Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940

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Mit Press, Jul 8, 1992 - History - 479 pages
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How did electricity enter everyday life in America? Using Muncie, Indiana - the Lynds' now iconic Middletown - as a touchstone, David Nye explores how electricity seeped into and redefined American culture. With an eye for telling details from archival sources and a broad understanding of cultural and social history, he creates a thought-provoking panorama of a technology fundamental to modern life.Emphasizing the experiences of ordinary men and women rather than the lives of inventors and entrepreneurs, Nye treats electrification as a set of technical possibilities that were selectively adopted to create the streetcar suburb, the amusement park, the "Great White Way," the assembly line, the electrified home, and the industrialized farm. He shows how electricity touched every part of American life, how it became an extension of political ideologies, how it virtually created the image of the modern city, and how it even pervaded colloquial speech, confirming the values of high energy and speed that have become hallmarks of the twentieth century. He also pursues the social meaning of electrification as expressed in utopian ideas and exhibits at world's fairs, and explores the evocation of electrical landscapes in painting, literature, and photography.Electrifying America combines chronology and topicality to examine the major forms of light and power as they came into general use. It shows that in the city electrification promoted a more varied landscape and made possible new art forms and new consumption environments. In the factory, electricity permitted a complete redesign of the size and scale of operations, shifting power away from the shop floor to managers. Electrical appliances redefined domestic work and transformed the landscape of the home, while on the farm electricity laid the foundation for today's agribusiness.David E. Nye teaches American history at the University of Copenhagen. He has published books on Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, as well as Image Worlds, a study of photography and corporate identities at General Electric.

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Review: Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940

User Review  - Jay - Goodreads

Sections of this book were required for a History of Energy course that I took for the Spring 2013 semester, but I had planned to finish the rest of it regardless because I hate to leave something ... Read full review

Review: Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940

User Review  - Robert Bryce - Goodreads

The descriptions in this book of the first days of electric light are worth the price of the book. A bit wonky at times, but a good history of electricity -- a commodity that we take for granted. Read full review

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JSTOR: Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology ...
Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940. xvi + 479 pp., illus., tables, bibl., index. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1990. ...
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Electrifying America - The MIT Press
Using Muncie, Indiana, as a touchstone, David Nye explores how electricity seeped into and redefined American culture
mitpress.mit.edu/ catalog/ item/ default.asp?ttype=2& tid=7961

Nye, David E. - Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New ...
Nye, David E. - Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940. Notes - Garnet Hertz Updated 02 June 2006 ...
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econpapers: Electrifying America: Social meanings of a new ...
By Chris Freeman; Electrifying America: Social meanings of a new technology, 1880-1940: David E. Nye, (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990)
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Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, David E ...
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History of Technology, Environment & Health: Theory & Method
David Nye, Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940. Thomas Hughes, “The Evolution of Large Technological Systems”. February 3. ...
www.nlm.nih.gov/ hmd/ collections/ digital/ syllabi/ pemberton4.pdf

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David E. Nye
Geneva, 11 April 2008. International Humanitarian Law Reader. Algeria. Reports from the Field. Kolar, India. Photos. Mersin, Turkey. Blog this Author ...
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Nice Towers,eh?
CRM. N. o. 14—1997. 23. A. s tourists meandered down the. Apache Trail, a historic road with. beautiful views of Central. Arizona’s desert mountains, power ...
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About the author (1992)

David E. Nye is Professor of American Studies at the Danish Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. Recipient of the 2005 Leonardo da Vinci Medal of the Society for the History of Technology, he is the author of "Image Worlds: Corporate Identities at General Electric, 1890-1930" (1985), "Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940" (1990), "American Technological Sublime" (1994), "Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies" (1997), "America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings" (2003), and "Technology Matters: Questions to Live With" (2006), all published by the MIT Press.

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