(updated 16 August 2007)
Bibliography for 
Thomas J. Misa 
Charles Babbage Institute
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN 55455

Table of Contents

I. Inventors and Invention
see also History of EngineeringEdison Papers (Rutgers Univ.)
II. Science & Systems
see also 2nd industrial revolution
 Automobile Engineering

I. Inventors and Invention

THOMAS EDISON [top of page]

Bryan, George Sands.  Edison, the man and his works. Garden City, N.Y.: Garden City Publishing Co., 1926.  

Dyer, Frank Lewis and Thomas Commerford Martin.  Edison, his life and inventions. New York/London: Harper & Brothers, 1910. 2 vols. 

Edison, Thomas A.  The beginning of the incandescent lamp and lighting system: an autobiographical account. Dearborn, Mich. : Greenfield Village & Henry Ford Museum, 1976.    

Edison, Thomas A.  The diary and sundry observations of Thomas Alva Edison; ed. by Dagobert D. Runes.  New York: Philosophical Library, 1948.    

Edison, Thomas A.  The Papers of Thomas A. Edison.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989 et. seq.    See link to Edison Papers (Rutgers Univ.)

v. 1. The making of an inventor : February 1847-June 1873
v. 2. From workshop to laboratory, June 1873-March 1876
v. 3. Menlo Park: The Early Years, April 1876-Dec. 1877
v. 4. The Wizard of Menlo Park, 1878
Friedel, Robert D., Bernard S. Finn, and Paul Israel.  Edison's electric light: biography of an invention. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 1986.    

Hogan, John. A spirit capable: the story of Commonwealth Edison. Chicago: Mobium Press, 1986.    

Hughes, Thomas Parke.  Networks of power: Electrification in Western society, 1880-1930. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983. [see chapters 2-3 on Edison]     

Israel, Paul.  Edison: A Life of Invention.  New York: John Wiley, 1998. [BEST BIOGRAPHY]

Josephson, Matthew.  Edison; a biography.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959.    

McClure, J. B. (James Baird).  Edison and his inventions, including the many incidents, anecdotes, and interesting particulars connected with the early and late life of the great inventor.  Chicago : Rhodes and McClure, 1879.    

Millard, A. J.  Edison and the business of innovation.  Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1990.    

Miller, Raymond Curtis. Kilowatts at work; a history of the Detroit Edison Company. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1957.  

Pretzer, William G. (ed.).  Working at inventing : Thomas A. Edison and the Menlo Park experience.  Dearborn, Mich. : Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village, 1989.    

Simonds, William Adams. Edison; his life, his work, his genius. Indianapolis/New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1934.    

Wachhorst, Wyn.  Thomas Alva Edison, an American myth. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1981.    


Abbott, David.  The Biographical dictionary of scientists, engineers and inventors. New York: P. Bedrick Books, 1986.   

Bruce, Robert V.  Bell : Alexander Graham Bell and the conquest of solitude. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1990; orig. Boston: Little, Brown 1973.   

Cooper, Carolyn.  Shaping invention : Thomas Blanchard's machinery and patent management in nineteenth-century America. New York : Columbia University Press, 1991.   

Coe, Lewis. The telegraph : a history of Morse's invention and its predecessors in the United States.  Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, 1993.  

Cheney, Margaret.  Tesla, man out of time. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1981.   

Copp, Newton, and Andrew Zanella (eds.) Discovery, Innovation and Risk.  Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993.  [See chapter 4 "The Flying Machine Problem: The Wright Stuff"]   

Heyn, Ernest Victor. Fire of genius: inventors of the past century: based on the files of Popular Science Monthly since its founding in 1872. Garden City, N.Y. : Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1976.  

Hughes, Thomas Parke.  Elmer Sperry; inventor and engineer. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1971.     

Jakab, Peter L.  1990.  Visions of a flying machine: the Wright brothers and the process of invention.  Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.   

Jehl, Francis [1863-1941]. Menlo Park reminiscences. Dearborn, Mich., Edison Institute, 1936.   

Leslie, Stuart W.  Boss Kettering.  New York: Columbia University Press, 1983. [General Motors first research director]

Susskind, Charles.  Twenty-five engineers and inventors. San Francisco : San Francisco Press, 1976.   

