Public Works Historical Society Publications
Publishing the history of public works has always been a central activity of the Society. A complete list of Society publications
along with short abstracts, book reviews, and text from out of print publications is available from this web site. Publications are
available for purchase through the APWA Bookstore and APWA Programs and Publications Catalog. Recent
This essay explores the serious public responses to oil pollution that did not surface until almost fifty years after the widespread oil pollution in the World War I era.
In this monograph, the author devotes attention to four key services as they developed in antebellum Natchez: fire protection, gas lighting, sanitation, and streets.
Mayor Frank P. Zeidler
This well-researched book establishes the historical context of conditions in Milwaukee at the end of World War II and examines Mayor Zeidler’s efforts to improve mass transit while stemming the decline of mass transit usage and provides his introspection on Milwaukee transportation policies.
Scene by the Engineer
This book will transport readers to 70 different locations along the path of American engineering and creativity.
Cities Take Flight
From grassy fields to virtual small cities, the responsibilities in municipal airport planning and construction have shifted. This important research from a premier aviation historian provides a solid understanding of how airports have evolved over the last century.
Army Engineers' Contributions to the Development of Iron Construction
This essay examines the specific ways in which the U.S. federal government, through the Army Corps of Engineers, was able to influence the development of iron for use in 19th Century construction. The author documents the Corps' early use of iron as structural elements in the construction of fireproof buildings and skeleton frame lighthouses. Research for this book was done under contract to The Office of History, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Water for the Anasazi: How the Ancients of Mesa Verde Engineered Public Works
Navajos called them "the ancient ones," the Anasazi. Monuments to their genius remain in Colorado's cliffside apartment houses, terraced fields and ruins of a sprawling, medieval road system. But there are mysteries as well. Among them is how they were able to get enough water to sustain a civilization on a riverless mesa with infrequent rainfall. This full color essay by Kenneth R. Wright, a civil engineer, probes the technology behind the Anasazi's success.
The Politics of Congestion: The Continuing Legacy of the Milwaukee Freeway Revolt
This essay examines the history of freeway politics in Milwaukee City and County from a variety of perspectives: public policy, legal, economic, political and environmental. It covers the history of post World War II transportation developments in the city and county. Milwaukee was selected as the focus for this essay not because it is considered to be representative of other cities, but because the freeways in Milwaukee are still a matter of some public debate and discussion. By revisiting the era of the freeway revolt, this essay may rekindle some of the passions expressed during that period. It provides a retrospective look at a turbulent period in urban transportation history so as to encourage a more objective understanding of the lessons we might learn from that history.
Public Works and Public Health: Reflections on Urban Politics and Environment, 1880-1925
This essay use a comparison of regional public works
programs in metropolitan Boston and Oakland to explore the changes in
public works policy and its relations to the history of American cities,
political institutions, and the urban environment. During the middle 19th
century American city dwellers and scientist commonly subscribed to
moral-environmentalism, the belief that there was a casual connection
between poor sanitation and high rates of crime and disease. Guided by
this theory, urban leaders sponsored water, sewage, and other sanitary
public works. By the 20th century, the germ theory of disease overshadowed
moral-environmentalism. As a result, public health turned to the
eradication of specific germs. The effect of this change and its impact on
the relationship between cities, public works, and their national
environments is the focus of this essay.
An Interview with Myron D. Calkins
This oral history interview tells the story of a modest man with a host of professional awards and accomplishments to his credit. Learn the story of Myron Calkins, from his roots in Tacoma, Washington, to his retirement and beyond in Kansas City, Missouri. You'll be entertained and enlightened by this peek into the life of one of the public works profession's most honored members.
An Interview with Robert Esterbrooks
This interview tells the story of one of the pillars of APWA and the public works profession. A civil engineer by profession, a military man by choice, and a proven administrative leader in several national organizations, Retired Rear Admiral Robert C. Esterbrooks has been, and continues to be an inspiration to his colleagues, to his family and friends, and to the young people he mentors. He is a role model we can admire—a man of integrity and high standards, successful in his chosen careers, modest about his accomplishments, fun to be around.
An Interview with Herbert Goetsch
A key public works official in metropolitan, post World War II Milwaukee, Goetsch epitomizes a successful public works administrator. Combining technical expertise with a commitment to lifelong learning, dedication to public service, involvement in the community, high ethical standards, strong communication skills and a genuine concern for the individual. This is the eleventh oral history interview published under the popular An Interview With...
An Interview with Donald C. Stone
The most extensive published oral history with Donald C. Stone, the founder of APWA and true pioneer of modern public administration.
An Interview with George Rowe
This is the story of a life lived with inner strength, persistence, and grace in the face of tremendous odds. George Rowe made public works history in Cincinnati, and he made a crucial contribution to the history of APWA.
An Interview with James E. Attebery
As a key figure on both the local and national levels, Jim Attebery’s life is a testament to perseverance and hard work.
An Interview with Myron D. Calkins
This oral history interview tells the story of a modest man with a host of professional awards and accomplishments to his credit.
An Interview with Robert D. Bugher
This interview is the story of both the man and the Association he led with dedication and vision, while working shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the icons of public administration and public works in the United States.
Oral Histories Collection
Public works professional stand on the shoulders of giants and this collection of interviews gives you insight into 10 of the profession’s tallest giants! Many of these interviews have been out of print for several years, but now they are available to you in PDF format.
People Making Public Works History:
A Century of Progress, 1894-1994
This publication is a collection of biographical articles originally published
in Society and APWA periodicals, covering nearly 600 public works practitioners.
The 700-page book, edited by Robert Bugher, APWA Executive Director Emeritus,
covers a century of public works in North America.
Going Underground: Tunneling Past, Present and Future
This feature book is a compendium covering past and present experience in
tunnels and tunneling, and explores the possibilities for the future. Based on
an exhibit and symposium organized by the Smithsonian's National Museum of
American History and the Society, the book was edited by Jeffery Stine,
Smithsonian Institution, and Howard Rosen, University of Wisconsin-Madison.