Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fellowships and Travel Grants Available from the Lemelson Center

The Lemelson Center's Fellowship Program and Travel to Collections Awards support projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation and draw upon the holdings of the Archives Center and curatorial divisions at the National Museum of American History. Projects may include, but are not limited to, historical research and documentation projects resulting in publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, and multimedia products. Both programs provide access to the Smithsonian's vast artifact and archival collections, as well as to the expertise of the Institution's research staff. The Center offers fellowships and travel grants to pre-doctoral graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and other professionals who have completed advanced training.

The Archives Center holds more than 20,000 feet of archival materials. The collections are particularly strong in documenting the history of technology, invention, and innovation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Both individuals and companies are documented in subject areas including railroads, pianos, television, radio, plastics, ivory, and sports equipment. One of the largest collections is the Western Union Telegraph Company Records, ca. 1840-1994. Other collections of significance include the Earl S. Tupper Papers, documenting the inventor Tupper, and his invention, Tupperware; the Darby Windsurfing Collection, 1946-1998, documenting the invention of the sailboard; and the Records of Small Beginnings, Inc., a medical supply company that designs, invents, manufactures, and distributes products for premature infants. For a comprehensive list of Archives Center collections, see

The Lemelson Center Fellowship Program annually awards 2 to 3 fellowships to qualified researchers. Fellowship tenure is based on the applicants’ stated needs (and available funding) up to a maximum of ten weeks. Fellows are expected to reside in the Washington, D.C. area, to participate in the Center's activities, and to make a presentation of their work at the museum. Stipends for 2011-2012 are $575/week for pre-doctoral fellows and $870/week for post-doctoral and professional fellows. Applications will be accepted from 1 October 2010 through 14 January 2011 and notifications will be made by 15 April 2011. Fellows can begin their residence at the museum on or after 1 June 2011. For application procedures and additional information, please see All applicants are required to consult with the fellowship coordinator prior to submitting a proposal – please contact historian Eric S. Hintz, Ph.D., at +1 202-633-3734 or

The Lemelson Center Travel to Collections Program annually awards 4 to 5 short-term travel grants to encourage the use of its invention-related collections. Awards are $150 per day for a maximum of 10 business days and may be used to cover transportation, living, and reproduction expenses. Only applicants who reside or attend school beyond commuting distance of the National Museum of American History are eligible for this program. Awards may not be used to extend other Smithsonian appointments. Only one award can be offered to a visitor within a twelve-month period. Applications will be accepted from 1 October 2010 through 30 November 2010 and will be announced by mid-December 2010. Recipients must commence their research at the museum within one year of being notified of the award. Recipients are asked to submit a short report following their research and provide the Center with a copy of any publications resulting from their funded research. For application procedures and additional information, please see All applicants are required to consult with the travel award coordinator prior to submitting a proposal – please contact archivist Alison Oswald at +1 202-633-3726 or

For more information, visit:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Business Historians at Houston's Oil Spill Symposium

Videos of the talks given at the University of Houston's recent (September 23) Oil Spill Symposium are now available. Speakers included UH doctoral candidate Jason Theriot, who spoke on "Building America's Energy Corridor during the Environmental Era of the 1970s"; Joe Pratt , who talked about "Lessons for Government and Environment from the Exxon Valdez"; and Ty Priest, who discussed "MMS [Minerals Management Service] and BOEMRE [Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement]."

Baker Library at HBS Announces "History of Personal Credit" Exhibit

Harper's Weekly, Sept. 7, 1867
Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, announces the opening of a new exhibition, “Buy Now, Pay Later: A History of Personal Credit.” The exhibit will run from October 22, 2010, through June 3, 2011, in the North Lobby, Baker Library | Bloomberg Center, Harvard Business School. The physical exhibit is accompanied by on-line examples and resources.
“Buy Now, Pay Later: A History of Personal Credit” demonstrates that, although the instruments and institutions of twenty-first century credit—the installment plan, the credit card, and the home finance industry—are less than a century old, credit itself is as old as commerce. The exhibition draws from Baker Library’s Historical Collections materials to show how previous generations devised creative ways of lending and borrowing long before credit cards or mortgage backed securities.
Please contact Baker Library Historical Collections to request a copy of the exhibition catalog.

Monday, October 25, 2010

AHA Program 2011: Sessions of Interest to Business and Economic Historians

The just-announced program for the American Historical Association annual meeting, to be held January 6-9, 2011, in Boston, includes several sessions of direct interest to business and economic historians:
Session 28: Global Markets and Local Communities: Social Histories of International Business
Session 52: Local Markets/ Marketing the Local: American Retailing, 1920 to the Present
Session 106: Rethinking Advertising in the 1960s and 1970s: A Roundtable on African American Consumers and the Soul Market
Session 107: Advertising, Global Concepts of Hygiene, and the Making of Disciplined Consumers, 1918-45
Session 242: Making Capitalism Sacred: The Image of Business in the American Mind
EHA Session: Wealth, Poverty, and Empire in Global History: Reflections on Kenneth Pomeranz's The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
Also of interest are Session 140, Challenges in Transnational Research: A Conversation about Methods, chaired by Colleen Dunlavy, and Session 289, Technology and Agency: Objects, Spaces, and Bodies, for which the commentator is Philip Scranton. The session listings provide links to abstracts of the papers.

