The age of Edison : electric light and the invention of modern America / Ernest Freeberg.

Published
  • New York : The Penguin Press 2013
Physical description
354 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm.
ISBN
  • 1594204268 (hbk.)
  • 9781594204265 (hbk.)
Notes
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 317-341) and index.
Contents
  • Inventing Edison -- Inventing electric light -- Civic light -- Creative destruction: Edison and the gas companies -- Work light -- Leisure light -- Inventive nation -- Looking at inventions, inventing new ways of looking -- Inventing a profession -- The light of civilization -- Exuberance and order -- Illumination science -- Rural light -- Electric light's golden jubilee.
Related item
Genre
  • Bibliography
  • Electronic books.
  • Illustrated
  • text
Language
  • English

Summary

  • "The late nineteenth century was a period of explosive technological creativity, but arguably the most important invention of all was Thomas Edison's incandescent lightbulb. Unveiled in his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory in 1879, the lightbulb overwhelmed the American public with the sense of the birth of a new age. More than any other invention, the electric light marked the arrival of modernity. The lightbulb became a catalyst for the nation's transformation from a rural to an urban-dominated culture. City streetlights defined zones between rich and poor, and the electrical grid sharpened the line between town and country. "Bright lights" meant "big city." Like moths to a flame, millions of Americans migrated to urban centers in these decades, leaving behind the shadow of candle and kerosene lamp in favor of the exciting brilliance of the urban streetscape. The Age of Edison places the story of Edison's invention in the context of a technological revolution that transformed America and Europe in these decades. Edison and his fellow inventors emerged from a culture shaped by broad public education, a lively popular press that took an interest in science and technology, and an American patent system that encouraged innovation and democratized the benefits of invention. And in the end, as Freeberg shows, Edison's greatest invention was not any single technology, but rather his reinvention of the process itself. At Menlo Park he gathered the combination of capital, scientific training, and engineering skill that would evolve into the modern research and development laboratory. His revolutionary electrical grid not only broke the stronghold of gas companies, but also ushered in an era when strong, clear light could become accessible to everyone. In The Age of Edison, Freeberg weaves a narrative that reaches from Coney Island and Broadway to the tiniest towns of rural America, tracing the progress of electric light through the reactions of everyone who saw it. It is a quintessentially American story of ingenuity, ambition, and possibility, in which the greater forces of progress and change are made visible by one of our most humble and ubiquitous objects"--provided by publisher.
  • "The Age of Edison places the story of Edison's invention in the context of a technological revolution that transformed America and Europe in these decades. Edison and his fellow inventors emerged from a culture shaped by broad public education, a lively popular press that took an interest in science and technology, and an American patent system that encouraged innovation and democratized the benefits of invention. And in the end, as Freeberg shows, Edison's greatest invention was not any single technology, but rather his reinvention of the process itself. At Menlo Park he gathered the combination of capital, scientific training, and engineering skill that would evolve into the modern research and development laboratory. His revolutionary electrical grid not only broke the stronghold of gas companies, but also ushered in an era when strong, clear light could become accessible to everyone"--provided by publisher.

Summary holdings does not include live availability details. Select a library name for the full Holdings display.

Location of copy Shelfmark Online location Holdings Notes
British Library: General Reference Collection, St Pancras Reading Rooms YC.2015.a.12813
University of Cambridge Libraries: University Library: Order in Reading Room C209.c.4352
University of Edinburgh Libraries: Main Library (STANDARD LOAN) - 3rd floor T173.4 Fre.
University of Leeds Library: Edward Boyle Library, level 11 History of Science C-9 EDI/F
National Library of Scotland: General Reading Room, Edinburgh (stored offsite) HB2.214.6.1133
National Library of Scotland: General Reading Room, Edinburgh (stored offsite) PB5.215.120/6
National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru: Contact the National Library of Wales / Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru PRINT 2014 LDA 22908
Newcastle University Libraries: Philip Robinson Library: Robinson Books Level 4 621.32 FRE
University of Nottingham Libraries: Hallward Library
University of Oxford Libraries: Vere Harmsworth Library T 173.4 .F74 2014
University of St Andrews Library: Main Library T173.4F8
Senate House Library, University of London: Senate House Library U.S. STUDIES 5th Floor (33) BM3b Fre
Trinity College Dublin Library: Ussher Library PL-611-829
UCL Library Services: UCL Science Library HISTORY OF SCIENCE VO 3 EDI:FRE
University of York Libraries Online location

Export: