Communication Technology in History

This page lists citations for work on numerous media technologies, including printing presses and paper as well as electronic and digital media.

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Abbate, Janet.  Inventing the Internet.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000.

Acland, Charles R., ed.  Residual Media.   Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007

American Journalism.  Vol. 17, No. 4 (Fall 2000): 1-161.  Special Issue on Technology in Journalism and Mass Communication History.

Anderson, Steve F. Technologies of History: Visual Media and the Eccentricity of the Past.  Hanover: Dartmouth College Press, 2011.

Arguimbau, Ellen. “From Party Lines and Barbed Wire: A History of Telephones in Montana.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 63 (Autumn 2013): 34–45.

Bagdikian, Ben.  The Information Machines.  New York: Harper and Row, 1971.

Beauchamp, Christopher.  Invented By Law: Alexander Graham Bell and the Patent That Changed America.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.

Berlin, Leslie.  The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Bliven, Bruce, Jr., The Wonderful Writing Machine.  New York: Random House, 1954.  (typewriter)

Boczkowski, Pablo J.  Digitizing the News: Innovation in Online Newspapers.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005.  (covers pre-Internet computer delivery)

Boyd, William.  The Slain Wood: Papermaking and its Environmental Consequences in the American South.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.

Braun, Ernest and Stuart MacDonald.  Revolution in Miniature: The History and Impact of Semiconductor Electronics.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978.

Brooks, John.  Telephone: The First Hundred Years.  New York: Harper and Row, 1976.

Bruce, Robert V.  Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude.  Boston: Little Brown, 1973.

Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” Atlantic Monthly (July 1945): 101-108.

Campbell-Kelly, Martin, and William Aspray.  Computer: A History of the Information Machine.  New York: Basic Books, 1996.

Campbell-Kelly, Martin, and Daniel D. Garcia Swartz.  From Mainframes to Smartphones: A History of the International Computer Industry.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.

Carey, James W. “Journalism and Technology.” American Journalism 17, no. 4 (2000): 129–135.

Carey, James W. “Technology As a Totem for Culture.” American Journalism 7, no. 4 (1990): 242–51.

Carlson, Bernard.  “Entrepreneurship in the Early Development of the Telephone.” Business and Economic History 23 (Winter 1994): 161-192.

Chandler, Alfred D, Jr.  Inventing the Electronic Century: The Epic Story of the Consumer Electronics and Computer Science Industries.  New York: Free Press, 2001.

Cheng, John.  Astounding Wonder: Imagining Science and Science Fiction in Interwar America.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

Coopersmith, Jonathan.  The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015. 

Corn, Joseph J.  Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology, and the American Future.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1986.

Corn, Joseph J.  User Unfriendly: Consumer Struggles with Personal Technologies, from Clocks and Sewing Machines to Cars and Computers.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Cortada, James.  Before the Computer: IBM, NCR, Burroughs, and Remington Rand and the Industry They Created, 1865-1956.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Cortada, James W. The Computer in the United States: From the Laboratory to the Market, 1930 1960. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1993.

Cortada, James W.  The Digital Hand, Volume 2: How Computers Changed the Work of American Financial, Telecommunications, Media, and Entertainment Industries.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Cortada, James W., “Shaping Information History as an Intellectual Discipline,” Information and Culture: A Journal of History, 47 (no. 2, 2012), 119–44.

Cortada, James W. “How New Technologies Spread: Lessons from Computing Technologies.” Technology and Culture 54 (April 2013) 229–261.

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

Cutcliffe, Stephen H. and Terry S. Reynolds, eds.  Technology and American History.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.*

Delbourgo, James.  “A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders:” Electricity and Enlightenment in Early America.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006.

Docter, Sharon Diane.  “The First Amendment and the Shaping of Communication Technology.”  Phd dissertation, University of Southern California, 1997.

Dooley, Patricia.  The Technology of Journalism: Cultural Agents, Cultural Icons.  Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2007.

Downey, Gregory J.  Telegraph Messenger Boys: Labor, Technology, and Geography, 1850-1950.  New York: Routledge, 2002.

Driscoll, Kevin.  The Modem World: A Prehistory of Social Media.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2022.

Edwards, Paul N.  The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.

Ellis, Lewis Ethan.  Newsprint: Producers, Publishers, Political Pressures.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1960.

Endres, Kathleen. “The ‘Ballyhoo’ of New Communication Technology.” American Journalism 17, no. 4 (2000): 73–74.

Ensmenger, Nathan L.  The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010.

Evans, Richard F.  “Shocking Improvements: Electricity in the American Household at the Turn of the Century.”  Nineteenth Century 20 (Spring 2000): 29-34.

Fisher, Claude S.  America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

Forester, Tom, ed.  The Information Technology Revolution.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1985.

Gabel, David.  “Competition in a Network Industry: The Telephone Industry, 1894-1910.”  Journal of Economic History 54:3 (September 1994): 543-572.

Galloway, Jonathan F.  The Politics and Technology of Satellite Communication.  Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1972.

Garnet, Robert W.  The Telephone Enterprise.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.

Gertner, Jon.  The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation. New York: Penguin, 2012.

Green, Venus. “Goodbye Central: Automation and the Decline of ‘Personal Service’ in the Bell System, 1878-1926.” Technology and Culture 36 (October 1985): 912-949.

Gitelman, Lisa, and Geoffrey B. Pingree.  New Media, 1740–1915. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.

Gitelman, Lisa.  Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006. 

Glaser, Leah S.  Electrifying the Rural American West: Stories of Power, People, and Place.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2009.

Goldstine, Herman H.  The Computer from Pascal to von Neumann.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973.

Goodman, Emily.  “A Tale of Two Networks: The Bell Telephone System and the Meaning of ‘Information,’ 1947-1968.” Information and Culture 54:3 (2019): 281-310.

Graham, Margaret B.W.  The Business of Research: RCA and the Videodisc.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Greenberg, Joshua M.  From Betamax to Blockbuster: Video Stores and the Invention of Movies on Video.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2010.

Haigh, Thomas, and Paul E. Ceruzzi.  A New History of Modern Computing.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2021.

Headrick, Daniel R.  When Information Came of Age: Technologies of Knowledge in the Age of Reason and Revolution, 1700-1850. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Heide, Lars.  Punched-Card Systems and the Early Information Explosion, 1880-1945.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

Hillard, Michael G.  Shredding Paper: The Rise and Fall of Maine’s Mighty Paper Industry.  Ithaca: ILR Press, 2021.

Hiltz, Starr Roxanne, and Murray Turoff.  The Network Nation: Human Communication via Computer.  Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1978.

Hobart, Michael E., and Zachary S. Schiffman.  Information Ages: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Computer Revolution.   Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000.

Holzman, Gerard, and Bjorn Pehrson.  Early History of Data Networks.  Los Alamitos, Cal.: IEEE Press, 1995.

Hudson, Heather E.  Communication Satellites: Their Development and Impact.  New York: Free Press, 1990.

Huurdeman, Anton.  The Worldwide History of Telecommunications.  New York: Wiley IEEE, 2003.

Ifrah, Georges.  The Universal History of Computer.  New York: Wiley, 2002.

Innis, Harold.  Empire and Communication.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950.

Innis, Harold.  The Bias of Communication.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1951.

Innis, Harold.  Changing Concepts of Time.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1952.

Isaacson, Walter.  The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution.  New York: Simon & Shuster, 2014.

John, Richard B., ed.  “Computers and Communication Networks.”  Business History Review 75 (Spring 2001).  Special issue.

Kern, Stephen.  The Culture of Time and Space, 1880-1918.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983.

Kielbowicz, Richard B.  “AT&T’s Antigovernment Lesson-Drawing in the Political Economy of Networks, 1905-1920.”  History of Political Economy 41:4 (Winter 2009): 673-708.  

Kraut, Robert, Malcolm Brynin, and Sara Kiesler, eds.  Computers, Phones, and the Internet: Domesticating Information Technology.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Lardner, James.  Fast Forward: Hollywood, the Japanese, and the Onslaught of the VCR.  New York: Norton, 1987.

