Dr. Melvin Kranzberg, leader in the field of history of technology, served as professor in Georgia Tech's history department. These photographs document his personal and professional life.
Biography of Melvin Kranzberg (1917-1995)
Dr. Melvin Kranzberg was a charismatic personality, who gathered an immense ammout of knowledge, and enjoyed discussing, chatting, and debating about the impact of technology on the world.
He earned his Bachelor's degree in History from Amherst College (1938) and his Master's (1939) and Doctorate (1942) from Harvard University. During World War II, he served in military intelligence, winning the Bronze Star for interrogating German prisoners and obtaining the location of German gun emplacements. After the war he went on to teach at Harvard University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Amherst College and eventually Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.
While at Case he headed up the first graduate program in the United States in the History of Technology, and in 1958 was one of the principle founders of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). He served as secretary from 1959-1974 and eventually president of SHOT from 1983-1984. Kranzberg edited its journal "Technology and Culture," from 1959-1981. He left Case in 1972 to become the Callaway Chair for the History of Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology and taught there until his retirement in 1988. Even beyond his retirement, Dr. Kranzberg kept an office in the D. M. Smith building and continued to write letters of recommendation and correspond with his colleagues until his death on December 6, 1995.
During his career, Dr. Kranzberg edited or authored eleven books, wrote numerous articles and papers, delivered speeches at conferences around the world, and was granted accolades by his colleagues. Among these honors, Dr. Kranzberg received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, the highest honor from SHOT, in 1968, the NASA Apollo Achievement Award in 1969 and the State of Israel's Jabotinsky Centennial Medal for eminence in science and letters in 1980.
A workaholic, he was known for his sense of humor and outgoing personality. His office was often overflowing with books and papers, many of which ended up in this collection. He was meticulous with saving and categorizing as many of his papers as possible. Dr. Kranzberg dissected newspapers. magazines, and journals, carefully saving the clippings under various subject headings for use in his next speech or paper. He typed up "modules" for all of his classes, including arranged and typed lecture notes. He saved all of his exams and many of his students' papers.
This collection consists of gelatin silver prints (black and white photographs), chromogenic color prints (color photographs), negatives, a slide, and postcard.