CFP: Business and Trade Organizations in Europe

A symposium on "Business and Trade Organizations in Europe: Early Stages, Historic Forms and Structures, XIX-XXth Centuries" will be held June 9-10, 2011, at both the University of Paris 13 and the University of Paris 1 Sorbonne. The aims of the symposium are to study the genesis, historic forms, and structures of trade and business organizations in Europe.

Preferred topics or paper submission are expected to address the following themes:
Roots, early stages, and specific frameworks underlying business and trade organizations. What strategies have been adopted for the promotion and defense of entrepreneurs and managers (unions, professional societies, chambers and trade organizations, clubs, miscellaneous groups, etc.)?  In what historical context, for what reasons, and where (local or nationwide)? Have these organizations been driven and/or curbed by ideological, social, political, or judicial actions? Speakers are encouraged to adopt a comparative perspective covering both time and space and to cover failures as well as successes.
Paper proposals, including the title and a summary accompanied by a short CV (in French or English), must be sent no later than November 10, 2010, to and

For complete information, please see the call for papers at the AFHé website.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grad Student Travel Grants for the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting

Thanks to a generous donation from a member, Section L (History & Philosophy of Science) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will offer a limited number of Philip Morrison fellowships for graduate students studying history or philosophy of science and technology who are presenting posters at the association's next annual meeting in Washington, DC, February 17-21, 2011 (

October 25 is the deadline to submit poster proposals at The grant is to defray costs of travel, lodging, and registration up to $500.  Highest preference will be given to graduate students who are presenting posters or otherwise on the program; secondary preference will be given those who serve as session aides at the meeting (see

To apply, send a CV, a statement of support from your advisor, and a brief statement about why attending this meeting would benefit your program of study, to Jonathan Coopersmith, Secretary, Section L, AAAS,  The deadline for grant applications is December 1.  Notification of awards will be made by December 15.

Friday, October 22, 2010

CFP: Economic and Business Historical Society, 2011

Proposals are now being accepted for the 36th annual conference of the Economic and Business Historical Society (EBHS), to be held at the Hyatt on Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio. Proposals for presentations on any aspect of economic or business history are welcome. The EBHS conference offers participants an opportunity for intellectual interchange within a collegial interdisciplinary group of scholars from around the world (a typical mix of participants includes around half from economics departments and half from history/economic history departments).This year’s keynote speaker will be Richard Steckel (Ohio State University).

Papers presented at the conference may be submitted for consideration by the EBHS’s peer-reviewed journal, Essays in Economic and Business History, edited by Janice Traflet (Bucknell University).

The society seeks proposals for individual papers and/or for panel sessions. Proposals should include an abstract of no more than 500 words, a brief curriculum vita, postal and email addresses, and telephone and fax numbers. Panel proposals should also suggest a title and a panel chair. Submissions are welcome from graduate students and non-academic affiliates.

Proposals may be submitted online using the form on the EBHS page, by email to:, or via mail to: Ranjit Dighe, 2011 EBHS Program Chair, Department of Economics, Mahar Hall, SUNY-Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126. The deadline for submission of proposals is January 10, 2011.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Digital Collection: Princeton Exhibit of Subway Posters

The Princeton University Library has digitized a number of posters from the Interborough Rapid Transit Subway Company. The posters, designed by the public relations firm Ivy Lee, were displayed in subway cars to provide information to riders about changes in fares and routes, safety issues, and other matters of interest.  The collection consists of 385 images dating from 1918 to 1932; many of them provide financial information about rates, company dividends, and a general look at an early rapid transit system.

October 29, update: Jonathan Rees over at "More or Less Bunk" was moved by this post to go off in search of a better site, and found the massive collection of the London Transport Museum, which displays over 5,000 items in a searchable collection.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Digital Collections: Lewis Hine Collection at the UMBC

The Special Collections Department of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has digitized 4,735 images from the work of famed photographer Lewis Hine, The Lewis Hine Collection contains images from his work with the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), which asked him to document the circumstances of child labor throughout the United States; Hine worked for the NCLC off and on between 1907 and 1934.  In the words of the UMLB description:
Lewis Hine, c. 1930, 10-year-old
shoeboy. Lewis Hine Collection,
UMBC Kuhn Library.
[Hine] traveled from Maine to Texas documenting children working in factories, mines, mills, farms, and in street trades. He photographed their living conditions as well. The photographs were published in newspapers and magazines, as well as mounted on posters for NCLC conventions. His photographs did not embellish the child laborers’ destitution, and instead showed accurate and poignant depictions of their circumstances. Hine’s photographs were influential in changing public opinion about child labor and subsequently in the passing of legislation to protect children with stricter labor laws. . . . His child labor photographs have proven to be his most important work, because they document irrefutably the difficult circumstances suffered by young workers. These approximately 5,000 images are the most extensive known photographic record of child labor.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Audio Interviews with Business Historians

