Guidelines for Technological
History: Due when we are covering that time period (ideally, submit as MS-Word, web page, or Adobe PDF
document by email).
1) First select a historical period (we will do this in class).
2) Next, select a specific piece of technology or invention from this time period
a) that you find interesting
b) that gets my prior approval
c) and that is documented sufficiently to answer the questions listed below.
3) Write a 3-6 page summary, suitable for distribution to the class for use as a cultural example on the exams, addressing the following issues:
- If the
answer to any of the questions is “no”, or there is insufficient
information, please discuss or try to explain why.
- Illustrations: Include at least one illustration of this piece of technology demonstrating how it functions. /5 pts
- Need: What was the perceived
need that this invention was intended to fulfill? /10
- Inventor: Provide a brief
biography of the inventor with details such as: Where/when born? What was their
profession? Where did they invent? Other inventions?
Died where/when? /10 pts
- Collaborators: Did this inventor have any partners or research assistants in the invention and/or distribution of this invention? In what setting was it invented? (Lab? Garage?) /5 pts
- History: How was this
invention invented? When and where? Any difficulties or
unexpected developments? /10 pts
- Function: Generally explain how this invention operated. /10 pts
- Success: Did this invention satisfy its intended need? Did its inventor obtain any wealth from its invention and adoption? ./10 pts
- Later Development: Was this invention eventually adopted and modified by others? /5 pts
- Technological System: Was this invention used with others as part of a technological system? /5 pts
- Social Impact: Did this
invention, or its later developments, have any
long-term or large-scale effects on the society as a whole? /10 pts
- Archaeological Remains: What do you think this invention will look like 500 years after it has been discarded? (you may have to think about this... it will probably not be mentioned in any of your sources) /5 pts
- References: References you used, including exact web addresses and any pages from the textbook. At least one reference must be from a print (non-web) source besides our textbook. Generally, books provide more details because websites are notoriously sketchy. /5 pts
/90 max = %
Only those summaries earning an A will be posted for reference use by the class.