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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Take note: The Society for the History of Technology recently launched its domain name. This will be a big help to those of us who couldn’t even begin to remember the URL for the web site and who had to access it from computers where we could not bookmark it. This beats having to use a search engine every time we want to check things out at SHOT. You will also be glad to know that the directory on the site is working properly now. All you need to get into it is your SHOT membership ID, which is the number atop your mailing labels from SHOT.

Telecomm Museum & Website

Among the infinite (?) and intriguing (no question about that) websites out there in the ether, you might want to take a look at <>, run by folks who clearly value preserving and studying historical communication technologies.

From the site, we learned about the North American Data Communications Museum (NADCOMM), which is “committed to the project of collecting, displaying, and operating the equipment which has powered the communications revolutions of the twentieth century, from telegraphy to digital telephony. The collection, largely donated by committed telecommunications workers and businesses, already encompasses a wide array of machines spanning the entire history of teletype and the transition to contemporary digital modem technology.”

NADCOMM has a goal most commendable from historians’ perspective, namely “to counter the present state of communications history, marked by the quick and successive obsolescence of ‘last year’s models,’ by maintaining a working collection of functional equipment tracing the stages through which teletechnology has passed.” Insisting that their project extends beyond “the nostalgia of the technophile,” NADCOMM emphasizes the importance of these technologies in economic, social, and cultural history.

This site has more links than we could explore in one sitting: British Amateur Radio Teledata Group; Buffalo Central Terminal Teletype Office; Lauren Museum; Canadian Foreign Service ComWeb Museum; Cyber Telephone Museum; Electronic Cipher Machine (ECM) Mark II; Enigma Museum; European Telegraph Instruments; FCC Act of 1996; History of Data Communications; Museum of Telegraph and Scientific Instruments; Radio Teletype Broadcasting - WA9XHN; RTTY Loop Homepage; Telephone Collectors International; Telecom Digest & Archives; Tribute to the Telephone; Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum.

Computer Museum Reminder

Even if you don’t live in California, you might want to subscribe to the e-mail announcement list of the Computer Museum History Center. Conferences, guest speakers, exhibitions, and any number of activities abound at this lively institution. Learn more at <>.