Kathryn Steen, PhD

Associate Professor

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Office: 5012 MacAlister
Phone: 215.895.6615


  • BA, Economics and History, Luther College
  • MA, Hagley Program, History of Technology, University of Delaware
  • PhD, Hagley Program, History of Technology, University of Delaware

Research Interests

  • History of technology
  • Comparative industrialization
  • Business history


If forced to narrow it down, I would tell you that my particular interests focus on technology in the history of business and industry, and I especially concentrate on the relations between government and industry. Comparative history is an excellent way to see how different cultural values and institutions influence similar developments in different places and times, and I use comparative history extensively in my teaching and research. In a related vein, I am also very interested in the flow of technological ideas and expertise across national borders, primarily in U.S. and European history since 1800. To read all the gory details, see my homepage:


2006 Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence
University-wide junior faculty teaching award

Selected Publications

Many delightful articles and a forthcoming book on the development of the U.S. synthetic organic chemicals industry, 1910-1930, and a few other things. You cannot live your life fully without knowing about the U.S. confiscation of Bayer aspirin in World War I.