Friday, April 28, 2017

WEHC 2018: Call Opens for Poster and Dissertation Sessions; Last Call for Regular Sessions

Ph.D. students and junior postdoctoral researchers in economic history are invited to present their ongoing research to an international audience with a poster at the World Economic History Congress, which will take place in Boston on July 29-August 3, 2018. Historical applications in any field of economics or cognate social sciences, business history, demographic history, environmental history, global and world history, social history, urban history, methodological approaches to historical research, history of economics and economic thought, and other related fields are welcome. Digital posters will also be considered, pending space constraints. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2018. Please see the full WEHC announcement about posters.
     Students who have completed their dissertations between June 2014 and August 2017 are encouraged to submit their theses for the dissertation panel/competition. Dissertations will be shortlisted and considered for awards in three separate categories: Ancient/medieval/early modern period; the long 19th century; and 20th century. The three finalists in each category will be invited to present their work in the dissertation panel. Theses written in languages other than English will be considered, although the abstract must be in English. The deadline for electronic submissions of the theses, along with information on past and current affiliation of the student, advisor, 500-word abstract, and any other pertinent information is December 1, 2017. All materials should be sent by email to: Additional information is available at
     Note that some accepted sessions are still looking for additional paper presenters and other participants. Individual proposals to join already accepted sessions should be directed to the organizers of those sessions; the listing is here. In addition, the Executive Committee will consider new session proposals submitted before June 30, 2017, from all members of the international economic history community. The organizers say, "We especially invite submissions that complement the sessions already in place with topics, regions, or time periods not yet well represented." Session proposals can be submitted at

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CFP Reminder: 2017 Portuguese Economic and Social History Association Conference

Max Römer, "Bay of Funchal"
The 37th conference of the Portuguese Economic and Social History Association will be held at the University of Madeira, Colégio dos Jesuítas, Funchal, on November 17-18, 2017. The theme of the meeting will be "The Atlantic in Economic and Social History." As the call for papers states,
The history of the Atlantic broke with the frontiers of historiography based on the nation-state’s approach, allowing thereafter the possibility of comparing processes in the long run. . . . The processes originating in the Atlantic have tended to be analysed as interactions between people, institutions and economies in a interconnected world. 
Proposals for either panels or individual presentations will be considered. The APHES Conference is open to the submission of papers on any topic in economic and social history.
    Paper proposals should include an abstract between 400 and 500 words, with the description of the topic, objectives, theoretical framework, empirical support of the paper, and 4 key words. A brief CV of the author ﴾1 page max.﴿ should also be sent. Proposals for panels should include three papers and one chair/discussant. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2017. Proposals should be sent to:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Over the Counter: Issue No. 35

News and notes of interest from around the web:
From KILN, a fascinating shipping map for 2012; run the video to see types of ships, cargos, and other information.

W. E. B. Du Bois prepared a number of charts for the Negro Exhibit of the American Section at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 to show the economic and social progress of African Americans since emancipation; they are available on the Library of Congress website, and there is a story about them here.

Edward Balleisen can be seen speaking about his book Fraud: American History from Barnum to Madoff  (Princeton University Press, 2017) at the National History Center in Washington, D.C. And he talks about his research for the Duke University Ways and Means podcast.

And Marie Hicks is interviewed on the New Books Network podcast about her recently published  Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing (MIT Press, 2017).

The BT Digital Archives has enhanced and expanded its online presence, with many materials highlighting the history of "the world's oldest communications company."

On the H-Net Book Channel, Adam Quinn has an essay called "Reforming History," an overview of recent scholarship on the Progressive Era.

On the Georgian Papers blog, Justin Clement writes about "The Birth of Britain's Capitalist Empire."

Gridium presents a podcast interview (and transcription) with Andrew Russell about "The Dark Side of Innovation, seen from Bell Labs, Mars, and maintenance."

"Mapping Early American Elections" has launched a website as it begins to turn the raw material from "A New Nation Votes" American Election Returns 1787-1825" into a dataset that "will give scholars a way to see American elections as a whole through maps and other kinds of analysis."

