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Vol. 12, No. 1
November 1999

Mercurial Matters

Old and New Media

News of Members

Editorial: Seduced by a "First”

2000 in Munich

Nina Wormbs wins Robinson Prize

Information Networks and Urban Spaces

Book Review:
Science in Public

Lemelson Center Fellows Program

News of the Field:
Printing History on the Web

Audio History Library

Westinghouse Films from 1904

What can "Old Technologies" Teach us about Digital Culture?

Recent and Upcoming Conferences

Journal of Radio Studies

New Edition of Bibliography


Telephone Collectors International

SHOT Session Query: Mechanical to Electrical

A Victorian Internet?

Contact Us

Mercurians Back Button

Westinghouse Films From 1904

The opportunity presented itself at the SHOT ’99 book exhibit to see the current state of the work on Julian Reitman’s CD-ROM project, “Time Capsule of 1904: Films, Photos and Text,” of labor in the Westinghouse factories near Pittsburgh.

The CD-ROM contains 50 minutes of film clips of industrial films from the beginning of the century. In combination with photos and text, the CD-ROM helps provide an understanding in Time Capsule form of the workings of a1904 industrial system. The films were taken at various Westinghouse plants, and original prints are in the collections of the Library of Congress and the Museum of Modern Art. They were made by the Biograph Company and were shown at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis.

With this project Dr. Reitman aims to enhance our understanding of working conditions for men and women in turn-of-the-century factories, the nature of manufacturing in the electrical industries, and the relationships between company and community. Reitman especially hopes that the CD-ROM Time Capsule will be useful in teaching the history of American technology, since available printed materials cannot adequately interpret some of the visual information captured on these films.

The project has been supported in part by the IEEE Foundation. Individuals who would like to contribute their comments on the efforts so far may obtain a copy of the CD-ROM by contacting Julian Reitman, University of Connecticut / Stamford, One University Place, Stamford, CT 06901-2315; 203/251-8548; fax: 203/251 8592; <>)