BoingBoing has a great commentary on electrification.
Maggie Koerth-Baker found some old propaganda, from an early electric company, and it really shows our attitudes about energy in embryonic form:
The choking smoke was still there, but not at your house. There was still heavy labor involved, but it wasn't done by you or your children. For the first time, people were able to pretend that their standard of living was provided, free of downsides, by little elves that lived in the wall.
I thought alt-energy folks might like the book, and the blog entry.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
thanks for this. the comments are the best part; the mix of ignorance and blind stupid us and them is fascinating. mostly the ignorance is due to a total lack of any kind of reading up on the late 1800's. kinda sad in a way.
the us and them is, as always without any actual fact or form.
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my mother still talks about the day they got electricity and the joys of it, they got it in the late 1940's to be able to have light on demand, not having to keep the kerosene refrigerator working and a washing machine that would start, she had such a hard time with the old maytag gas motor starting and would many times have to go to the field and get Dad to come in and start the washer, also they no longer had to take the radio battery to town to get it charge for the radio to work, and to be able to have a fan in the summer time.
I think propane was nearly an equally joy as the wood cook stove no longer was needed in to be used in the summer time, and to have hot water, also electricity allowed them to have pressurized water, and thus indoor plumbing, no more trips to the out house in the cold,
This makes me think of the old Tesla hand held units for facials & scalp treatments, according to my beauty school trainer they were all the rage & she was sure they would continue to be used. She trained us to use one that she had. It gave quite a zap if you let an arch form. We thought it belonged in Dr. Frankenstein's lab.
I guess she was right because they now use a similar device called the violet ray.
I'm a fan of Tesla, I'm not fluent in all his work but I find some of his ideas so fascinating.
I was introduced to his work by a friend who was attempting to build a flux-capacitor, I do not really understand it but I watched him build a small model, it levitated for a few second & then burst into flames.
He did it several times always with the same result.