Dr. Tom Lassman


  • Space History Department

Thomas Lassman joined the Space History Department in June 2008 as curator of the National Air and Space Museum's Cold War rocket and missile collection.   During the previous three years, he worked for the U.S. Army Center of Military History, where he completed a monograph on the history of weapon systems research and development in the Defense Department’s in-house laboratories from 1945 to 2000.  Dr. Lassman has also worked as an historian at the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics in College Park, Maryland and at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia.

Dr. Lassman holds a BA degree in history from Washington University (1991) and MA and PhD degrees in the history of science from the Johns Hopkins University (1996, 2000).  His research focuses on the institutional history of American science and technology during the Cold War; history of American industrial research and development (R&D) prior to 1940; and the history of weapon systems acquisition in the Department of Defense after 1945.   


  • Sources of Weapon Systems Innovation in the Department of Defense: The Role of In-House Research and Development, 1945-2000 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 2008).
  •  (with Ronald R. Kline), "Competing Research Traditions in American Industry: Uncertain Alliances between Engineering and Science at Westinghouse Electric, 1886-1935," Enterprise and Society 6 (December 2005): 601-45.
  •  "Government Science in Postwar America: Henry A. Wallace, Edward U. Condon, and the Transformation of the National Bureau of Standards, 1945-1951," Isis 96 (March 2005): 25-51.
  •  "Industrial Research Transformed: Edward Condon at the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, 1935-1942," Technology and Culture 44 (April 2003): 306-39.

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