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Edison's Electric Light: The Art of Invention (Johns Hopkins Introductory Studies in the History of Technology) Paperback – June 8, 2010
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"Quite readable... Friedel and Israel provide a good description of the process of inventing a functional, marketable incandescent light bulb as well as an electric power grid."(Choice)
"Any library strong in scientific inventions and the process of theories and exploration will find this a winning survey."(Midwest Book Review)
"I highly recommend Edison's Electric Light."(Eric Hintz Technology and Culture)
About the Author
Robert Friedel is a professor of history of technology and science at the University of Maryland, College Park. His most recent book is A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium. Paul Israel is the director and general editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He is the author of Edison: A Life of Invention and the coeditor of the multivolume The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, also published by Johns Hopkins.
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Top customer reviews
The authors draw extensively upon documentation and information contained in the archives of the Thomas A. Edison Papers Project at Rutgers University to provide a detailed, in-depth look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the invention of the electric light bulb and the implementation of early electric lighting. In doing so, the authors provide an interesting and readable tale about how scientific research, applied technology, economic constraints, business considerations, practical realities, individual personality and temperament, competition, creativity, and serendipity interacted and influenced the research, development, and implementation of early electric lighting.
This book is a good example of the value of taking an interdisciplinary approach to study and better understand the complexity of the act of invention, the relationship between science and technology, and the difficulties of turning ideas and concepts into practical and workable technologies. Readers interested in the interdisciplinary approach taken by this book might also consider taking a look at the following other books: Robert V. Bruce, Lincoln and the Tools of War; Bruce J. Hunt, Pursuing Power and Light: Technology and Physics from James Watt to Albert Einstein (Johns Hopkins Introductory Studies in the History of Science); Morton A. Myers, Happy Accidents: Serendipity in Modern Medical Breakthroughs; and Chandak Sengoopta, Imprint of the Raj
The book is a very detailed account of the years devoted to the electric light. It is based on laboratory notebooks, the text of patents, courtroom testimony, and contemporary journalistic accounts. Edison spent a good deal of time cultivating reporters. The authors also compare the work of Edison with that of other pioneers in the field, such as Joseph Swann.