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September 1st, 2015 by: Jennifer Hart

Automobility, Technopolitics, and African Histories of Technology-in-Use in Twentieth Century Ghana

On May 31, 1940, the President of the Accra Town Council (ATC) wrote to the Colonial Secretary, complaining that “pirate passenger lorries” were plying the roads between the Gold Coast’s capital, Accra, and the eastern suburb of Labadi.  A heavily traveled route, the road between Labadi and Accra was used to seeing lorry traffic.  Labadi…

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September 1st, 2015 by: Tara Dosomu Diener

Wards Apart?: Rethinking the Hospital through a West African Lens

Two continents, two hospitals Hospital A has problems. Exterior security is heavy with electronic technology meant to restrict access, but behind the doors the image of order fades. The night shift is so under-staffed that an off-duty EMT is recruited from the emergency department to start intravenous drips on children. Terribly lacking in human resources,…

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June 21st, 2015 by: Christian Gelzer

Speed is a Virtue: Travel in the Mid-Nineteenth Century United States

In 1830 the Lancaster, Ohio school board observed with one voice that if God had meant “his creatures” to travel at the “frightful speed of 15 miles per hour He would have foretold it through His holy prophets.” Such speed was the “device of Satan to lead immortal souls to hell.”[1] Twenty-five years later English…

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June 1st, 2015 by: Peter Westin

Motorsports and Motoring Public at Full Song (1950 to 1965): Measuring Men, Creatively Destructive, or Stimulating Technology?

Watching a motorsport race live is a visceral, sensory experience.[1] The smells are similar across racing categories and can be either accentuated at certain points on the track or mitigated depending on that day’s weather. When the contest begins, the atmosphere nearest the track is permeated with both fuel and exhaust fumes as the cars…

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June 1st, 2015 by: Alison Kreitzer

Speed Bugs: American Motorsports and the Pursuit of Speed, 1926-1932

Speed and Risk in American Entertainment [1] World War I flying ace and racecar driver, Eddie Rickenbacker told readers of the Altoona Tribune that the greatest accomplishment of the 1928 racing season “was the bringing back to America of the automobile speed supremacy of the world.”[2] In April 1928, Philadelphia-native, Ray Keech, reclaimed the World’s…

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What If Beddoes & Davy Had Attempted Surgical Anesthesia In 1799? Article

April 1st, 2015 by: A.J. Wright

What If Beddoes & Davy Had Attempted Surgical Anesthesia In 1799?

The inhalation of gases to relieve pain during surgery is considered one of America’s greatest contributions to medicine. The “discovery” of anesthesia is often credited to Boston dentist William Morton, who brought an inhalation device and ether into the operating room of Dr. John Collins Warren one October morning in 1846. This event was considered…

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