University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
History of Science and Technology

Page View

Schatzberg, Eric, 1956- / Wings of wood, wings of metal : culture and technical choice in American airplane materials, 1914-1945

List of figures,   pp. [xi]-[2]

Page xiv

xiv                                              ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
gently steered me in suitable directions while allowing me to develop into
an independent researcher. I also received encouragement and advice from
Judith McGaw and Robert Kohler; it was in one of Rob's seminars that I first
took up research in aviation history The conceptual framework that led to
this book was influenced by a short seminar I took with Donald MacKenzie
when he visited the university in the spring of 1985; Donald gave me my
first rigorous introduction to the sociology of technology. At about the same
time, I was also very taken with David Noble's Forces of Production. Noble's
analysis of the "road not taken" in automated machine tools primed me to
recognize the wooden airplane as an alternative path.
In this project's metamorphosis from dissertation to book, I have received
support from numerous colleagues in the history of technology, including
A. Michal McMahon, Jonathan Zeitlin, and Helmut Maier. Dr. Maier shared
early versions of his work on the history of aluminum; his arguments on the
symbolic significance of aluminum as a "scientific metal" parallel the argu-
ments made in this book. My introduction was much improved through the
helpful comments of Mark Shields. Mark also supplied an insightful critique
of my theoretical argument, raising deep conceptual issues that will require
more than an introduction to resolve. Jeffrey Meikle kindly let me see a
typescript copy of his book American Plastic. My research assistant, Julie
Levinson, helped bring order to massive amounts of published material I
had collected, and Libbie Freed helped check the quotations. Lee Bowman
compiled the index. Finally, I cannot imagine a better intellectual home
than the Department of the History of Science at the University of Wiscon-
sin-Madison, where my colleagues have provided me with the friendly, sup-
portive, and stimulating environment that 1 needed to complete the book.
This book depends heavily on archival sources and would have been im-
possible without the help of dozens of dedicated archivists. I have relied
especially on the records of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., that
great but underfunded repository of the nation's history The overworked
archivists there helped me tremendously, especially John Butler, David A.
Pfeiffer, Clifford L. Snyder, Will Mahoney, and Barry Zerby I received won-
derful assistance in my research on Canadian wooden airplanes from Paul
Marsden at the National Archives of Canada, Tim Dube at the Department
of National Defence, and Ralph Leonardo, formerly with the National Avia-
tion Museum.
I have received financial support from many sources in researching and
writing this book. As a graduate student, I began this project with help from
a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Smithsonian In-
stitution Ten-Week Graduate Fellowship, the American Historical Associa-
tion's Aerospace History Fellowship, and a Dean's Fellowship from the Uni-
versity of Pennsylvania. I wrote much of chapter three while a postdoctoral
fellow at the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering at Rutgers

Go up to Top of Page