Harold F. Williamson

Harold F. Williamson

Harold Francis Williamson Sr. (March 21, 1901- Oct. 25, 1989) was an American business historian, and Professor of American and European economic history at Northwestern University, most known for his 1963 work on the history of the American petroleum industry.[1][2]


  • Biography 1
  • Selected publications 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Born in Piper, Kansas to Samuel Williamson and Ella Watson, Williamson obtained his AB in economics 1924 from the University of Southern California, where in 1926 he also obtained his MA in economics. In 1930 he obtained a second MA from Harvard University, where in 1936 he obtained his PhD with the thesis, entitled "Edward Atkinson, The Biography of an American Liberal, 1827-1905" on Edward Atkinson.

Williamson had started his academic career teaching economic history at the University of Southern California. After moving to Boston he taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Harvard University. In 1948 he was appointed Professor of American and European economic history at Northwestern University, where he worked until his retirement in 1969. In his lectures he "placed the developments of American and European economic history in technological, sociological, geographic, and political context, enlivened with many examples of technological developments."[3]

Selected publications

  • Cole, Arthur H., and Harold F. Williamson. The American carpet manufacture: a history and an analysis. (1941).
  • Williamson, Harold Francis, and Robert Greenhaigh Albion. Growth of the American economy. (1944).
  • Williamson, Harold Francis. Winchester: the gun that won the West. Combat Forces Press, 1952.
  • Williamson, Harold Francis, and Arnold Daum. The American Petroleum Industry: The Age of Illumination 1859-1899. Greenwood Press, 1963; 1981.

Articles, a selection:

  • Moses, Leon N., and Harold F. Williamson. "Value of time, choice of mode, and the subsidy issue in urban transportation." The Journal of Political Economy (1963): 247-264.
  • Moses, Leon, and Harold F. Williamson. "The location of economic activity in cities." The American Economic Review (1967): 211-222.
  • Mohring Jr, Herbert, and Harold F. Williamson. "Scale and" Industrial Reorganisation" Economies of Transport Improvements." Journal of Transport Economics and Policy (1969): 251-271.


  1. ^ American sociological review (1987): 44-58.
  2. ^ Roberts, Paul. The end of oil: on the edge of a perilous new world. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005.
  3. ^ Guide to the Harold F. Williamson, Sr. (1901-1989) Papers at library.northwestern.edu. Accessed 20.10.2015.

External links

  • Guide to the Harold F. Williamson, Sr. (1901-1989) Papers