The age of Edison: electric light and the invention of modern America

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Pub. Date:
2013.
Language:
English
Description
The late nineteenth century was a period of explosive technological creativity, but arguably the most important invention of all was Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb. Unveiled in his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory in 1879, the light bulb 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 light bulb 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.
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ISBN:
9781594204265
9781469086781
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 62d3f866-c915-621d-90c4-9ad2fb97de5c
full_title age of edison electric light and the invention of modern america
author freeberg ernest
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-06-18 02:20:07AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Pratt, Sean.
author Freeberg, Ernest.
author-letter Freeberg, Ernest.
author2 Pratt, Sean., hoopla digital.
author2-role Pratt, Sean., hoopla digital.
author_additional Ernest Freeberg.
author_display Freeberg, Ernest
availability_toggle_catalog Available Now, Available Online, Entire Collection
available_at_catalog Brighton, Wright Farms
bisac_subject HISTORY / United States / General
callnumber-a T173.4
callnumber-first T - Technology
callnumber-subject T - General Technology
callnumber_sort_catalog HISTORY US
date_added 2013-01-02T07:00:00Z
days_since_added 1688
detailed_location_catalog Brighton - Adult Nonfiction, Wright Farms - Adult Nonfiction
display_description The late nineteenth century was a period of explosive technological creativity, but arguably the most important invention of all was Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb. Unveiled in his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory in 1879, the light bulb 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 light bulb 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.
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edition Unabridged.
era 1847-1931
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geographic_facet United States
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language English
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lc_subject Electric lighting, History, Social aspects, Technological innovations
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literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog HISTORY US i
local_callnumber_exact_catalog HISTORY US i
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local_days_since_added_catalog 1688
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physical 1 online resource (1 audio file (9hr., 30 min.)) : digital., 354 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
popularity 3
primary_isbn 9781594204265
publishDate 2013
publishDateSort 2013
publisher Gildan Audio ,, Penguin Press,
rating 2.5
rating_facet oneStar, twoStar
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series Penguin history of American life
series2 Penguin history of American life, The Penguin history of American life
series_with_volume Penguin history of American life
subject_facet Edison, Thomas A. -- (Thomas Alva), -- 1847-1931, Edison, Thomas A. -- (Thomas Alva), -- 1847-1931 -- Contemporaries, Electric lighting -- United States -- History, HISTORY / United States / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Technological innovations -- Social aspects -- United States -- History, Technological innovations -- United States -- History
table_of_contents Introduction : 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.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The age of Edison : electric light and the invention of modern America
title_display The age of Edison : electric light and the invention of modern America
title_full The age of Edison : electric light and the invention of modern America / Ernest Freeberg, The age of Edison : electric light and the invention of modern America [electronic resource] / Ernest Freeberg
title_short The age of Edison :
title_sort age of edison electric light and the invention of modern america
title_sub electric light and the invention of modern America
topic Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931, Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931 Contemporaries, Electric lighting United States History, HISTORY / United States / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Technological innovations Social aspects United States History, Technological innovations United States History
topic_facet Contemporaries, Edison, Thomas A, Electric lighting, History, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Social aspects, Technological innovations