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Edison's Electric Light: The Art of Invention
     

Edison's Electric Light: The Art of Invention

by Robert Friedel, Bernard S. Finn, Paul B. Israel
 

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ISBN-10: 0801894824

ISBN-13: 9780801894824

Pub. Date: 06/08/2010

Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press

In September 1878, Thomas Alva Edison brashly—and prematurely—proclaimed his breakthrough invention of a workable electric light. That announcement was followed by many months of intense experimentation that led to the successful completion of his Pearl Street station four years later. Edison was not alone—nor was he first—in developing an

Overview

In September 1878, Thomas Alva Edison brashly—and prematurely—proclaimed his breakthrough invention of a workable electric light. That announcement was followed by many months of intense experimentation that led to the successful completion of his Pearl Street station four years later. Edison was not alone—nor was he first—in developing an incandescent light bulb, but his was the most successful of all competing inventions. Drawing from the documents in the Edison archives, Robert Friedel and Paul Israel explain how this came to be. They explore the process of invention through the Menlo Park notes, discussing the full range of experiments, including the testing of a host of materials, the development of such crucial tools as the world's best vacuum pump, and the construction of the first large-scale electrical generators and power distribution systems. The result is a fascinating story of excitement, risk, and competition.

Revised and updated from the original 1986 edition, this definitive study of the most famous invention of America's most famous inventor is completely keyed to the printed and electronic versions of the Edison Papers, inviting the reader to explore further the remarkable original sources.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801894824
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
06/08/2010
Series:
Johns Hopkins Introductory Studies in the History of Technology
Edition description:
Revised
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Johns Hopkins Edition vii

1 "A Big Bonanza" 1

2 "The Throes of Invention" 24

The Search for a Vacuum 45

3 "Some Difficult Requirements" 48

Carbon and the Incandescent Lamp 67

4 The Triumph of Carbon 69

Who Invented the Incandescent Lamp? 91

5 Business and Science 94

The Menlo Park Mystique 118

6 A System Complete 121

7 Promises Fulfilled 155

Afterword 189

A Note from the Authors with Acknowledgments 201

Notes 205

Recommended Additional Reading 221

Index 225

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