It was a sad day when publication of American Heritage’s Invention & Technology magazine ceased last year. I am pleased to report that we completed an agreement this April to acquire and resurrect I&T —the only popular magazine dedicated to the history of technology. I pledge to you that all subscriptions will be honored—and that we will continue to give you the wonderful magazine that you’ve come to know and love.
You’ll notice that our inaugural issue looks a bit different, thanks to a fresh design by our talented art director, Cindy Scudder. What hasn’t changed is the commitment to high standards for journalistic excellence set by my predecessor and founding editor, Frederick Allen.
As our editorial staff debated the top technology stories of our day, we kept coming back to the tour de force of landing two rovers on Mars, driving them for miles, and snapping thousands of extraordinary photographs. I remember, as many of you do, eagerly downloading the first Mars images and staring in awe at the alien landscape. So I phoned Jim Bell, the head of NASA’s imaging team and asked him to describe what it’s like to take pictures on mars. The result, “With a Camera to the Red Planet,” on page 16 is a fascinating story about the challenges and joys of remote photography.
That’s what you can expect from us—a celebration of the extraordinary spirit of invention. We will bring you not just a litany of the latest gee-whiz devices, but a thoughtful and provocative look at how technology through invention has changed the fabric of our lives.
You’ll also recognize some old friends in these pages. One of our favorite authors, Jim Chiles, who wrote a story about ball bearings in the first I&T Vol. 1, No. 1 (Summer 1985), is the author of “A Third Industrial Revolution Coming?” on page 8 about the great technological challenges of our age. Be sure to check out Art Molella’s essay, “All in the Family,” on page 12. The director of Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation explores the crazy dynamics of some of America’s most creative families.
We’re eager to hear about what you think of the new issue. (Email me at: IT@americanheritage.com .) Tell us also what you like to read about. We promise to continue our journey of exploration together, and bring you stories of technology from the first stone tools to aerospace adventure—the chronicle of humankind’s invention of itself.
If you like what you see, tell others about it. Don’t forget, too, that I&T makes a great gift!
Edwin S. Grosvenor