Friday, October 24, 2014

NYSHM #9 -Tom Carroll on NY's Silicon Valley of the 19th Century - 11/24

New York's Tradition of Innovation

New York State History Month was established by an act of the Legislature in 1997. But for many years, people have been lamenting the lack of programming to mark History Month, including New York State Historian Robert Weible who asked in a blog post, “Is New York State History Month Dead?” With a tip of the hat to Mark Twain, we’d like to say that reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. 

On Monday, November 24, the University Club of Albany will welcome P. Thomas Carroll, Senior Scholar and Treasurer, Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway, who will discuss “The Hudson-Mohawk Region: Silicon Valley of the Nineteenth Century.” Carroll is an American Cultural Historian specializing in the history of American science and technology.

“The area around the Rensselaer Institute of the 1800s behaved very much like the Silicon Valley of the 20th century. Today’s Silicon Valley and its many would-be clones … are pivotal to the transition from an urban-industrial, modernist culture to a post-industrial, postmodern entity.” said Carroll. “In the Troy area’s Silicon Valley of the 19th century, the transition was from rural agrarian lifestyles to the urban-industrial, modernist cultural system. First and foremost, in both Silicon Valley now and in Greater Troy then, we see a deliberate, coordinated attempt to make cutting-edge technological innovation the focus for regional economic prosperity.”

The luncheon is one of a series of 10 events comprising a Celebration of New York State History Month in November, 2014. Presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, a 501c3 corporation, the events will be open to the public. The month-long celebration will include luncheons, evening lectures – even a digital photo scavenger hunt – featuring experts in a variety of disciplines discussing the history of New York State and the Albany area.

New York State History Month at the University Club is sponsored by AT&T, which has long supported the Foundation’s educational programming. Media sponsor is the Times Union. Additional support for this event is provided by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation; the New York State Academy of Family Physicians; TD Bank; and Capital Wine & Spirits.

The cost for the luncheon is $25 and reservations are required. The University Club will serve a hot and cold buffet from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. and last one hour, ending at 1:30. Reservations for the November 24 luncheon are required by Friday, November 21 and may be made by calling the Club at 518-463-1151; by sending an email to; or online at .

Guests are encouraged to share the warmth of the season with our neighbors in need by making a contribution to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. The University Club will have a large collection box on display in the lobby, and will accept donations of non-perishable food items and checks made payable to “Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York” throughout the month of November. For every $1 donated, the Regional Food Bank can distribute $10 worth of food. 

New York State History Month programs at the U Club are:
New York State History Month programming is presented by the University Club of Albany Foundation, a 501c3 corporation. The Foundation was formed in 2009 to recognize and maintain the unique historic and architectural significance of the National Register-listed University Club building, its historic neighborhood and the city of Albany, where it has been located since its inception in 1901.

For more information about the University Club’s celebration of New York State History Month, including program updates, please visit .

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