Lebow, Irwin.  Information Highways and Byways: From the Telegraph to the 21st Century.  New York: IEEE Press, 1995.

Lecuyer, Christophe.  Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006.

Lécuyer, Christophe, and David C. Brock.   Makers of the Microchip: A Documentary History of Fairchild Semiconductor. Cambridge: mit Press, 2010.

Lipartito, Kenneth. The Bell System and Regional Business: The Telephone in the South. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.

Lipartito, Kenneth. “System Building at the Margin: The Problem of Public Choice in the Telephone Industry.” Journal of Economic History 49 (June 1989): 232-336.

Lipartito, Kenneth. “When Women Were Switches: Technology, Work, and Gender in the Telephone Industry, 1890-1920.” American Historical Review 99 (October 1994): 1075-1111.

Lubar, Steven.  Infoculture: The Smithsonian Book of Information Age Inventions.  New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.

MacDougall, Robert Duncan.  “The People’s Telephone: The Politics of Technology in the United States and Canada, 1876-1926.”  PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 2004.

MacDougall, Robert. “The Wire Devils: Pulp Thrillers, the Telephone, and Action at a Distance in the Wiring of a Nation.”  American Quarterly 58 (September 2006): 715–741.

MacDougall, Robert.  The People’s Network: The Political Economy of the Telephone in the Gilded Age.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

Makala, Jeffrey M.  Publishing Plates: Stereotyping and Electrotyping in Nineteenth-Century US Print Culture.  State College: Penn State University Press, 2023.

Malin, Brenton J.  Feeling Mediated: A History of Media Technology and Emotion in America.  New York: NYU Press, 2014.

Mari, Will.  A Short History of Disruptive Journalism Technologies, 1960-1990.  New York: Routledge, 2019.

Marlow, Eugene, and Eugene Secunda.  Shifting Time and Space: The Story of Videotape. Westport: Praeger, 1991.

Martin, Michele. “Hello Central?” Gender, Technology, and Culture in the Formation of Telephone Systems. Toronto: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1991.

Martin, Shannon E., and Kathleen A. Hansen.  Newspapers of Record in a Digital Age: From Hot Type to Hot Link.  Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1998.

Marvin, Carolyn.  When Old Technologies Were New: Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Martinez, Larry. Communication Satellites: Power Politics in Space. Dedham, Mass.: Artech House, 1985.

Marx, Leo.  Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1964.

McDonald, Christopher Felix. “Building the Information Society: A History of Computing as a Mass Medium.”  PhD dissertation, Princeton University, 2011.

Millard, Andre.  Edison and the Business of Innovation.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990.

Mindich, David T. Z., ed.  “The Buzz: Technology in Journalism and Mass Communication History.” American Journalism 17 (Fall 2000): Special issue.

Moran, James.  Printing Presses: History and Development from the 15th Century to Modern Times.  London: Faber and Faber, 1973.

Mowery, David C., and Nathan Rosenberg.  Paths of Innovation: Technological Change in the 20th Century.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Nebker, Frederik.  Dawn of the Electric Age: Electrical Technologies and the Shaping of the Modern World.  New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.

Noble, David F.  America By Design: Science, Technology, and The Rise of Corporate Capitalism.  New York: Knopf, 1977.

Norberg, Arthur.  Transforming Computer Technology: Information Processing for the Pentagon, 1962-1986.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Nye, David E.  Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990.

O’Malley, Michale.  Keeping Watch: A History of American Time. New York: Viking, 1990.

Otis, Laura.  Networking: Communicating with Bodies and Machines in the Nineteenth Century.  Ann Arbor: University Of Michigan Press, 2011

Park, David W., Jankowski, Nicholas W., & Jones, Steve, Eds. The Long History of New Media: Technology, Historiography, and Contextualizing Newness. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2011.

Patnode, Randall.  “‘What These People Need Is Radio’: New Technology, the Press, and Otherness in 1920s America.”  Technology and Culture 44 (April 2003), 285–305.

