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11-14 OCTOBER 2018

St. Louis, Missouri (USA)


(Photo by Daniel Schwen, 27 January 2008)

October 14 2018

Thank you for joining us at SHOT’s Annual Meeting 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri! We hope you all enjoyed the conference in the historic St. Louis Union Station Hotel.

This year’s program was the result of the hard work of the 2018 Program Committee. On behalf of SHOT, I want to thank committee members Ling-Fei Lin (committee chair), Cyrus Mody, and Karin Zachmann for putting together such a wonderful program. I would like to thank our local hosts Amy Bix, Jeff Manuel, and Jeff Schramm for all their efforts. I also want to thank John Krige, Richard Hirsh, Sonja Beekers, Jeroen Carbaat, F. Dean Schultheiss, Henk Treur, our volunteers, and the staff of the St. Louis Union Station Hotel for their assistance in organizing the annual meeting. SHOT owes you all a debt of gratitude for all your hard work!

We are looking forward to meet you again next year in Milan Italy (24-27 October 2019)!

Jan Korsten, SHOT Secretary

SHOT St. Louis Photos

Opening Plenary in Moulin

Opening Plenary Kranzberg’s Laws at 60

Union Station Hotel – Main Lobby

Presidential Address John Krige



Graduate Student Mixer

Joy Parr, winner of the Leonardo da Vinci medal 2018

Dibner Award

Eduardo Escobar (right), winner of the Brooke Hindle Fellowship, with Tom Misa


Julie Cohn, recipient of the Bernard S. Finn IEEE History Prize 2018

SHOT president John Krige (right) and Marie Hicks, winner of the Sally Hacker Prize 2018 i


Edward Jones-Imhotep (left), recipient of the 2018 Sidney M. Edelstein Prize

Whiney Laemmli (left), recipient of the 2018 Abbot Usher Prize,


Rebecca A. Perry, recipient of the 2018 NASA Fellowship in the History of Space Technology



Photos by Bucky Stanton and Jan Korsten, 2018

SHOT St. Louis Program

You can download the program booklet here.

SHOT 2018 Awards and Fellowships

You can download the awards booklet with all citations here.

At the Awards Banquet (October 13 the 2018 Awards and Fellowships were announced.

Leonardo da Vinci Medal
Joy Parr,
Western University Canada

Kranzberg Dissertation Fellowship
Angélica Agredo Montealegre,
King’s College London
For “Road Construction and Maintenance in the Developing World: The Cases of Colombia, Argentina, French West Africa and the Algerian Sahara, 1950s-1960s.”

Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits
The Finnish Museum of Games, Vapriiki (Finland)

Sidney M. Edelstein Prize
Edward Jones-Imhotep
For The Unreliable Nation: Hostile Nature and Technological Failure in the Cold War (Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2017).

Brooke Hindle Post-doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
Eduardo Escobar,
Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge, The University of Chicago
For: The Scribal Craft: Cuneiform Recipe Knowledge and the Language of Technology

Bernard S. Finn IEEE History Prize
Julie Cohn
For “Data, Power, and Conservation: The Early Turn to Information Technologies to Manage Energy Resources,” Information & Culture, 52 (3) (2017): 334-361

Sally Hacker Prize
Marie Hicks (
National Humanities Center)
For Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing (MIT Press, 2017)

NASA Fellowship in the History of Space Technology
Rebecca A. Perry
For: Filming the Future: Planetary Voyages and Computer Graphics at NASA/JPL

Abbott Payson Usher Prize
Whitney Laemmli
(Columbia University)
For A Case in Pointe: Romance and Regimentation at the New York City Ballet.”  Technology and Culture 56 (January 2015): 1-27

SHOT International Scholars 2019-2020
Jethron Ayumbah Akallah
Timpoko Hélène Kiénon-Kaboré
Liang Yao

You can download the awards booklet with all citations here.

