Richard F. Hirsh

History/STS 3716
Course Information

History of Technology:
From the Industrial Revolution to Today

Technological change has occurred rapidly in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, contributing to the remaking of our physical and social environments. In this course, we will examine the causes and manifestations of technological change and discuss how humankind, especially in the United States, has accommodated to it. By studying case histories, we learn how technology has changed in substance and in organization through the past two centuries. In addition, the course focuses on how the government and public have become increasingly involved in motivating and limiting technological innovations.

Generally, the course seeks to develop an understanding of the forces and circumstances that affect the way technology evolves and the way technology affects the ways humans live and work.

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The social nature of technology

McCormick reaperThe course highlights the organization of societies that created technologies as diverse as the mechanical reaper and the Space Shuttle. Space Shuttle