Draw the Lightning Down
Benjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment
By (author) Michael B. Schiffer
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Draw the Lightning Down by Michael B. Schiffer
Book DescriptionMost of us know - at least we've heard - that Benjamin Franklin conducted some kind of electrical experiment with a kite. What few of us realize - and what this book makes powerfully clear - is that Franklin played a major role in laying the foundations of modern electrical science and technology. This fast-paced book, rich with historical details and anecdotes, brings to life Franklin, the large international network of scientists and inventors in which he played a key role, and their amazing inventions. We learn what these early electrical devices - from lights and motors to musical and medical instruments - looked like, how they worked, and what their utilitarian and symbolic meanings were for those who invented and used them. Against the fascinating panorama of life in the eighteenth century, Michael Brian Schiffer tells the story of the very beginnings of our modern electrical world. The earliest electrical technologies were conceived in the laboratory apparatus of physicists; because of their surprising and diverse effects, however, these technologies rapidly made their way into many other communities and activities. Schiffer conducts us from community to community, showing how these technologies worked as they were put to use in public lectures, revolutionary experiments in chemistry and biology, and medical therapy. This story brings to light the arcane and long-forgotten inventions that made way for many modern technologies - including lightning rods (Franklin's invention), cardiac stimulation, xerography, and the internal combustion engine - and richly conveys the complex relationships among science, technology, and culture.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520248298
(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 14-Feb-2006
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Michael B. Schiffer
Power Struggles, Paperback (February 2011)
The development of electrical technologies that laid the foundation for Edison's work: their invention, commercialization, and adoption.
Behavioral Archaeology, Paperback (August 2010)» View all books by Michael B. Schiffer
Presents a synthesis of the fundamental method and theory of behavioral archaeology, organized in terms of the temporal order in which general topics have been addressed.
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Author Biography - Michael B. Schiffer
Michael Brian Schiffer is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. His many books include The Material Life of Human Beings (1999), Taking Charge: The Electric Automobile in America (1994), Technological Perspectives on Behavioral Change (1992), and The Portable Radio in American Life (1991).
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