Melvin Kranzberg (November 22, 1917 – December 6, 1995) was a professor of history at Case Western Reserve University from 1952 until 1971. He was a Callaway professor of the history of technology at Georgia Tech from 1972 to 1988.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Kranzberg graduated from Amherst College, received a master's and a PhD from Harvard College and served in the Army in Europe during World War II. He received a Bronze Star for interrogating captured German prisoners and learning the location of Nazi gun emplacements. He was one of two interrogators out of nine in Patton's army that were not killed during the conflict.
Kranzberg is known for Kranzberg's laws of technology, the first of which states "Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral."
He was one of the founders of the Society for the History of Technology in the US and long-time editor of its journal Technology and Culture. Kranzberg served as president of the society from 1983 to 1984, and edited the society's journal from 1959 to 1981, when he turned it over to Robert C. Post of the Smithsonian Institution. The society awards a yearly $4000 fellowship named after Kranzberg to doctoral students engaged in the preparation of dissertations on the history of technology. The award is available to students all over the world.
There are two biographical articles by Robert C. Post in Technology and Culture: "Back at the Start: History and Technology and Culture," T&C 51 (2010): 961-94, and "Chance and Contingency: Putting Mel Kranzberg in Context," T&C 50 (2009): 839-72. Kranzberg's role in founding ICOHTEC is addressed by Post in "Our Mel Kranzberg: Risks He Took, Stumbles, and Sometimes a Second Thought," ICON 20 (2014): 6-16.
- Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) Records, 1956-1998 Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
- New York Times obituary
|This biography of an American historian is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|