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Draw the Lightning Down: Benjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment

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Draw the Lightning Down: Benjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Most 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 technolgies?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.

Review:

"In focusing an archeologist's eye on electrical technology in the eighteenth century, Michael Brian Schiffer brings fresh and valuable insight to the study of the process of technological diffusion. At the same time he provides a lively account of how an interest in electricity spread across a surprisingly broad range of Enlightenment society." Bernard Finn, Curator, Electrical Collections, Smithsonian Institution

Review:

"Michael Brian Schiffer brings his love of technology and archaeology together into a great story of the Age of Enlightenment. A wonderful read for those who want to dive into compelling stories of artifacts, people and scientific thought. Draw the Lightning Down pushes archaeology into times and technology where it has not gone before. This is an absorbing and literally electrifying book!" Pamela J. Cressey, City Archaeologist, Alexandria Archaeology

Synopsis:

"In focusing an archeologist's eye on electrical technology in the eighteenth century, Michael Brian Schiffer brings fresh and valuable insight to the study of the process of technological diffusion. At the same time he provides a lively account of how an interest in electricity spread across a surprisingly broad range of Enlightenment society."—Bernard Finn, Curator, Electrical Collections, Smithsonian Institution

"Michael Brian Schiffer brings his love of technology and archaeology together into a great story of the Age of Enlightenment. A wonderful read for those who want to dive into compelling stories of artifacts, people and scientific thought. Draw the Lightning Down pushes archaeology into times and technology where it has not gone before. This is an absorbing and literally electrifying book!"—Pamela J. Cressey, City Archaeologist, Alexandria Archaeology

About the Author

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).

Table of Contents

Preface

List of Figures

1. The Franklin Phenomenon

2. In the Beginning

3. A Coming of Age

4. Going Public

5. Power to the People

6. Life and Death

7. First, Do No Harm

8. An Electrical World

9. Property Protectors

10. A New Alchemy

11. Visionary Inventors

12. Technology Transfer: A Behavioral Framework

Notes

References Cited

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520238022
Publisher:
University of California Press
Location:
Berkeley
Author:
Mich&amp
Author:
Forst, Wendell P.
Author:
aelig
Author:
Schiffer, Michael B.
Author:
l Brian
Author:
Schiffer, Michael Brian
Author:
Schiffer, Mich&amp
Author:
l Brian Schiffer
Subject:
History
Subject:
Engineering - Electrical & Electronic
Subject:
Electric engineering
Subject:
Electricity
Subject:
Enlightenment
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Subject:
Franklin, Benjamin
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
History of Science-General
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
pt. 1.
Publication Date:
20031031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
38 line illustrations
Pages:
397
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.13 in 1.08 lb

Related Subjects

Biography » Science and Technology
Engineering » Engineering » History
Science and Mathematics » Electricity » General Electricity
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

Draw the Lightning Down: Benjamin Franklin and Electrical Technology in the Age of Enlightenment
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 397 pages University of California Press - English 9780520238022 Reviews:
"Review" by , "In focusing an archeologist's eye on electrical technology in the eighteenth century, Michael Brian Schiffer brings fresh and valuable insight to the study of the process of technological diffusion. At the same time he provides a lively account of how an interest in electricity spread across a surprisingly broad range of Enlightenment society."
"Review" by , "Michael Brian Schiffer brings his love of technology and archaeology together into a great story of the Age of Enlightenment. A wonderful read for those who want to dive into compelling stories of artifacts, people and scientific thought. Draw the Lightning Down pushes archaeology into times and technology where it has not gone before. This is an absorbing and literally electrifying book!"
"Synopsis" by ,
"In focusing an archeologist's eye on electrical technology in the eighteenth century, Michael Brian Schiffer brings fresh and valuable insight to the study of the process of technological diffusion. At the same time he provides a lively account of how an interest in electricity spread across a surprisingly broad range of Enlightenment society."—Bernard Finn, Curator, Electrical Collections, Smithsonian Institution

"Michael Brian Schiffer brings his love of technology and archaeology together into a great story of the Age of Enlightenment. A wonderful read for those who want to dive into compelling stories of artifacts, people and scientific thought. Draw the Lightning Down pushes archaeology into times and technology where it has not gone before. This is an absorbing and literally electrifying book!"—Pamela J. Cressey, City Archaeologist, Alexandria Archaeology

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