A. G. BELL AND BELL SYSTEM [top of page]

Bruce, Robert V.  Bell : Alexander Graham Bell and the conquest of solitude. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1990; orig. Boston: Little, Brown 1973.   

Fagen, M. D. et al.  A History of Engineering and Science in the Bell System.  New York: The Laboratories, 1975 et seq. 7 vols. 

[1] The early years (1875-1925)
[2] National service in war and peace (1925-1975)
[3] Switching technology (1925-1975)
[4] Physical sciences (1925-1980)
[5] Communications sciences (1925-1980)
[6] Electronics technology (1925-1975)
[7] Transmission technology (1925-1975)
Garnet, Robert W.  The telephone enterprise: the evolution of the Bell System's horizontal structure, 1876-1909.  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.      

 INVENTORS' THINKING [top of page]

Edison, Thomas A.  The Papers of Thomas A. Edison.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989 et. seq.    See link to Edison Papers (Rutgers Univ.)
v. 1. The making of an inventor : February 1847-June 1873
v. 2. From workshop to laboratory, June 1873-March 1876
v. 3. Menlo Park: The Early Years, April 1876-Dec. 1877
Ferguson, Eugene S.  1992.  Engineering and the Mind's Eye.  Cambridge: MIT Press.   

Friedel, Robert, and Paul Israel with Bernard S. Finn.  1986.  Edison's electric light: biography of an invention.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.   

Hindle, Brooke.  1982.  Emulation and Invention.  New York University Press.  [argues that technologists think similarly to artists: visually, spatially, non-verbally; well-illustrated case studies of e.g. Samuel Morse, painter and telegraph inventor]

Hughes, Thomas Parke.  Networks of power: electrification in Western society, 1880-1930. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983. [see chapter 4 on inventors' methods]     

Hughes, Thomas P.  1989.  American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970.  New York: Viking Penguin. [see chapter 2 "Choosing and Solving Problems"] 

Israel, Paul.  1992.  From machine shop to industrial laboratory: telegraphy and the changing context of American invention, 1830-1920.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.   

Koestler, Arthur.  1964.  The act of creation.  New York: Macmillan.   

Miller, Arthur I.  1984.  Imagery in scientific thought: creating twentieth century physics.  Boston: Birkhauser; Cambridge: MIT Press. 

Staudenmaier, John.  1985.  Technology's Storytellers.  Cambridge: MIT Press.  [see chapter on invention and the mystery of creativity -- many pertinent references.]  

Weber, Robert J.  Forks, phonographs, and hot air balloons: a field guide to inventive thinking.  New York: Oxford University Press. 

Weber, Robert  J., and David N. Perkins.  1992.  Inventive minds: creativity in technology.  New York: Oxford University Press. 

Wiener, Norbert [1894-1964].  1993.  Invention: the care and feeding of ideas.  Cambridge: MIT Press.   

II. Science & Systems


Hounshell, David A.  From the American system to mass production, 1800-1932: the development of manufacturing technology in the United States. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1983.   

Hughes, Thomas Parke.  American genesis : a century of invention and technological enthusiasm. New York, NY : Viking, 1989.  

Hughes, Thomas Parke.  Networks of power: electrification in Western society, 1880-1930. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983. [see chapter 8 on Insull in Chicago, chap 11 on World War I]  

Jardim, Anne.  The first Henry Ford: a study in personality and business leadership. Cambridge, MIT Press, 1970.   

Jenkins, Reese.  Images and enterprise : technology and the American photographic industry, 1839 to 1925. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975.   

Lacey, Robert. Ford, the men and the machine. Boston : Little, Brown, 1986.   

Lewis, David Lanier. The public image of Henry Ford : an American folk hero and his company. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1976. 

Mayntz, Renate, and Thomas Hughes. (eds.).  The Development of large technical systems. Boulder: Westview Press, 1988.   

Nevins, Allan and Frank Ernest Hill. Ford.  New York: Scribner, 1954-63; 3 vols.   

1. The times, the man, the company.
2. Expansion and challenge, 1915-1933
3. Decline and rebirth, 1933-1962
Platt, Harold L.  The electric city : energy and the growth of the Chicago area, 1880-1930.  Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1991. 

Yates, JoAnne.  Control through communication: the rise of system in American management.  Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.  


