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Archives:IEEE History Center Book Publishing

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Current Books

As part of its mission to bring the history of technology to a wide audience, the IEEE History Center has been busy with a number of publishing initiatives. If you are interested in being one of our authors, please see Author Submission Guidelines

The IEEE History Center Press is proud to unveil its latest publication, The Birth of Electric Traction: The Extraordinary Life of Inventor Frank Julian Sprague by Frank Rowsome Jr., available in paperback and Kindle® editions.

Frank Julian Sprague has often been called the inventor of public transportation. In addition to his developments in electric traction, Sprague made enormous contributions in the areas of control and safety, without which mass transit would not be possible. Sprague developed automatic signal and brake control for railroads, and an auxiliary train control to take charge if the driver made a mistake. He was active in the planning and construction of New York City’s subway system, and in the electrification of Grand Central Terminal.

Sprague believed that “Transportation is the key of civilization…for without it our existing social structure would collapse.” Among Sprague's other achievements are the introduction of electric elevators and of electric power units suitable for machine tools, printing presses, dentist's drills, and labor-saving conveniences in the home.

Rowsome’s engaging and colorful biography not only gives a detailed view of Sprague as a person, but also Sprague’s approach to design and problem-solving. Numerous personal, and sometimes quite humorous, anecdotes bring Sprague, his assistants, and the early history of electric railroads to life.

Frank Rowsome Jr. is probably now most famous for The Verse by the Side of the Road (1966), but he was also managing editor of Popular Science Monthly and later became NASA’s chief of technical publications.

ISBN 9 7181490955346


[1]The IEEE History Center Press is proud to announce its latest publication, New York Power by Joseph J. Cunningham, available in both trade paperback and Kindle® editions.


New York City’s density placed unique constraints on its electric light and power supply. Electrification began during the 1880s, but many innovations were required to supply urban service at a cost that would make possible large-scale consumption. New York Power tells the story of the electrification of the one of the densest electrical load areas in the world, it was also where alternating current challenged and then ultimately vanquished the original direct-current system. Author Joseph J. Cunningham has consulted a variety of historical sources to bring us the story of the massive and sustained effort to develop New York City’s electric utility system. He has researched and authored numerous articles and books on topics such as industrial electrification and electric rail transportation, and has taught widely on the history of electric power systems and consulted on numerous electro-technology projects and television productions. Lionel Trains has consulted him for the historical details of its model trains.

Bell Labs Memoirs: Voices of Innovation, edited by A. Michael Noll and Michael Geselowitz is now available in both trade paperback and Kindle® editions.

The innovative spirit and creative energy of Bell Labs during the directorship of William Baker are described by twelve people who worked there. The culture of Bell Labs comes to life through the first-hand accounts of John Pierce, father of communications satellites; Manfred Schroeder, speech encoding pioneer; Walter Brown, developer of silicon semiconductors; Carol Maclennan, expert in spacecraft communications and data analysis; Alan Chynoweth, materials research authority; David Dorsi, expert glassblower; Edward Zajac, submarine cables and economics research; Edwin Chandross, optical memories and organic materials (inventor of the now ubiquitous light stick); Italo Quinto, chauffeur to William Baker; Mohan Sondhi, inventor of the adaptive echo canceller; William Keefauver, Bell Labs’ general patent attorney; and lastly, William Baker himself.

The research done at Bell Labs led to many devices and techniques that helped build our present world. Acoustic cameras, adaptive predictive coding, block diagram compilers, cryptography, diamond crystal research, digital communication, echo research, inverse filtering, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), magnetic bubble memories, microwaves, organic field effect transistors, pulse code modulation, synthetic speech, transistors, traveling-wave tubes, and vocoders are among the topics recalled by the contributors to this book. Available now.

History of Telecommunications - Telecommunications has been one of the most influential technologies in human history. As the speed and volume of the transmission of messages increased, history itself has been made and altered. Telecommunications has not only influenced history, it has also allowed us to share and participate in historical events. This book is a collection of articles written by the staff of the IEEE History Center highlighting some of the many triumphs in the world of telecommunications.

