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History Department

Elizabethtown
C o l l e g e

 

 
 
 
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Professional

RESEARCH:
My basic research interests target American business, industry, and technology in the 19th and 20th centuries.

PROFESSIONAL SCHOLARSHIP:

  • Book Manuscript: The American Creed.  An effort to establish core values in the American experience by presenting critical quotations followed by my critique of the quotations. This would be BOOK # 6. 2008
  • Article on “The Industrial Revolution In Current Amish Culture”. This is complete and there is a promise to publish in the next issue of Cultural Landscapes, edited by Gabe Ricci and Paul Gottfried. 2008
  • Presentation: Sept 17, 2007- Spoke on “Religion and the United States Constitution”. Argued that we have a good track record over the past 220 years. Show was broadcast over Pennsylvania Cable Network several times.
  • Paper: October/November, 2007- Researched and wrote paper “Windfalls to the Financially Hobbled: The Nasty and Dastardly Development of Financial Windfalls.”
  • Paper: December - February, 2007-2008: researched and wrote “The Ecstasy of Hyper Consumption, A Disease Without A Cure, and the Onslaught of the Sub-Prime Mortgage Debacle of 2007.” 
  • Presentation: March, 2008 - Delivered the “Windfalls” paper to the Elizabethtown College Business Department.  Several faculty in attendance provided comment and suggestions.
  • Lecture: April 3, 2008 - Lectured to Quest, a Lancaster town and gown group with 525 members that meets at Trinity Lutheran Church, on “Surviving in the Medical Market Place in Jacksonian America: The Creative Marketing of  Dr. George Barrett Kerfoot.”
  • Lecture: April 17, 2008 - Lectured to Quest on “Milton Hershey and his Hershey Chocolate Investments in Cuba.”
  • Speech: April 21, 2008 - Spoke to campus community as part of a panel in which faculty and students explain who they are planning to vote for in the Pennsylvania Primary of April 22 and why.

PUBLICATIONS AND CONFERENCE PAPERS:
Articles:

  •  “The Winpennys of Manayunk: An Alternative Approach in the Burgeoning 19th Century Textile History," Essays in Economic & Business History, 2001.
  • "19th Century Gun Maker and Mechanician John Griffen: The Indispensable Man at Phoenix: Iron and Steel," Canal Technology Proceedings, 2001.
  • The Phoenix Tower and the Struggling Centennial of 1876: A Story of What Might Have Been, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, October, 2000.
  • "Competing in the Medical Marketplace in Jacksonian America: The Creative Strategy of Dr. George Barrett Kerfoot," Journal of Lancaster County Historical Society, 2000.
  • "Downsizing to Corporate Anorexia: Are we in Danger of Recreating the 1920s?" Essays in Economic and Business History, 1999.
  • "Downsizing to Corporate Anorexia While Dismantling The Middle Class: Are We in Danger of Recreating the 1920s?" Essays in Business and Economic History, 1999
  • "Hard Drinking, Murder and Violence Along French Creek: Worker’s Celebrations as Chronicled in The Phoenix Works Diary,Pennsylvania History, Fall, 1998.
  •  “The Subtle Demise of Industry in a Quiet City:  The Deindustrialization of Philadelphia, 1965-1995,” Essays in Economic and Business History, 1998.
  •  “Milton S. Hershey Ventures Into Cuban Sugar,” Pennsylvania History, Fall, 1995.
  •  “The Lancaster Artisan As Businessman: The View from R.G. Dun and Company,” Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society, 1994.
  •  “Who needs Engineers to Improve An Urban Water System? Lancaster’s Bursting Reservoir Provided Plenty of Water,” Journal of Lancaster County Historical Society, 1992.
  •  “Antebellum Communities Coveting A National Foundry:  A Self-serving Non Answer to an Ongoing Problem,” Essays in Economic and Business History, 1992.
  •  “Competing in the Medical Marketplace in Jacksonian America: The Creative Strategy of Dr. George Barrett Kerfoot,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, July 1992.
  •  “The Rise and Fall of Phoenix Bridge,” Proceedings of International Historic Bridges Conference, 1992.
  •  “A Family That Underfinances and A Father That Distracts: The Bittersweet Early Career of Milton S. Hershey,” Proceedings of the Economic and Business History Society, 1991.
  •  “The Triumphs and Anguish of A Self-made Man:  19th Century Naturalist S. S. Rathvon,” Pennsylvania History, April 1990.
Papers:
  • "Armstrong: Then and Now" Elizabethtown College Faculty Forum, January 2001.
  • "Recommitting vs. Selling Out: The Subtle Industrial Revolution Among the Amish of Lancaster County, PA" Before Economic and Business Historical Society, Albany, April 2001.
  • "Bridge Construction Sites are Dangerous Enough Without Dynamiting Strikes: High Steel Workers Erect the Manhattan Bridge," Elizabethtown College, April, 2001.
  • "The Winpennys of Manayunk: An Alternative Approach in the Burgeoning 19th Century Textile History," Before the Economic and Business Historical Society, San Diego, April, 2001.
  • Ponzi Will Never Die: Jack Bennett and the Glorious Saga of New Era Philanthropy," Before Economic and Business Historical Society, San Antonio, April, 2001.
  • "Manhattan Bridge" International Bridge History Conference, Wheeling, West Virginia, October, 1999.
  • Downsizing to Corporate Anorexia While Destroying the Middle Class: Are we in Danger of Recreating the 1920s?  Before the Economic and Business Historical Society, Milwaukee, April, 1998.
  •  “A Subtle Revolution In A Quiet City, The Deindustralization of Philadelphia, 1965-1995,” before Economic and Business Historical Society, Richmond, April, 1997.
  •  Spoke on Phoenix Bridge Company, before Trasportation History Conference, Lafayette College, March, 1997.
  •  Downsizing to Corporate Anorexia, “Are We Recreating the 1920’s?” before Elizabethtown College Faculty Forum, February, 1997.
  •  Taped interview on Phoenix Bridge Book for Pennsylvania Cable Network, Camp Hill, Broadcast March 9 and 10, 1997.
  •  “A History of the Phoenix Bridge Company,” before South Central Pennsylvania Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers, Harrisburg, February 27, 1996.
  •  “A Subtle Revolution In A Quiet City, The Deindustrialization of Philadelphia, 1965-1995,” Faculty Forum, Elizabethtown College, November 1, 1995.
  •  “Milton S. Hershey Ventures into Cuban Sugar,” before Economic and Business Historical Society, Santa Fe, 1994.
  •  “The Rise and Fall of Phoenix Bridge,” before the Economic and Business Historical Society, Vanderbilt University, April 1993.
  •  “Simon Snyder Rathvon, Naturalist,” before the Lancaster County Historical Society, April 1993.
  •  “From Nails to Rails, From the Griffen Gun to the Phoenix Column:  The Innovative Iron Mongers at Phoenix Iron,” delivered before the Economic and Business Historical Society, Seattle, April 1992.
  •  “The Rise and Fall of the Phoenix Bridge Company,” before the International Historical Bridge Conference, Columbus, Ohio, August 1992.
  •  “Antebellum Communities Coveting A National Foundry:  A Self-serving Non Answer to An Ongoing Problem,” delivered before the Economic and Business Historical Society, Houston, April 1991.
  •  “Pennsylvania Communities Compete for A National Foundry in Antebellum America,” delivered before the Pennsylvania Historical Association, Pittsburgh, October, 1991.
Books: Without Fitting, Filing, or Chipping: An Illustrated History of the Phoenix Bridge Company

       Without Fitting, Filing, or Chipping chronicles the 19th century rise and subsequent decline in the 20th century of Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.  Phoenix Bridge was a prolific bridge builder in the United States around the turn of the century when U.S. expansion demanded thousands of roads and bridges.  Phoenix Bridge built such notable structures as the Girard Avenue Bridge in Philadelphia, the Walnut Street Bridge in Harrisburg, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Quebec Bridge.

They also constructed elevated lines in Brooklyn, steel piers at the Jersey shore, and Ferris wheels.  Eventually the Phoenix Bridge was crowded out of the market by larger competitiors such as American Bridge.

Without Fitting, Filing, or Chipping was published by the Canal History and Technology Press in Easton, Pa.  It has been enthusiastically received by historians, preservationists, civil engineers, railroad and bridge buffs, and manufacturers.  In the book's foreword, Eric DeLony, chief of the Historic American Engineering Record, states that the historic bridges built by companies like Phoenix Bridge are to be "studied, cherished, and protected as significant works of artisans, civil engineers, and manufacturers."

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