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PBS series: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson
Johnson relates the story of people who take us out of the dark and into the light. Hear about Edison's light bulb, which he didn't actually invent, and learn how an 18th-century ship's skipper discovered a source of illumination by putting a kid inside a whale's head. See how a French scientist accidentally discovered how to create neon light, leading to a revolution in advertising. Dispelling the myth of the individual "eureka" moment, Johnson reveals that teamwork and collaboration led the way to the most transformative ideas. Whether changing our genetic make-up, altering the world's sleeping patterns, transforming architecture, taking us into space or triggering one of the great social reforms in American history, the pioneers of light have made themselves indispensable throughout human history.
The End of Night by Describes how ever-present, modern artificial lights have changed the way humans experience darkness and bemoans the fact that the primal dark sky can no longer influence science and art.
"A brilliantly starry night is one of nature's most thrilling wonders. Yet in our world of nights as bright as day, most of us no longer experience true darkness. Eight out of ten Americans born today won't ever live where they can see the Milky Way. And exposure to artificial light at night has been cited as a factor in health concerns ranging from poor sleep to cancer. In his gorgeous debut, The End of Night, Paul Bogard travels the globe to find the night, blending personal narrative, natural history, health, science, and folklore to shed light on darkness. Showing exactly what we've lost, what we have left, and what we might hope to regain, he attempts nothing less than a restoration of how we see the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky." -- Publisher's description.
Call Number: TD195.L52 B64 2013
Publication Date: 2013-07-09
The Age of Edison by 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. Electric light changed the pace of city life and the nature of work and play, and stimulated countless innovations that changed every aspect of American life, from sleep patterns to surgery, shopping to waging war. 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. This book 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 the author 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. Here the author 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.
Call Number: T173.4 .F74 2013
Publication Date: 2013-02-21
The Electric War by In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a burgeoning science called electricity promised to shine new light on a rousing nation. Inventive and ambitious minds were hard at work. Soon that spark was fanned, and a fiery war was under way to be the first to light--and run--the world with electricity. Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of direct current (DC), engaged in a brutal battle with Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, the inventors of alternating current (AC). There would be no ties in this race--only a winner and a loser. The prize: a nationwide monopoly in electric current.Brimming with action, suspense, and rich historical and biographical information about these inventors, here is the rousing account of one of the world's defining scientific competitions. A Christy Ottaviano Book
Call Number: TK140.E3 W478 2019
Publication Date: 2019-01-22
The Truth about Tesla by Everything you think you know about Nikola Tesla is wrong. Nikola Tesla was one of the greatest electrical inventors who ever lived. For years, the engineering genius was relegated to relative obscurity, his contributions to humanity (we are told) obscured by a number of nineteenth-century inventors and industrialists who took credit for his work or stole his patents outright. In recent years, the historical record has been "corrected" and Tesla has been restored to his rightful place among historical luminaries like Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Gugliemo Marconi. Most biographies repeat the familiar account of Tesla's life, including his invention of alternating current, his falling out with Edison, how he lost billions in patent royalties to Westinghouse, and his fight to prove that Marconi stole 13 of his patents to "invent" radio. But, what really happened? Consider this: Everything you think you know about Nikola Tesla is wrong. Newly uncovered information proves that the popular account of Tesla's life is itself very flawed. In The Truth About Tesla, Christopher Cooper sets out to prove that the conventional story not only oversimplifies history, it denies credit to some of the true inventors behind many of the groundbreaking technologies now attributed to Tesla and perpetuates a misunderstanding about the process of innovation itself. Are you positive that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone? Are you sure the Wright Brothers were the first in flight? Think again! With a provocative foreword by Tesla biographer Marc. J. Seifer, The Truth About Tesla is one of the first books to set the record straight, tracing the origin of some of the greatest electrical inventions to a coterie of colorful characters that conventional history has all but forgotten.
Call Number: TK140.T4 C66 2015
Publication Date: 2015-10-09