Member Price: $4.79, Non-member Price: $5.99

The book publishing program is made possible in large part by donations. If you have enjoyed our books, please consider supporting the IEEE History Center’s work by making a donation to IEEE Foundation - History Center Fund

Previous IEEE and Archival Publications

For a list of history articles in Xplore, see History Articles in IEEE Publications

The following books are either out of print IEEE History Center publications or are publications which have been released to the IEEE History Center for publication on the Global History Network. All these books are available free of charge online.

Blalock, Thomas, Transformers at Pittsfield, part 1, part 2, part 3

Bliss, Louis D., Bliss Electrical School Alumni Address.

A Brief History of the U.S. Federal Government and Innovation Part I (IEEE History Center staff)

A Brief History of the U.S. Federal Government and Innovation Part II (Sheldon Hochheiser)

A Brief History of the U.S. Federal Government and Innovation Part III (IEEE History Center staff)

Cuthbert, Thomas R. Jr., Broadband Direct-Coupled and Matching RF Networks (Greenwood, AR: TRCPEP, 1999).

Cuthbert, Thomas R., Jr., Circuit Design using Personal Computers (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1983)

Cuthbert, Thomas R., Jr., Optimization using Personal Computers (New York: John Wily & Sons, 1987)

Freitag, Harlow, Electrical Engineering: The Second Century Begins (New York: IEEE Press, 1986)

Friedel, Robert D., Lines and Waves: Faraday, Maxwell and 150 Years of Electromagnetism (New York: Center for the History of Electrical Engineering Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 1981).

IEEE Canadian Region, Electricity, the Magic Medium, ed. W. Harry Prevey (Thornhill, ON: IEEE, Canadian Region, 1985).

IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, Facets: New Perspectivies on the History of Semiconductors, ed. Andrew Goldstein & William Aspray (New Brunswick: IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, 1997)

IEEE History Center, Sources in Electrical History, vol. 1: Archives and Manuscript Collections in U.S. Repositories.

IEEE History Center, Sources in Electrical History 2: Oral History Collections in U.S. Repositories.

IEEE History Center, Sources in Electrical History 3: An International Guide to Corporate Records and Archives of Companies in the Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Industries.

IEEE Press, "Evolution of the IEEE Logo," in IEEE Student Journal, March 1963, p. 48.

IEEE Press, A Century of Honors: The First One Hundred Years of Award Winners, Honorary Members, Past Presidents, and Fellows of the Institute (New York: The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, 1984)

IEEE Press, Technological Competitiveness: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Electrical, Electronics, and Computer Industries (Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1993)

IEEE Press, Engineers as Executives: An International Perspective (Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1995)

IEEE-Rutgers Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, Tracking the History of Radar, eds. Oskar Blumtritt, Hartmut Petzold and William Aspray (Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical Engineers, 1994)

Mair, Alex, "Fred Heath and the Invention that Changed the World," University of Alberta Engineer, November 2003.

McMahon, A. Michal, The Making of a Profession: A Century of Electrical Engineering in America (New York: IEEE Press, 1984)

Morton, David L., A History of Electronic Entertainment (New York: IEEE Press, 1999).

Morton, David, Power: A Survey History of Electric Power Technology Since 1945 (New York: IEEE Press, 2000)

Nebeker, Frederik, Sparks of Genius: Portraits of Electrical Engineering Excellence (Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1994)

Nebeker, Frederik, Signal Processing: The Emergence of a Discipline, 1948-1998 (Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 1998)

Ryder, John D. and Fink, Donald G., Engineers & Electrons: A Century of Electrical Progress (New York: IEEE Press, 1983).

Swedburg, Gregory, Profiles in Engineering Leadership: Eta Kappa Nu's First Century Eminent Members (New Brunswick, NJ: IEEE History Center & Eta Kappa Nu Association, 2004)

WT Glover & Co., Electric Wires & Cables, Salford, Manchester, August 1897. Catalogue and Price list.