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June 13th, 2019 by: Samantha ShoreyDaniela Rosner

Making Core Memory – An experiment in troubling computing histories

In a two-minute clip from the docuseries Moon Machines, two women in white smocks pass a needle back and forth through a matrix of eyelet openings.[1] Sitting under task lamps in a Raytheon facility outside of Boston, they are making “core memory” for the Apollo Guidance Computer. They thread the wire through the ferrite cores…

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June 13th, 2019 by: Sarah Lowengard

Western Travelers Describe Foreign Textile Practices

The interested bystander is a familiar presence in narratives of information exchange in the early modern period. The observations of expatriates writing home, officials on government-sponsored tours, merchants and traders were constant and often significant components to stories about dissemination of techniques across distant geographies. At the same time, espionage, importing (or exporting) workers and…

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June 13th, 2019 by: Annapurna Mamidipudi

The Loom in the Weaving Marriage

 “My marriage is made of gold,” says an elderly weaver from East Godavari. This is a defining statement about a life lived in handloom weaving.[1] It seemed like a non sequitur in a conversation about the effects of the 2008 economic downturn on handloom weaving—a contrast to words of despair and drudgery regarding the presence…

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March 13th, 2019 by: Anna Reser

“Where the Land that Any Sane Man Wants Runs Out” Displacement and Disruption on Florida’s Space Coast

In 1968, the Public Affairs Office at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), headed by Gordon Harris, released an informational publication––more of a short monograph written by Harris himself––called “The Kennedy Space Center Story.” Chapter one, entitled “A National Resource,” situates the Spaceport in the specific environmental and historical context of its location on the east coast…

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March 13th, 2019 by: Kathryn Carpenter

“Cesspools,” Springs, and Snaking Pipes

The Hot Springs of Arkansas emerge from the hillside of Hot Springs Mountain, in the Ouachita Mountains about an hour’s drive from Little Rock. Although visitors today can only see a couple of “demonstration springs,” there once were 47 naturally occurring springs on the hillside. The waters emerge from more than 6000 feet below the…

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