might be called the fringes: museums and American studies programs. Yet the increasing strength of social history gradually helped the inquiry into material culture. The demand that science and technology be placed in their social contexts required attention to the material culture format of society. This effect was present in the development of the Science, Technology, and Society (STS) programs in undergraduate curricula that seem to have peaked but retain a continuing strength. A material culture component also lurks in the new Society for the Social Studies of Science. One area of clearly growing strength is the increasingly professional application of material culture, often in conjunction with the new social history, at such institutions as Colonial Williamsburg, the Hagley Museum, the Winterthur Museum, the Henry Ford Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution.

My experience in moving from one concentration of research and writing to another, though a highly personal one, seems to me to have followed general patterns. I believed that I moved into the history of science without leaving early American history, from the history of science to the history of technology without leaving the history of science, and on to material culture while retaining concern for, and remaining active in, the other areas. I have a sense of very good fortune in having moved into each new structure just as it was being built. What appears the biggest move of all, from a university to a museum, turned out to be even less of a change than the moves from one subfield to another. When I went to the Smithsonian Institution in 1974, in pursuit of the history of technology, I was conscious that there were more historians of technology there than at any university. Moving toward material culture, it was even clearer that the major scholarly strength was in that institution and In other museums, rather than in isolated universities. The succession of edifices within which I have studied and contemplated history represents a personal progression, but it has larger implications.

None of the three subfields is a primary concern within the circles of early American history. Each has developed or is developing primarily on a strong topical study base. However, from the viewpoint of early American history, the professionalization of the history of science, the history of technology, and material culture applies centrifugal forces that diminish or subtract those subfields from the larger understanding of the period.

History has to be inclusive. Specialization has multiplied the subfields of history and rendered increasingly difficult the attainment of a general historical synthesis. An additional difficulty is created when subfields evolve scales of priorities that offer only limited attention to a specific chronological or regional synthesis, such as early American history. The early American field has become a minor concern within the history of science. I predict that the interest of historians of technology in that period will soon recede. This withdrawal has not yet influenced material culture history, but in all probability it will. Of course, new developments may spur renewed attention, and early American history has experience several such renewals. Yet, barring such changes and regardless of the internal priorities of the subfields, good understanding of early American history requires that the three subfields under discussion be well represented and integrated into the larger synthesis.

Today there is reason to ask where this larger synthesis is to be found. If it is not readily available, who is to put one together, let alone improve it? That has been a long-standing problem in the historical profession, leading to intermittent demands for comprehensive integration, such as James Harvey Robinson's New History. It was one of the goals of the founders of the Institute of Early American History and Culture, who were particularly eager to include the subfields in question. This role is even more important now that so much more is known of early American science, technology, and material culture - but known mostly within the subfields producing it.

At the least, the general, chronological approach of the Institute offers the best opportunity to embrace all the subfields constituting early American history. More satisfactorily than the AHA or the OAH, it can include, within its journal, its book publication program, its fellowship program, and the symposia it encourages, all the components of the history it serves. They cannot be left to the specialists who will, even if at a slower pace, continue their growth. Although a full synthesis may remain an elusive holy grail, the large view has to be the objective, and it requires general access to the various subfields. Each of these includes other approaches within itself, but a series of separate syntheses is not enough, although every interdisciplinary or interfield study contributes to more comprehensive views of the whole. Still, organizations that encourage an inclusive view of history are urgently needed. In the early American field, the Institute plays this role, and its success has increased, not decreased, the need for its effort.


1.Michael Kammen, ed., The Past before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States (Ithaca, N.Y., 1980), 45.

2.Alexandre Koyre, quoted in Arnold Thackray, "Editorial: Making History," Isis, LXXII (198I), 8.

3.Douglass Adair, Fame and the Founding Fathers, ed. Trevor Colbourn (New York, 1974), 24-25.

4.Institute of Early American History and Culture, Handbook, 3d ed. (Williamsburg, Va., 1967), 3-4.

5.Dirertory of American Scholars, 8th ed. (New York, 1982), I, 83. He sketched his view of the field and the needs in "The Neglected First Half of American History," American Historical Review, LIII (1948), 506-517.

6.Directory Am. Scholars, 5th ed. (New York, 1969), I, 468.

7.The social science approach was much discussed at this time. See Thomas C. Cochran et al., The Social Sciences in Historical Studies (New York, 1954).

8.See A. Hunter Dupree, "The History of American Science - A Field Finds Itself," AHR, LXXI (1966), 866-874, and Shryock, "The Need for Studies in the History of American Science," Isis, XXXV ( l 944), l0-13.

9.Isis, XXXVI (1946), 162-166.