Louis Hyman published an opinion piece in the April 8 New York Times on "The Myth of Main Street."

Lindsay Schakenbach Regele has an essay in the current issue of Common-Place about "the culture of chauvinistic entitlement" in Daniel Parker's War Department.

The program for "Innovative Solutions for Archives and Financial Crises," taking place in St. Louis on May 11-12, 2017, has now been posted. The conference is co-hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH).

Susan Strasser has an article on the OAH blog, "Process History," entitled "Snake Oil Revisited: Household Medicine and the Condescension of Posterity." As does Christy Ford Chapin, writing about "The Historical Origins of Today's Healthcare Debates."
    Strasser also has an article in the New York Times on the history of the microwave.

And over at the AHA blog, Joseph Malherek has an essay on Edward Bernays and American consumer culture.

The Getty Provenance Index® has added 138,000 database records of British art sales from the 1600s and 1700s, including the earliest known catalog published in Britain; an entry in the Getty blog, the Iris, details the importance and uses of records of art sales.

The Spectator Archive contains digitized versions of every issue of the magazine, 1828-2008. Researchers can search by content, keyword, topic, location, and date.

Friday, April 21, 2017

BHC Awards Announced at Annual Meeting

In addition to the Hagley and Gomory book prizes previously featured, the Business History Conference presented the following awards and prizes at its annual meeting in Denver, Colorado:
Lifetime Achievement Award:
Naomi Lamoreaux, Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics & History, Yale University

Herman E. Krooss Prize, for the best dissertation:
Gerardo Con Diaz, Yale University, 2016
"Intangible Inventions:  A History of Software Patenting in the United States, 1945-1985"

K. Austin Kerr Prize for the best first paper presented at a BHC meeting by a new scholar:
Kelly Kean Sharp, “No Free Market: The Enslaved Marketwomen and Butchers of Charleston's Centre Market Stalls”

Philip Scranton Prize, for the best article in the 2016 volume of Enterprise and Society:
Petri Paju and Thomas Haigh, "IBM Rebuilds Europe: The Curious Case of the Transnational Typewriter," no. 2 (June 2016): 265-300.

Mira Wilkins Prize, for the best article in the 2016 volume of Enterprise and Society pertaining to international and comparative business history:
Petri Paju and Thomas Haigh, "IBM Rebuilds Europe: The Curious Case of the Transnational Typewriter," no. 2 (June 2016): 265-300.
The BHC meeting also serves as the venue for the announcement of the recipients of the Rovensky Fellowhip for dissertation research. The awardees for 2017-2018 are:
Emilie Connolly, New York University, for "Indian Trust Funds and the Routes of American Capitalism"
Devin Kennedy, Harvard University, for "Computing's Economy: Technology and the Making of Modern Finance, 1930-1975"

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Program Available: CHORD May Workshop

The program for the next CHORD (Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution) workshop, which will take place on May 23, 2017, at Wolverhampton University, has now been posted. The program, constructed around the workshop theme of "Retailing, Distribution, and Reputation: Historical Perspectives," contains links to abstracts for all the papers.
    For registration and other useful information, please consult the workshop website.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Web Resource: New York City Directories

The New York Public Library is digitizing its collection of New York City Directories, 1786 through 1922/3, serving them free through the NYPL Digital Collections portal. The first group, 1849-1903, is already available. Directories have long been an important tool for business historians, recording the names and addresses of residents, of  churches, businesses, schools, police stations, courts, and other government offices, as well as individual names associated with those institutions.
City directories contain much more than lists of names and addresses. They record the price of travel and postage, the kinds of occupations undertaken in the city, the layout of streets, and at what time the sun was predicted to rise and set. . . . In addition to textual information, city directories feature many images, including maps, illustrations of buildings, and advertisements, occasionally printed on colored or decorative paper. Directories record the city's built and commercial history.
    See the post by Philip Sutton on the NYPL blog for a longer discussion of the value of city directories for historians and tips for using them.