American Iron and Steel Institute.  Steel in the Soviet Union; the report of the American Steel and Iron Ore Delegation's visit to the Soviet Union, May and June 1958.  New York: American Iron and Steel Institute, 1959  

Eggert, Gerald G.  Steelmasters and labor reform, 1886-1923.  Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981  

Feldman, Gerald D.  Iron and steel in the German inflation, 1916-1923.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977  

Gold, Bela, et al.  Technological progress and industrial leadership: the growth of the U.S. steel industry, 1900-1970.  Lexington, Mass.: LexingtonBooks, 1984  

Hessen, Robert.  Steel Titan: the life of Charles M. Schwab.  New York: Oxford University, 1975  

McHugh, Jeanne.  Alexander Holley and the makers of steel.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980  

Misa, Thomas J.  A Nation of Steel: the making of modern America, 1865-1925.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995 

Paskoff, Paul F. (ed.).  Iron and steel in the nineteenth century.  New York: Facts on File, 1989  

Scott, John, 1912.  Behind the Urals: an American worker in Russia's city of steel.  Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1942 [Magnitogorsk (Soviet Union)]  

Spencer, Elaine Glovka.  Management and labor in imperial Germany: Ruhr industrialists.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1984 

Tweedale, Geoffrey.  Sheffield steel and America: a century of commercial and technological interdependence, 1830-1930.  Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987  

Walker, Charles Rumford.  Steeltown: an industrial case history of the conflict between progress and security.  New York: Harper, 1950  

Wall, Joseph Frazier.  Andrew Carnegie. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989  

Warren, Kenneth.  The American Steel Industry, 1850-1970: a geographical interpretation.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973  

Wertime, Theodore A.  The coming of the age of steel.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962  

RADIO INDUSTRY [top of page]

Aitken, Hugh G. J.  The continuous wave: technology and American radio, 1900-1932.  Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1985. 

Aitken, Hugh G. J.  Syntony and spark : the origins of radio. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1985; orig. New York : Wiley, 1976. 

Douglas, Susan J. Inventing American broadcasting, 1899-1922. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.      


Chandler, Alfred Dupont, and Stephen Salsbury. Pierre S. Du Pont and the making of the modern corporation. New York: Harper & Row, 1971. 

Du Pont, Bessie Gardner.  E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and company a history, 1802-1902. Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1920. 

Dutton, William Sherman.  Du Pont; one hundred and forty years.  New York, C. Scribner's Sons, 1942.     

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company.  A history of the Du Pont Company's relations with the United States Government, 1802-1927. Wilmington, Del.: Smokeless Powder Department, E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, 1928.     

Haber, L. F.  The Chemical Industry during the Nineteenth Century.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1958.  <<see Misa>>

Haber, L. F.  The poisonous cloud: chemical warfare in the First World War.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986    

Hardie, D. W. F. and James Davidson Pratt.  A history of the modern British chemical industry.  Oxford/New York: Pergamon Press, 1966 

Haynes, Williams.  American chemical industry.  New York : Van Nostrand, 1945-54; 6 vols.    

v. 1. Background and beginnings: 1609-1911
v. 2-3. The World War I period: 1912-1922
v. 4. The merger era: 1923-1929
v. 5. Decade of new products: 1930-1939
v. 6. The chemical companies
Morgan, Gilbert Thomas and David Doig Pratt.  British chemical industry; its rise and development.  New York: Longmans, Green; London: E. Arnold, 1938.    

Morrison, Abraham Cressy.  Man in a chemical world: the service of chemical industry.  New York ; London : C. Scribner's Sons, 1937. 

Phelan, James, and Robert C. Pozen, The company state. New York, Grossman, 1973. [Ralph Nader's study group report on DuPont in Delaware]

Stein, Mimi.  A special difference : a history of Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation.  Oakland, Calif.: Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Co., 1980.    

Winkler, John Kennedy. The Du Pont Dynasty. New York : Reynal & Hitchcock, 1935.     

Whitehead, Don.  The Dow story; the history of the Dow Chemical Company. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1968.    

Wilson, Alfred William Gunning.  Development of chemical, metallurgical, and allied industries in Canada in relation to the mineral industry. Ottawa, F.A. Acland, Printer, 1924.    


Ahlstrom, Goran.  1982.  Engineers and Industrial Growth: Higher Technical Education and the Engineering Profession during the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries: France, Germany, Sweden and England.  London: Croom Helm. 