SHOT St. Louis 2018 Archive

Program Changes and Corrections (October 10)

SIG Events


Session 3: Graduate Students’ Flash Talks
Change of title presentation: Bo An (Yale University): China and Cybernetics: The Case of Qian Xuesen
Session 6: Human-Machine Interfaces: industrial design, ergonomics, psychology and semiotics in the early history of computing
Please note: Session sponsored by SIGCIS
Session 16: Cyborg Politics in the Cold War
New Chair and Commentator: Whitney Laemmli (Columbia University)
Withdrawn presenter:  Bo An (Yale University): China and Cybernetics: The Case of Qian Xuesen
Session 21: Sustaining Technologies in Times of Crisis
Withdrawn presenter:  Éverton Luís de Oliveira (University of Campinas): History of social technologies in the Brazilian semi-arid: a solution for the water scarcity
Session 48: Digital Economies of Labor, Transnational Mobilities
Corrected affiliation Chair: Elisabetta Mori (Middlesex University, London)
Session 55: Materializing Sight: Psychology, and Technologies of Vision in the Twentieth Century
New Chair: Cameron Brinitzer (University of Pennsylvania, History, and Sociology of Science)
New Commentator: Matthew Jones (Columbia University)
Session 67: Innovation Out of the Blue: Managing Serendipity in Energy Conversion Systems
Correction title paper:Lillian Hoddeson (University of Illinois): Chance and Design in Stanford Ovshinsky’s Invention of the Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery

SHOT St. Louis Conference Registration Desk

The registration desk is located in ‘Terminal Atrium A’. Event registration hours are:

It is no longer possible to register online. Onsite registration will be possible during the conference at the registration desk. For those that already registered, please collect your badge, tickets and pre-requested printed programs upon check-in. Badges should be worn throughout the event to ensure access.

SHOT St. Louis Conference Hotel

The main venue of the 2018 annual meeting is St. Louis Union Station Hotel. This National Historic Landmark was once one of the world’s largest and busiest train stations. The station opened in 1894 and was operational until 1978. In the early 1980’s the building was converted into a hotel and a conference center. This beautiful historic complex with its tangible links to a great railroad past is an appropriate location for the SHOT annual meeting.

St. Louis Union Station Hotel
1820 Market Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63103
Phone: (+1) 314-231-1234

Please note: there are no hotel rooms available anymore in the conference hotel.
Nearby alternative hotel option:

Drury Inn St. Louis at Union Station
201 South 20th Street
St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone: (+1) 314-231-3900


Taxi and ride-sharing services at St. Louis Lambert airport are plentiful. Estimate your ride to the hotel to cost around $35.00.

MetroLink is the city’s light rail service and stations at both Terminal 1 and 2 will take you downtown in 45 minutes at a cost of $2.50 one way. Your station stop for the hotel is called “Union Station”.
Download Metrolink Schematic Map
Go to the Metrolink website

SHOT St. Louis tours

The Local Organizing Committee organized several tours. The tours will enable you to discover various aspect of St. Louis and its history. It is possible to book some of the tours onsite at the registration desk.

Thurday Afternoon
Big Beer! Anheuser-Busch Brewmaster Tour:
For many people, St. Louis is synonymous with beer. This tour offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at the technologically-fascinating brewing, packaging, and distribution processes in the massive Anheuser-Busch St. Louis brewing complex, with origins dating back to 1852.  This St. Louis Beermaster Tour will take you through the Budweiser Clydesdale Paddock and Stables, the historic Brew House, Lager Cellar, Packaging Facility, and Finishing Cellar, with a free sample directly from a Finishing Tank for those 21+. As a special SHOT bonus, the tour will be accompanied by a working Anheuser-Busch Engineer.
Please Note: Flat, closed-toe shoes are required for all guests for your safety. Guests under 13 are not permitted to join this tour.

Friday Morning. 9:00-11:30 AM
Missouri Botanical Garden:
Founded in 1859, the 79-acre Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation. Today, the Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a internationally-renowned center for botanical research, horticultural display, conservation, and science education. An oasis in the city of St. Louis, the landmark includes a 14-acre Japanese garden, the largest in North America. The garden’s Climatron, built in 1960, was the first conservatory built in a geodesic dome, and has been named one of the top-100 US architectural achievements. The Climatron features over 1,400 different tropical species, exotic fish, and a bridge to view the rain-forest canopy. SHOT member David Munns, author of Engineering the Environment: Phytotrons and the Quest for Climate Control in the Cold War, will offer a special tour through the Climatron dome, discussing its technological, architectural, and historic significance. The visit also offers ample time for exploring the garden on your own.