Friday, April 14, 2017

CFP: “Material Realities of Energy Histories”

The Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d'histoire has issued a call for papers on the topic "The Material Realities of Energy Histories" for a special issue. According to the organizers
Energy history has grown considerably from a largely overlooked sub-field to an important and relevant line of historical enquiry. Responding to the realization that human energy use has been directly responsible for monumental social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental changes, such as industrialization, urbanization, global warming, and the onset of the Anthropocene, historians have begun to embrace the need to understand better how energy structured human societies.
The proposed essays "should explore topics that address the transnational dimensions and multiple scales of the material realities and environmental consequences of energy production, distribution, and consumption in any time period."
    Submissions (a 250-300 word abstract) should be sent by June 2, 2017, to guest editor Andrew Watson at For a more detailed description of possible topics and other project deadlines, please consult the full call for papers.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Conference: “Coins of the Realm”

The UCLA Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies will hold a conference on May 5-6, 2017, on "Coins of the Realm: Money, Value, and Sovereignty in the Early Modern Atlantic." According to the organizer, Andrew Apter of UCLA,
The conference addresses key relationships between money-forms and political authority during major transitions in the British Atlantic economy associated with the Stuart Restoration, the financial revolution, the Board of Trade and Plantations, and the Royal African Company. Of central importance is the Great Recoinage of 1696, which attempted to restore England’s national currency by realigning the nominal values of coins with their material worth as gold and silver. . . . Papers will draw on cases from England, the West Indies, colonial North America, and West Africa to highlight emergent connections between monetary value and political sovereignty in the early modern Atlantic.
The program and registration information are available on the conference website.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Request for Help: Older BHC Programs

As part of ongoing efforts to add content to the BHC website, we are in the process of adding to the files of annual meeting programs. We are missing some early years, and so we send out this request for information. Years needed are

1954 (Northwestern University)
1954 (University of Michigan)
[1955] no meeting
1956 (Indiana University)
1957 [no meeting]
1958 (State Historical Society, Wisconsin)
1959 (University of Illinois)
1960 (Marquette University)
1961 (Purdue University)
1963 (Northwestern University)
1964 (Indiana University)
1965 (Kent State University)
1970 (University of Iowa)
1971 (Oberlin College)
1972 (Loyola University)
1974 (Hagley Museum and Library)
1975 (Northwestern University)
We would be grateful if readers who have copies of any of these programs would get in touch with Pat Denault ( We'll let folks know when the current batch of older programs is uploaded. In the meantime, all programs, 2017-2003, are linked from our website at

Friday, April 7, 2017

EABH Conference: “The Haute Banque in the World”

As part of its 2017 annual meeting, the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH), in cooperation with BNP Paribas and Banque Lombard Odier, will hold a conference on June 23, 2017, entitled "Legacy of Finance: The Haute-Banque in the World from the 19th to the 21st Century." According to the organizers:
The haute banque emerged as a private banking elite in France during the Restoration period. Haute banque institutions were well respected and dealt with major international business and state affairs. They declined and vanished after the World Wars of the 20th century. Now, the haute banque is having a comeback in the 21st century. How did this happen? and why?
The full program is available on the EABH website, as is a listing of all the organization's events. Registration is open at Early bird tickets for non-members are available until April 15.
     The full meeting will commence on June 22 with sessions for EABH members only. The keynote speaker for the EABH members' dinner will be Harold James, who will talk about "The Haute Banque and National Security."

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

BHC Book Prizes Awarded

At last week's annual meeting in Denver, Colorado, the Business History Conference awarded its two book prizes.
The Hagley Prize for the best book in business history in the previous year was awarded to Mark R. Wilson of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, for Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016).

The Gomory Prize, made possible by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, recognizes historical work on the effects of business enterprises on the economic conditions of the countries in which they operate. In a first, Mark R. Wilson was the co-recipient of this prize as well. The co-winner was Johan Mathew of Rutgers University, for Margins of the Market: Trafficking and Capitalism across the Arabian Sea (University of California Press, 2016).

The Gomory committee also awarded an honorable mention, to William N. Goetzmann, for Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton University Press, 2016).