Teachers and Practitioners of Technical Communication, 1940-1975 (Oral History Project)

Most of these men and women were involved in the profession-building activities of the 1950s, including the formation of the first professional associations for technical writers, editors, and illustrators. The interviews were conducted in person (e.g., Shnitzler, Kinn), by telephone (e.g., Dahle, Marx, Holmes), and/or by email correspondence (e.g., McElwee, Higgins, Kennedy).

a. Interviews that I conducted from 2006 to 2023

Waldo T. Boyd (1918-2012), technical writer for Philco, Solar Aircraft Company, and Aerojet-General in the 1940s and 1950s

Martha Chambliss (1926-2023), technical editor at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in the 1950s and General Dynamics in the 1960s

Joseph D. Chapline (1920-2011), technical writer for Eckert-Mauchly and Philco in the 1940s and 1950s and chairman of IRE PGEWS (1958-1959)

Walter B. Dennen, Jr. (1927-2019), editor of TWE Journal (1956) and chairman of IEEE PGEWS (1964-1965)

Dolly Dahle (1925-2012), owner of Technical Publishing Services in Los Angeles (1955-1970s) and member of the Technical Publishing Society

Phyllis Flanders Dorsett (1924-2015), technical writer/editor at Sandia in the 1950s and author of a 1955 article in Technical Writing Review

Hanna Friedenstein (c. 1918-2018), first woman president of the ACS Division of Chemical Literature (1959)

Thomas A. Grogan (1922-2012), president of STWE (1959-1960) at the time of its merger with TPS to form STWP

A. Stanley Higgins (1922-1913), editor of STC's journal (1961-1976), president of STC (1979-1980), and STC fellow

Roger Holmes, founding editor of Industrial Editor and editor/publisher of the Technical Publishing Society's magazine Technical Communications

Paul S. Kennedy (1924-2019), treasurer of TWE/STWE (1956-1959) and STC fellow

John M. Kinn (1925-2013), first editor of the Transactions of PGEWS (1958) and chairman of PGEWS (1960-1962)

Patrick Lahey, program chair of the first conference of IRE PGEWS (1957)

Gunther Marx, president of STWP (1969-1970) and STC fellow

Eleanor M. McElwee (1924-2008), prime mover c. 1957 in effort to form IRE PGEWS (now PCS)

Mary Ann Mento (1933-2016), technical editor at ESSO Research and Engineering Company and contributor to first book about technical editing in 1958

Gloria Miklowitz (1927-2015), a technical writer at the Naval Ordnance Test Station - Pasadena Annex in 1950s and later a well-known author of children's books

John "Mig" Mignot (c. 1931-2017), attended one of the earliest meetings of the Technical Publishing Society in 1954 and STC Associate Fellow

Dorothy Saxner (1924-2017), member of the TWE Chicago Chapter (1957), STWP director (1967-1970), and STC fellow

Robert K. Shnitzler (1918-2014), one of the founders of the Boston-based STW and the president of STW (1956-1958) at the time of its merger with TWE to form STWE

Erwin R. Steinberg (1920-2012), started and directed the first undergraduate degree program in technical writing and editing in the U.S.

La Bonnie Bianchi Townsend, 1960 graduate of the RPI master’s degree program in technical writing

William M. Vaden (1921-2020), a technical editor at the Department of Energy, Office of Scientific and Technical Information Center, Oak Ridge (1947-1980s)

Frederick T. Van Veen (1930-2017), editor of Transactions of IRE PGEWS (1962), chairman of IEEE PGEWS (1963-1964), and program chairman of STC's annual conference (1971)

b. Interviews that my students conducted under my supervision in 2011 and 2013

Donald H. Cunningham, founding editor of The Technical Writing Teacher (now TCQ) and Fellow of STC and ATTW

Ernest D. Mazzatenta (1931-2023), president of STC (1983-1984) and STC fellow

Janis Ramey, a member of the first graduating class of the first undergraduate program in technical writing and editing in the U.S. and an STC fellow

Frederick M. O'Hara, technical writer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1964-1970), STC director (1988-1991), and STC fellow

Nade O. Peters (1925-2018), founder of the St. Louis chapter of the Society of Technical Writers and Publishers (now STC) in 1961

Dwight W. Stevenson, co-author of Designing Technical Reports and co-founder of the University of Michigan, Institute on Teaching Technical and Professional Writing

Thomas L Warren (1937-2018), founder of Oklahoma State University's technical communication program, past president of Intecom, and STC fellow

Merrill D. Whitburn, Louis Ellsworth Laflin Professor of English at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Kenneth J. Cook, president of STC (1982-1983) and STC fellow