10.Brooke Hindle, "A Bridge for Science and Technology," in Marshall W. Fishwick, ed., American Studies in Transition (Philadelphia, 1964), 119.

11.Richard H. Shryock, oral comment, American Historical Association meeting, Boston, Dec. 1949.

12.See Brooke Hindle, ed., Early American Science (New York, 1976), 16-65.

13.Carl Bridenbaugh, Cities in the Wilderness: The First Century of Urban Life in America, 1625-1742 (New York, 1938), 127-134, 288-297, 451-465, and Cities in Revolt: Urban Life in America. 1743-1776 (New York, 1955), 199-201, 409-417; Carl and Jessica Bridenbaugh, Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin (New York, 1942), 304-358.

14.For example, George Frederick Frick and Raymond Phineas Stearns, Mark Catesby: The Colonial Audubon (Urbana, Ill., 1961); Edmund Berkeley and Dorothy Smith Berkeley, Dr. John Mitchell: The Man Who Made the Map (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1974); and Joseph Ewan, ed., William Bartram. Botanical and Zoological Drawings (Philadelphia, 1958).

15.Hindle, ed., Early American Science, passim.

16.My thanks to Helen M. Hindle for help with this analysis and similar analyses of other journals.

17.History of Science in America: News and Views, I (1980).

18.Robert P. Multhauf, "Editorial," Isis, LXIX (1978), 485-487.

19.Brooke Hindle, Technology in Early America: Needs and Opportunities for Study (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1966).

20.For example, economic history: Nathan Rosenberg, Technology and American Economic Growth (New York, 1972); anthropology: Anthony F. C. Wallace, Rockdale: The Growth of an American Village in the Early Industrial Revolution ... (New York, 1978); literary history: John F. Kasson, Civilizing the Machine: Technology and Republican Values in America, 1776~1900 (New York, 1976); military history: Alex Roland, Undersea Warfare in the Age of Sail (Bloomington Ind., 1978).

21.Pursell, Early Stationary Steam Engines in America: A Study in the Migration of a Technology (Washington, D.C., 1969); Jeremy, Transatlantic Industrial Revolution: The Diffusion of Textile Technologies between Britain and America, 1790-1830s (Cambridge, Mass., 1981).

22.Sinclair, Philadelphia's Philosopher Mechanics: A History of the Franklin Institute, 1824-1865 (Baltimore, 1974); Post, Physics, Patents, and Politics: A Biography of Charles Grafton Page (New York, 1976).

23.Smith, From Art to Science: Seventy-two Objects Illustrating the Nature of Discovery (Cambridge, Mass., 1980); Brooke Hindle, Emulation and Invention (New York, 1981).

24.Otto Mayr and Robert C. Post, eds., Yankee Enterprise: The Rise of the American System of Manufactures (Washington, D.C., 1981).

25.Struik, Yankee Science in the Making (Boston, 1948); Noble, America by Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism (New York, 1977).

26.On advocacy history see Carl N. Degler, "Remaking American History," Journal of American History, LXVII (1980), 19-20.

27.Craven, oral comment, New York University, Mar. 1950.

28.Ian M. G. Quimby and Polly Anne Earl, eds., Technological Innovation and the Decorative Arts (Charlottesville, Va., 1974); Ian M. G. Quimby, ed., Material Culture in the Study of American Life (New York 1978).

29.Smithsonian Institution: Claudia B. Kidwell and Margaret C. Christman, Suiting Everyone: The Democratization of Clothing in America (Washington. D.C., 1979); Peter C. Marzio, ed., A Nation of Nations (New York, 1976); Sleepy Hollow Restorations: Brooke Hindle, ed.,America's Wooden Age: Aspects of Its Early Technology (Tarrytown, N.Y., 1975); Brooke Hindle, ed., Material Culture of the Wooden Age (Tarrytown, N.Y., 1981); Colonial Williamsburg: Ivor Noel Hume, A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America (New York, 1970); Graham Hood, Bonnin and Morris of Philadelphia: The First American Porcelain Factory, 1770-1772 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1972).

30.See IA: The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archaeology, I (1975).

31.Living Historical Farms Bulletin, I (1971).

32.In Fishwick, ed., American Studies in Transition, 15-35.

33.Ray Brown and Marshall W. Fishwick, Icons of America (Bowling Green, Ohio, 1978), 9; Dupree, "History of American Science, " AHR, LXXI (1966).

34.See particularly Thomas W. Schlereth, Artifacts and the American Past (Nashville, Tenn., 1980), and Schlereth, ed., Material Culture Studies in America (Nashville, Tenn., 1983).

35."Editorial, " William and Mary Quarterly, 3d Ser., XXXVIII (1981), 147.