Patten, Dave.  Newspapers and New Media.  White Plains: Knowledge Industries Publications, 1986.

Petersen, Jennifer.  How Machines Came to Speak: Media Technologies and Freedom of Speech.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2022.

Ploman, Edward W. Space, Earth and Communication. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books, 1984.

Poehner, Lester L., Jr.  “The Future’s Not What it Used to Be: The Decline of Technological Enthusiasm in America.”  PhD dissertation, Iowa State University, 1999.

Popp, Richard. “Machine-Age Communication: Media, Transportation, and Contact in the Interwar United States.” Technology and Culture 52 (July 2011): 459–844.

Poster, Mark.  Information Please: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital Machines.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2006.

Purcell, Carroll W.  The Machine in America: A Social History of Technology.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

Purcell, Carroll W. Technology in Postwar America: A History. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.

Rabinovitz, Lauren, and Abraham Geil.  Memory Bytes: History, Technology, and Digital Culture.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.

Rakow, Lana.  Gender on the Line: Women, the Telephone, and Community Life. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992.

Rankin, Joy Lisi.   A People’s History of Computing in the United States.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018.

Reich, Leonard S.  The Making of American Industrial Research: Science and Business at G.E. and Bell, 1876-1926.  New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Riordan, Michael, and Lilian Hoddeson.  Crystal Fire: The Invention of the Transistor and the Birth of the Information Age.  New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.

Risley, Ford. “Newspapers and Timeliness: The Impact of the Telegraph and the Internet.” American Journalism 17, no. 4 (2000): 97–103.

Rochlin, Gene I.  Trapped in the Net: The Unintended Consequences of Computerization.   Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997. 

Scott, D. Travers. “Intimacy Threats and Intersubjective Users: Telephone Training Films, 1927–1962.” American Quarterly 63 (September 2011): 487–507.

Shurkin, Joel.  Engines of the Mind: The Evolution of the Computer from Mainframes to Microprocessors.  New York: Norton, 1996.

Silverman, Kenneth.  Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel B. Morse.  New York: Knopf, 2003.

Simon, Linda.  Dark Light: Electricity and Anxiety from the Telegraph to the X-Ray.  Orlando: Harcourt, 2004.

Steinberg, Sigfrid H.  Five Hundred Years of Printing.  Oak Knoll Press, 1996.

Sterling, Christopher H., ed.  Electronic Media: A Guide to Trends in Broadcasting and Newer Technologies, 1920-1983.  New York: Praeger, 1984. 

Sterling, Christopher H., and George Shiers, eds.  History of Communications Technology: An Annotated Bibliography.  Washington DC: Scarecrow Press, 2000.

Sterling, Christopher H., Phyllis W. Bernt, and Martin Weiss.  Shaping American Telecommunications: A History of Technology, Policy, and Economics.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2006. 

Sturken, Marita, Douglas Thomas, and Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, eds.  Technological Visions: The Hopes and Fears that Shape New Technologies.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004.

Swedin, Eric G., and David L. Ferro.  Computers: The Life Story of a Technology.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.

Taylor, Timothy D., Mark Katz, and Tony Grajeda, eds.  Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2012.

Turner, Fred.  From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Valente, A. J. Rag Paper Manufacture in the United States, 1801–1900: A History, with Directories of Mills and Owners.  Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2010.

Wasserman, Neil H.  From Invention to Innovation: Long Distance Telephone Transmission at the Turn of the Century.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.

Westwick, Peter J.  The National Labs: Science in an American System, 1947-1974.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Whitehouse, George E.  Understanding the New Technology of the Mass Media.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986. 

Wurlitzer, Steve J.  “The Social Construction of Technological Change: American Mass Media and the Advent of Electrical Sound Technology.”  PhD dissertation, University of Iowa, 2001.

Wurtzler, Steve J.  Electric Sounds: Technological Change and the Rise of Corporate Mass Media.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2007.  

Yates, JoAnne.  Control Through Communication: The Rise of System in American Management.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

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