Many university presses provide podcast audio interviews with their authors, several of them featuring business historians.  One company, Heron & Crane, operates a podcast series on business and management topics called "The Invisible Hand" (most of their audios are free, but some require a payment  of $1.99 to download).  A sampling from their (free) offerings and others:
Steve Fraser, Wall Street: America's Dream Palace
Harold James, The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle
Pamela Walker Laird, Pull: Networking and Success since Benjamin Franklin
Thomas McCraw, Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction
Stephen Mihm, A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States
David Nye, When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America
Andrew Sandoval-Strausz, Hotel: An American History
Bryant Simon, Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks
David Suisman, Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in American Music

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Exhibit:: "Money on Paper" from Princeton's Numismatic Collection

Detail from Czechoslovakia, 50 korun, 1929 (front). Designed by Alfons Mucha, engraved by Karel Wolf. Collection of Vsevolod Onyshkevych.
(Princeton University Numismatic Collection)
Those planning to be in the Princeton area this year might want to visit the new exhibit from the Princeton University Numismatics Collection, housed in the Rare Books and Special Collections Department of the Firestone Library. "Money on Paper: Bank Notes and Related Graphic Arts" will run from August 30, 2010, through January 2, 2011. In the words of the exhibit announcement, "Bank notes . . . have constituted one of the dominant forms of visual communication for the past two centuries, and in many cases can be seen as works of art in their own right."

In addition to information provided on the exhibit website, more analysis can be found in Princeton's news release for the exhibit's opening.

For those interested in the history of currency and coins, several websites may be of interest:
The Colonial Currency Web Exhibit, from Notre Dame
The Leslie Brock Center for the Study of Colonial Currency, at the University of Virginia
Roy Davies' Money—Past, Present, & Future

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Archives Launches Docs Teach

The National Archives and Records Administration has launched a new tool, designed primarily for teachers, "Docs Teach."

RCA Victor radio chassis
assembly line, Camden, N.J., 1937
Drawing of Improved Boot, 1867.
Patent and Trademark Office

The site contains over 3,000 primary source items, including written documents, images, maps, charts, graphs, audio, and video. The materials are arranged by period, including, for example, "The Development of the Industrial United States" and "The Great Depression and World War II." There is a free registration function, allowing  users to save selected materials and to use teaching tools such as "Making Connections," which allows teachers to "arrange a set of documents to show the progression of historical events and help students understand relationships among events," "Mapping History," which allows users to link primary sources to locations on a map, and "Interpreting Data."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rundown of Business History Fellowships

Links to some of the major grants programs of interest to business and economic historians:

Hagley Museum and Library
    Hagley Grants and Fellowships, overview
    Henry Belin du Pont Fellowship
    Henry Belin du Pont Dissertation Fellowship
    Grants-in-aid for Research at the Hagley
Harvard Business School
    Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Thomas K. McCraw Fellowship in Business History
    Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., Travel Fellowships
    Alfred D. Chandler, Jr., International Visiting Scholars in Business History Program
BAC Bursary for Business History Research
Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry Grants
Chemical Heritage Foundation Fellowships
Clark Research Grant Program, Benson Ford Research Center
EHA Research Fellowships
Economic History Society Grants
German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
    German Historical Institute, Washington, DC, Fellowship Overview
    GHI Doctoral Fellowship in International Business History
    GHI Fellowship in the History of Consumption
    GHI Fellowship in Economic and Social History
Hartman Center Research Grants
Lemelson Center Fellowships, at the National Museum of American History
Library Company of Philadelphia Fellowships
Pasold Research Fund, for research in textile history
PEAES Fellowships
Rockefeller Archive Center Grants
SHOT Fellowships
Virginia Historical Society, Betty Sams Christian Fellowships in Business History

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Philadelphia on Stone" Online Exhibition

P. S. Duval, c. 1840. Courtesy of the Historical
Society of Pennsylvania (from "Philadelphia on Stone")
A project of the Library Company of Philadelphia, "Philadelphia on Stone" "documents the lives of lithographic artists and printers, and the work they produced, and illuminates Philadelphia’s transformation from a seaport into a leading manufacturing center, and the impact these changes had on the built environment." In addition to the online exhibition, which features hundreds of images of lithographs, the project also created a digital catalog featuring over 1,300 lithographs from a number of institutions, and a biographical dictionary providing information about 500 artists, lithographers, printers, and publishers who worked in commercial lithography in Philadelphia between 1828 and 1878. See also the accompanying PEAES conference, "Representations of Economy," mentioned here earlier.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Program for EHS Women's Committee Workshop Now Available

The Women's Committee of the Economic History Society, chaired by Francesca Carnevali of the University of Birmingham, has posted the program for its upcoming workshop on "Technology and Gender," to be held 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on November 6, 2010, at the Institute of Historical Research in London.  A booking form is available on the program page.  Those wishing to attend should register by November 1, 2010.