Volume 13, No. 2
April 2001

Mercurial Matters

Letters to the Editor

SHOT in Silicon Valley

Breakfast in California

Changing of the Guard

The World Wide Web and the Transformation of Internet Domain Names

News of Members

Computer Museum Reminder

IEEE 2001 Conference on History of Telecommunications

Tesla and Edison

Book Review:
The Sociology of Invention: A review of Silicon Sky

News of the Field:
Marconi Collection

Lincoln Lab's 50-Year Review

Media Ecology Conference

Scientific and Technical Information Systems Historical Meeting

Telecomm Museum and Website, SHOT website

Superman and the Case of the Disappearing Public Telephone

Contact Us

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Changing of the Guard

After many years of service to the Mercurians as book review editor, Jonathan Coopersmith is stepping down. He will be removing other obstacles from his research path also, taking sabbatical next year from Texas A&M University. As a result, he will be able to devote full time to completing his eagerly awaited manuscript on the history of the fax machine. He is still collecting information on pornography & communications technologies, but not doing anything with it (also collecting, very passively, on religion & communications technologies). In the interests of the fax history, he is dropping some university activities (such as head and a founder of the local AAUP chapter) but is still on the Faculty Senate. He remains active in parenting and contributing the occasional column to the History News Service, both important contributions to the nation. We look forward to seeing Jonathan at our meeting in October, and in the meantime we wish him well in all his activities.

David J. Whalen is coming to Antenna’s rescue, taking over the book review editor’s duties. Because he won’t be able to write reviews for Antenna once he takes up his new responsibilities, he agreed to write a review for this issue as his last gasp of freedom, to be found in this story.

David earned degrees in astronomy, but he has worked as an aerospace engineer for most of his career. As an astronomy undergraduate and graduate student, he took courses in the History of Science and Technology and toyed with the idea of changing career paths. After many years, he finally decided to earn a Ph.D. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. His interdisciplinary program emphasized history, economics, and politics—in about that order. He has written several technical papers on satellite communications and several history/policy papers on satellite communications, satellite launch vehicles, and export control. The Smithsonian Institution Press will publish his book on the origins of satellite communications in 2002. He is currently working on a book about COMSAT. In addition to space communications, he is also very interested in the history of trans-Atlantic telegraph and telephone cables. Other historical interests include military history, history of science, Latin American history. He even plans a book about Jaume I of Aragon, once he is fluent in Latin and medieval Catalan.

Thank you, Jonathan, and thank you, David.