Anthony, Robert Newton. Management controls in industrial research organizations. Boston: Division of Research, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University, 1952.    

Eckert, Michael.  Crystals, electrons, transistors: from scholar's study to industrial research.  New York: American Institute of Physics 

Fox, Robert, and George Weisz (eds.).  The Organization of science and technology in France, 1808-1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980   

Galison, Peter and Bruce Hevly (eds.).  Big Science: the growth of large-scale research.  Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1992 

Geiger, Roger L.  To advance knowledge : the growth of American research universities, 1900-1940.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.   

Hammond, John Winthrop, and Arthur Pound. Men and Volts: the story of General Electric. Philadelphia, New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1941. 

Hammond, John Winthrop. Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a biography. New York/London: The Century & Co., 1924    

Hawkins, Laurence Ashley. Adventure into the unknown; the first fifty years of General Electric Research Laboratory. New York: Morrow, 1950. 

Hounshell, David A., and John Kenly Smith.  Science and Corporate Strategy: Du Ponst R&D, 1902-1980.  Cambridge: CUP, 1988.  <<see Misa>>

Keating, Paul W.  Lamps for a brighter America; a history of the General Electric lamp business.  New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954. 

Kline, Ronald R.  Steinmetz: Engineer and Socialist.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkings University Press, 1992.   <<see Misa>>

Lavine, Sigmund A.  Steinmetz, maker of lightning. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1959.    

Leonard, Jonathan Norton. Loki; the life of Charles Proteus Steinmetz.  Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1932    

Miller, John A.  Workshop of engineers; the story of the General Engineering Laboratory of the General Electric Company, 1895-1952.  Schenectady: General Electric Co., 1953    

Noble, David F. America by design: science, technology, and the rise of corporate capitalism:  New York: Knopf, 1977   

Reich, Leonard S.  The making of American industrial research: science and business at GE and Bell, 1876-1926.  Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1985 <<see Misa>>

Rosenbloom, Richard S. and William J. Spencer.  Engines of innovation: U.S. industrial research at the end of an era.  Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.    

White, Frederick Andrew.  American industrial research laboratories. Washington, Public Affairs Press, 1961.    

Weidlein, Edward Ray and William Allen Hamor.  Glances at industrial research, during walks and talks in Mellon Institute.  New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1936.    

Wise, George.  Willis R. Whitney, General Electric, and the origins of U.S. industrial research. New York : Columbia University Press, 1985. 

TAYLORISM see also Taylorism biblio. [top of page]

Aitken, Hugh G. J.  Scientific Management in Action: Taylorism at Watertown Arsenal, 1908-1915 (Princeton U, 1985; orig Harvard U 1960). 

Banta, Martha.  Taylored Lives: Narrative Productions in the Age of Taylor, Veblen, and Ford.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Haber, Samuel.  Efficiency and Uplift: Scientific Management in the Progressive Era, 1890-1920 (New ed., U Chicago, 1973; orig. 1964). 

Jordan, John M.  1994.  Machine-Age Ideology: Social Engineering and American Liberalism, 1911-1939.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Layton, Edwin T. Jr., "Measuring the Unmeasureable: Scientific Management and Reform," chap. 6 in The Revolt of the Engineers (Johns Hopkins 1986; orig. Case Western U 1971).    

Merkle, Judith A.  Management and Ideology: The Legacy of the International Scientific Management Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980)

Misa, Thomas J.  1995.  A Nation of Steel: The Making of Modern America, 1865-1925.  Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. [See chapter 5 on Taylor's tool-steel experiments]  

Nelson, Daniel.  1975.  Managers and Workers: Origins of the New Factory System in the United States, 1880-1920 (Madison: U Wisconsin). 

Nelson, Daniel.  1980.  Frederick W. Taylor and the Rise of Scientific Management (Madison: U Wisconsin).   

Nelson, Daniel.  1992.  A Mental Revolution: Scientific Management since Taylor (Columbus: Ohio State University Press)

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


Smith, Cecil O., Jr.  1990.  "The Longest Run: Public Engineers and Planning in France."  American Historical Review 95: 657-92. 

Thomas, Donald E.  1987.  Diesel: Technology and Society in Industrial Germany.  Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press. 
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