resourcestour schedule
Doodles, Drafts, and Designs: Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian  
Explore the ExhibitionView the ObjectsInnovators Gallery

Working It Out

Detail Images: (above) Evans Dual-purpose Streamlined Auto-Railers trade literature cover, 1920-30s ; (upper right) Eric Meter Systems trade literature cover (detail), 1930


For Further Reading

Industrial and Technical Drawings

Ken Baynes and Francis Pugh, Art of the Engineer. Woodstock, NY: 1981.

Harold Belofsky. "Engineering Drawing: A Universal Language in Two Dialects." Technology and Culture 1991 32(1): 23-46.

Peter Jeffrey Booker, A History of Engineering Drawing. London, 1963.

Eugene S. Ferguson. Engineering and the Mind's Eye. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992.

Brooke Hindle. Emulation and Invention. New York: New York University Press, 1981.

Steven Lubar. "Representation and Power." Technology and Culture 1995 36 (Supplement): S54-S81.

Michael Lynch and Steve Woolgar, eds. Representation in scientific practice. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1990.

Edward W. Stevens, Jr. The Grammar of the Machine: Technical Literacy and Early Industrial Expansion in the United States. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Using Drawings in Industry

John K. Brown. The Baldwin Locomotive Works, 1831-1915: A Study in American Industrial Practice. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

John K. Brown. "When Machines Became Gray and Drawings Black and White: William Sellers and the Rationalization of Mechanical Engineering. IA: The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology, 1999 25(2): 29-54.

Robert B. Gordon. "Who turned the Mechanical Ideal into Mechanical Reality?" Technology and Culture 29 (October 1988): 744-78.

JoAnne Yates. Control through Communications: The Rise of System in American Management. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

Architectural Drawings

Iain Fraser. Envisioning architecture: An Analysis of Drawing. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1994.

Alfred Kemper. Presentation drawings by American architects. New York: Wiley, 1977.

Richard Walter Lukens. "The Changing Role of Drawing and Rendering in Architectural Education." Dissertation, U. of Pennsylvania 1979.

Anthony Vidler, "Diagrams of Diagrams: Architectural Abstraction and Modern Representation." Representations 72 (Fall 2000) pp. 1-20.

Advertising and Trade Literature

Kenneth L. Ames. "Trade catalogues and the study of history," in Accumulation & display: mass marketing household goods in America, 1880-1920. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1986. pp. 7-14.

T. Lindsay Baker. "Researching history through trade literature," History News, vol. 53, no. 1 (Winter, 1998), pp. 24-27.

Herbert Gottfried. "Building the picture: trading on the imagery of production and design," Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 27 no.4 (1992) pp.235-253.

Pamela Walker Laird. Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Jackson Lears. Fables of Abundance: A cultural history of advertising in America New York: Basic Books, 1994.

Ellis Mount, ed. The role of trade literature in sci-tech libraries. New York: Haworth Press, 1990.

Rhoda Ratner. "Historical research in trade catalogs," Science & Technology Libraries, vol. 10 (Summer, 1990); pp. 15-22.

Gaye Smith. Trade Catalogues: A Hundred Years, 1850-1949. Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University Library, 1992.

Trade literature at the Smithsonian Institution:

Irene L. Travers. "Trade literature at the National Museum of History and Technology [currently the National Museum of American History]" Special Libraries, vol. 70, no. 7 (1979) pp. 272-280.

Invention and patents

W. Bernard Carlson and Michael E. Gorman, "Understanding Invention as a Cognitive Process: The Case of Thomas Edison and Early Motion Pictures, 1888-91," Social Studies of Science 20 (1990): 387-430

Kendall J. Dood, "Patent Models and the Patent Law, 1790-1880," Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society 65 (April 1983), pp. 167-216 and 65

Michael Gorman and W. Bernard Carlson, "Interpreting Invention as a Cognitive Process: The Case of Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and the Telephone," Science, Technology, and Human Values 15 (1990): 131-164

Vera John-Steiner, Notebooks of the Mind: Explorations of Thinking (1985)

Winston E. Kock, The Creative Engineer: The Art of Inventing (1978)

Robert J. Weber and David N. Perkins, eds., Inventive Minds: Creativity in Technology (1992)

Robert J. Weber, Forks, Phonographs, and Hot Air Balloons: A Field Guide to Inventive Thinking (1992)

Nathan Reingold, "U.S. Patent Office Records as Sources for the History of Invention and Technological Property," Technology and Culture 1 (1960): 156-67

Walter G. Vincenti, What Engineers Know and How They Know It: Analytical Studies from Aeronautical History (1990)

Video Resources

TUPPERWARE! Laurie Kahn-Leavitt, producer, writer, and director. A production of Blueberry Hill Productions, 2003. Available through Blueberry Hill Productions, 112 Bailey Rd, Watertown, MA, 02472, 617-924-6633,

Inventions That Changed Our Lives (series). Produced by Goldhil Home Media International, Inc., 2000. Available through (1-800-250-8760).

Selected Websites

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)
Check out this and many more exhibitions that have been organized for travel by SITES. Find out more information about SITES, hosting a SITES exhibition, exhibition tour schedules, and other educational resources available through SITES.

National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Behring Center

Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
Continue your exploration of invention at the Lemelson Center's Web site.

Lemelson-MIT Program's Invention Dimension Website
Visit the Lemelson-MIT Program's site featuring additional biographies of inventors.

Smithsonian Institution Libraries' Galaxy of Knowledge Website
Visit the Libraries' Trade Literature site for more information on these collections