European arms build-up,

Britain - Hiram Maxim, machine gun. "Hang your chemistry & electricity!  If you want to make a pile of money, invent something that will enable Europeans to cut each other's throats with greater ease."

Dreadnought - steam-powered, iron hulls, larger & more accurate guns.  British Navy HMS Dreadnought 1906 - firing range 8 miles. "No greater single step towards efficiency in war was ever made than the introduction of the turbine."

Teddy Roosevelt - political scientist & historian Alfred Thayer Mahan - naval power key to nat'l strength.


WWI 1914

German submarines.

US Naval Consulting Board – Edison ("You are the one man who can turn dreams into realities, to help us get proper machinery & facilities for utilizing the natural inventive genius of Americans to meet the new conditions of warfare abroad.")

National Research Council – US physicists;

Robert Millikan - submarine detection R&D facility;

Willis Whitney, development detection devices.

April 2, 1917 Wilson asks Congress to declare war – "to make the world safe for democracy"; "the war to end all wars." 


Government control of industry, relying on experts.

Railroad Administration. 

Shipping Board.

Food Administration - Herbert Hoover - "food will win the war".

War contracts for business expansion.


1916 Verdun, 600,000 killed. 

German chemical industry - poison gas warfare. 

Mustard gas, chlorine, phosgene;

US research;


ultimate weapon - popular science magazines - "electro-gyro-cruisers" & "trench destroyers," robot soldiers, electrocution devices; “death ray”.



US & European women ambulance and supply truck drivers; (Gertrude Stein & Alice B. Toklas)


WWI systematizing science & technology;

Taylorism, "one best way" to wage worldwide war.