Friday Lunchtime
– TOUR FULLY BOOKED! – St. Louis Historic Architecture Walking Tour:
This small personalized walking tour gives you an up-close view of the important technologies, architecture, and historical importance of the St. Louis built environment. The Gateway Arch, the ultimate St. Louis image and the world’s tallest arch, was designed in 1947 by Eero Saarinen and features a newly-renovated park area and museum. The 1890 Wainwright Building, designed by Louis Sullivan, is one of the world’s first skyscrapers and  has been named one of “Ten Buildings That Changed America.” Other downtown landmarks include the Cass Gilbert-designed public library, the Renaissance-revival city hall, Busch Stadium,and the old court house, site of the Dred Scott decision. The tour provides an excellent look at St. Louis’s significant role in American transportation history, with two National Historic Landmarks: the 1874 Eads Bridge (the world’s first steel-truss bridge) and spectacular Union Station, once the world’s biggest and busiest, handling 100,000 passengers per day in the 1940s.  The tour also covers St. Louis’s twenty-first-century changes, including new skyscrapers and the central urban park and sculpture garden. The tour will offer an excellent look at how St. Louis structures shaped and were shaped by the city and its people.

Friday Evening, 6:00-9:00 PM
– TOUR FULLY BOOKED! – Little Beer! Earthbound Brewing Tour and dinner:
For many people, St. Louis is synonymous with beer. This is a special SHOT tour of small craft brewer Earthbound Brewing, spearheading the city’s craft-beer renaissance. The tour will highlight the technology, art, and evolution of small-batch creative brewing, . Earthbound’s brewery is located in a 150-year-old repurposed building, with barrel-vaulted ceilings, a beer garden, and connections to a neighborhood network of underground caves. This building is one of just a handful of buildings remaining from influential St. Louis architects Jungenfeld & Co, who designed each brewery in a special style; renovation allows today’s visitors to view the unique construction of post-Civil War lagering cellars. Earthbound offers an amazing range of beer choices (plus wine, tea, and custom sodas), with sustainable barbeque and other food options; the tour includes time for you to have beer and dinner at Earthbound on your own.
Please Note: Flat, closed-toe shoes are required for all guests for your safety. Tour includes stairs and is not fully accessible.

Saturday Afternoon
Cahokia Mounds:
A UNESCO world heritage site, Cahokia is the largest pre-Columbian settlement in North America north of Mexico. The over-six square mile city (1550 ha) housed almost 40,000 people at its peak and was occupied between 800 and 1400 CE by the Native-American Mississippian culture. The park covers 2,200 acres (890 ha), or about 3.5 square miles (9 km2), and contains about 80 mounds, including the 100-foot tall (30 m) Monks Mound, the biggest pyramid north of Mesoamerica and the single biggest Pre-Columbian earthwork. Other features include the Woodhenge, burial and sacrificial sites, and the remains of a copper workshop, plazas, terraces, palisades, urban planning, and astronomical alignments. This tour will offer ample time to visit the museum and outdoor mounds. On the day of our visit, the Chickasaw Nation will be hosting a fall festival at the grounds, featuring traditional drumming, flute music, and stomp dancing, art, storytelling, stickball games and social games.

Meals at Union Station Hotel

For those times when you are on your own for meals while in St. Louis, know that the hotel has three in-house dining options and a snack shop:

Other Food Outlets Nearby

 This is just a short list of restaurants close to the hotel. The hotel concierge can provide a com-prehensive list of options throughout downtown St. Louis, along with directions.

SHOT Travel Grants

The Society for the History of Technology awards grants to support travel to its annual meeting, primarily to graduate students, independent scholars, and young professionals just beginning their careers (within 5 years of receiving the Ph.D. degree), as well as to SHOT International Scholars. Eligible members residing outside the US, Canada, and Western Europe are especially encouraged to apply. The application deadline of August 1 has passed.

You can find more information on SHOT Travel Grants here.

WITH Conference Grants – 2018

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Special Interest Group (SIG) for Women in Technological History (WITH) announces its conference grant for 2018. Designed to defray some costs associated with attending the SHOT Annual Meeting (such as lodging, meals, and other incidental expenses), the grant is open to individuals giving a paper at the 2018 conference in St. Louis. The reviewing committee prioritizes women scholars and feminist scholarship that addresses the presence, actions, activism, and analysis of women and gender in the History of Technology. Graduate students and scholars who are new to SHOT are particularly encouraged to apply. The application deadline for the WITH Conference Grant (August 15th, 2018) has passed, it is no longer possible to apply.

You can download all information on the WITH Conference Grants 2018 here.

EDITH Conference Support Awards – 2018

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Special Interest Group Exploring Diversity in Technology’s History (EDITH) announces its conference grant program for 2018. The EDITH grants are designed to defray costs associated with participating in the SHOT annual meeting, typically lodging, meals, and other incidental expenses.  Eligibility is open to individuals giving a paper at the 2018 SHOT annual meeting in St. Louis. The application deadline (August 15) has passed, it is no longer possible to apply.

You can download all information on the EDITH Conference Support Awards here.