A Hammer in Their Hands: A Documentary History of Technology by Carroll W. Pursell

By Carroll W. Pursell

Students operating on the intersection of African-American background and the historical past of know-how are redefining the belief of expertise to incorporate the paintings of the expert artisan and the ingenuity of the self-taught inventor. even if denied entry via so much of yankee historical past to many new applied sciences and to the privileged schooling of the engineer, African-Americans were engaged with a diversity of applied sciences, as makers and as clients, because the colonial period. A Hammer in Their arms (the identify comes from the well-known music approximately John Henry, "the steel-driving guy" who beat the steam drill) collects newspaper and journal articles, ads for runaway slaves, letters, folklore, excerpts from biography and fiction, criminal patents, protest pamphlets, and different fundamental assets to record the technological achievements of African-Americans.Included during this wealthy and sundry assortment are a letter from Cotton Mather describing an early approach to smallpox inoculation introduced from Africa through a slave; choices from Frederick Douglass's autobiography and Uncle Tom's Cabin; the accomplice Patent Act, which barred slaves from retaining patents; articles from 1904 through Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois, debating the problem of commercial schooling for African-Americans; a 1924 article from Negro global, "Automobiles and Jim Crow Regulations"; a photo of an all-black international battle II strive against squadron; and a 1998 presidential government order on environmental justice. A Hammer of their fingers and its spouse quantity of essays, expertise and the African-American event (MIT Press, 2004) might be crucial references in an rising quarter of analysis.

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He’d soon put a stop to it. ’’ Accordingly, the manufacturer and all hands concerned were astounded when he suddenly demanded George’s wages and announced his intention of taking him home. ‘‘But, Mr. ’’ ‘‘What if it is?

He was received with great enthusiasm by the employer, who congratulated him on possessing so valuable a slave. He was waited upon over the factory, shown the machinery by George, who, in high spirits, talked so fluently, held himself so erect, looked so handsome and manly, that his master began to feel an uneasy consciousness of inferiority. What business had his slave to be marching round the country, inventing machines, and holding up his head among gentlemen? He’d soon put a stop to it. ’’ Accordingly, the manufacturer and all hands concerned were astounded when he suddenly demanded George’s wages and announced his intention of taking him home.

39 The Persistence of Craft Being a tradesman, and just at that time getting my breakfast, I was near enough to hear the insolent words that were spoken to my father, and to hear, see, and even count the savage stripes inflicted upon him. Let me ask any one of Anglo-Saxon blood and spirit, how would you expect a son to feel at such a sight? This act created an open rupture with our family—each member felt the deep insult that had been inflicted upon our head; the spirit of the whole family was roused; we talked of it in our nightly gatherings, and showed it in our daily melancholy aspect.

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