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The Ferguson Prize

Eugene S. Ferguson

Eugene S. Ferguson

The Eugene S. Ferguson Prize is awarded biennially by SHOT for an outstanding and original reference work that supports future scholarship in the history of technology. The Ferguson Prize recognizes work that is in the tradition of scholarly excellence established by Eugene S. Ferguson (1916-2004), SHOT’s pioneering bibliographer, a founding member of the Society (President, 1977-1978; da Vinci Medalist, 1977), museum curator and exhibit catalog author, editor, annotator, university professor, and scholar of the history of engineering and technology. The prize consists of a plaque and a cash award.

Reflecting the scope of Eugene Ferguson’s contributions to the history of technology, submissions and nominations for the following types of reference and scholarly works and tools will be considered for the Ferguson Prize:

Ferguson Prize

Ferguson Prize

Works that extend beyond the printed text should exhibit a degree of permanence similar to that of books, keeping in mind that the principal criterion of “support [of] future scholarship.”

In light of Eugene Ferguson’s noteworthy contributions to our understanding of visual thinking and visual display, nominations of works that demonstrate commitment to and achievement of nonverbal knowledge generation and transmission are especially encouraged.

Works published in the four calendar years prior to the year of the award are eligible for consideration. Publication date shall be interpreted as the year in which the work to be considered first appeared (i.e., first edition, first issuance, first availability, first uploading to the World Wide Web, etc.)

All works considered must be in English.

SHOT president Ron Kline with 2011 Ferguson Prize winners Pamela Long and David McGee--Alan Stahl, not pictured

SHOT president Ron Kline with 2011 Ferguson Prize winners Pamela Long and David McGee–Alan Stahl, not pictured

Awarded biennially, the next Ferguson Prize will be awarded in 2021.


Nominations by publishers and authors should be accompanied by a letter and three copies of the printed text or electronic media being nominated. These should be mailed individually to all the members of the committee to addresses indicated below.

Nominations by third-parties should be sent via email to the SHOT Secretariat, [email protected]. Please put ‘Ferguson Nomination’ in the subject line.

For more information, please contact the committee chair or Jan Korsten, SHOT Secretary, [email protected].

2020 Ferguson Prize Committee

Maria Portuondo, Chair (2018–2020)
The Johns Hopkins University
Department of History of Science and Technology
3400 N. Charles Street
Gilman Hall 301
Baltimore, MD 21218
David C. Brock (2019-2022)
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94943

Previous Recipients of the Ferguson Prize

2019 Pamela H. Smith, The Making and Knowing Project’s digital edition of the technical manuscript BnF Ms. Fr. 640,
and the project’s website: https://www.makingandknowing.org/
2017 Susan W. Greene, Wearable Prints, 1760-1860: History, Materials and Mechanics (The Kent State University Press, 2014)
2015 Patrick T. McBriarty, Chicago River Bridges (University of Illinois Press, 2013)
2013 David C. Brock and Christophe Lécuyer, Makers of the Microchip: A Documentary History of Fairchild Semiconductor (MIT Press and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 2010)
2011 Pamela O. Long, David B. McGee, Alan M. Stahl, The Book of Michael of Rhodes: A Fifteenth-Century Maritime Manuscript, 3 vol. (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2009)
2009 John Peter Oleson, The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World (Oxford University Press, 2008)
2007 The Papers of Joseph Henry, ed. Nathan Reingold (vols. 1-5) and Marc Rothenberg (vols. 6-11)
2005 James R. Hansen, ed., The Wind and Beyond: A Documentary Journey into the History of Aerodynamics in America (NASA History Series, 2004)
Special retrospective award The Papers of Thomas A. Edison (Johns Hopkins University Press)