HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Edison and the Electric Chair: A Story of…
Loading...

Edison and the Electric Chair: A Story of Light and Death (2003)

by Mark Regan Essig

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
168170,815 (3.92)3
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

An interesting, and exceedingly gruesome look at an invention that was supposed to make executing criminals easier. ( )
  MsMixte | Jan 2, 2012 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
To my parents, Dorothy and John Essig.
First words
"Mr. Edison, what is your calling - your profession?" "Inventor."
Quotations
Life in the Menlo Park laboratory partakes more of the character of a camp pitched near the battlefield than of anything else. - reporter
One rainy day afternoon before the official start-up of the Edison system, a policeman ran into the Pearl Street station and said there was trouble at the corner of Ann and Nassau Streets. Edison rushed to the spot, where a wet patch of pavement was giving electric shocks, and a large crowd had gathered to await the next unwary passerby.
An hundred persons are made worse, where one is made better by a public execution. - 1826
When I go to church, I cannot help thinking whether its walls do not sometimes echo, "Strangle and kill in the name of God!" - Walt Whitman
During the same years that pain became unacceptable, the public grew more fascinated with violence and death...Horror writing had not existed in the pre-modern world, when physical torment was an accepted part of everyday life. But when suffering became obscene, the stage was set for a pornography of pain.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802777104, Paperback)

A Discover magazine Top Science Book

Thomas Edison stunned America in 1879 by unveiling a world-changing invention--the light bulb--and then launching the electrification of America’s cities. A decade later, despite having been an avowed opponent of the death penalty, Edison threw his laboratory resources and reputation behind the creation of a very different sort of device--the electric chair. Deftly exploring this startling chapter in American history, Edison & the Electric Chair delivers both a vivid portrait of a nation on the cusp of modernity and a provocative new examination of Edison himself.

Edison championed the electric chair for reasons that remain controversial to this day. Was Edison genuinely concerned about the suffering of the condemned? Was he waging a campaign to smear his rival George Westinghouse’s alternating current and boost his own system? Or was he warning the public of real dangers posed by the high-voltage alternating wires that looped above hundreds of America’s streets? Plumbing the fascinating history of electricity, Mark Essig explores America’s love of technology and its fascination with violent death, capturing an era when the public was mesmerized and terrified by an invisible force that produced blazing light, powered streetcars, carried telephone conversations--and killed.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:01:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Thomas Edison stunned America in 1879 by unveiling a world-changing invention - the lightbulb - and the launching the electrification of America's cities. A decade later, despite being an avowed opponent of the death penalty, Edison threw his laboratory resources and reputation behind the creation of a very different sort of device - the electric chair. Deftly exploring this chapter in American history, Edison & the Electric Chair delivers both a portrait of a nation on the cusp of modernity and a new examination of Edison himself." "Was Edison genuinely concerned about the suffering of the condemned? Was he warning the public of real dangers posed by the high-voltage alternating wires that looped above hundreds of America's streets? Or was he waging a campaign to smear alternating current and boost his own system? Plumbing the history of electricity, Mark Essig explores America's love of technology and its fascination with violent death, capturing an era when the public was mesmerized and terrified by an invisible force that produced blazing light, powered streetcars, carried telephone conversations - and killed."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
7 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.92)
0.5
1
1.5
2 2
2.5
3 2
3.5
4 8
4.5 3
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,482,926 books! | Top bar: Always visible