The Languages of Edison's Light

The Languages of Edison's Light

by Charles Bazerman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 026202456X

ISBN-13: 9780262024563

Pub. Date: 08/31/1999

Publisher: MIT Press

Technology is business, and dealing with the media, the public, financiers, and government agencies can be as important to an invention's success as effective product development. To understand how rhetoric works in technology, one cannot do better than to start with the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison and the incandescent light bulb.

Charles Bazerman

Overview

Technology is business, and dealing with the media, the public, financiers, and government agencies can be as important to an invention's success as effective product development. To understand how rhetoric works in technology, one cannot do better than to start with the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison and the incandescent light bulb.

Charles Bazerman tells the story of the emergence of electric light as one of symbols and communication. He examines how Edison and his colleagues represented light and power to themselves and to others as the technology was transformed from an idea to a daily fact of life. He looks at the rhetoric used to create meaning and value for the emergent technology in the laboratory, in patent offices and courts, in financial markets, and in boardrooms, city halls, newspapers, and the consumer marketplace. Along the way he describes the social and communicative arrangements that shaped and transformed the world in which Edison acted. He portrays Edison, both the individual and the corporation, as a self-conscious social actor whose rhetorical groundwork was crucial to the technology's material realization and success.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262024563
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
08/31/1999
Series:
Inside Technology
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
434
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments
How the Edison Papers Are Cited
Credit for Illustrations

Introduction
I The Opening Scene
1 Edison's FrontPage Story
II Establishing Meanings in Evolving Systems
2 The Public Stage of News
3 Finances for Technological Enterprises
4 Menlo Park: The Place of Invention
5 Patents as Speech Acts and Legal Objects
6 Professional Presence: Edison in the Technical Press
7 A Place in the Market
III Making It Real: The Rhetoric of Material
Presence
8 Boasts, Deceptions, and Promises
9 The Menlo Park Demonstrations
10 Fairs and EXhibitions: Museums of the Future
11 Lighting New York: Urban Politics and Pedestrian Appearances
IV Establishing Enduring Values
12 Patent Realities: Legal Stabilization of Indeterminate TeXts
13 Charisma and Communication in Edison's Oeganizations
14 Rhetoric of Capital Investment: Solvency, Profits, and Dividends
15 The Language of Flowers: Domesticating Electric Light
Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
IndeX

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