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In September 1878, Thomas Alva Edison brashly—and prematurely—proclaimed his breakthrough invention of a workable electric light. That announcement was followed by many months of intense experimentation that led to the successful completion of his Pearl Street station four years later. Edison was not alone—nor was he first—in developing an incandescent light bulb, but his was the most successful of all competing inventions. Drawing from the documents in the Edison archives, Robert Friedel and Paul Israel explain how this came to be. They explore the process of invention through the Menlo Park notes, discussing the full range of experiments, including the testing of a host of materials, the development of such crucial tools as the world's best vacuum pump, and the construction of the first large-scale electrical generators and power distribution systems. The result is a fascinating story of excitement, risk, and competition. Revised and updated from the original 1986 edition, this definitive study of the most famous invention of America's most famous inventor is completely keyed to the printed and electronic versions of the Edison Papers, inviting the reader to explore further the remarkable original sources.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. CONTENTS
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  1. PREFACE TO THE JOHNS HOPKINS EDITION
  2. p. vii
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  1. 1. “A Big Bonanza”
  2. pp. 1-23
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1112
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  1. 2. “The Throes of Invention”
  2. pp. 24-44
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1113
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  1. The Search for a Vacuum
  2. pp. 45-47
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1114
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  1. 3. “Some Difficult Requirements”
  2. pp. 48-66
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1115
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  1. Carbon and the Incandescent Lamp
  2. pp. 67-68
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1116
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  1. 4. The Triumph of Carbon
  2. pp. 69-90
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1117
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  1. Who Invented the Incandescent Lamp?
  2. pp. 91-93
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1118
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  1. 5. Business and Science
  2. pp. 94-117
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1119
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  1. The Menlo Park Mystique
  2. pp. 118-120
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1120
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  1. 6. A System Complete
  2. pp. 121-154
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1121
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  1. 7. Promises Fulfilled
  2. pp. 155-188
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1122
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  1. Afterword
  2. pp. 189-200
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.1123
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  1. A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS WITH ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  2. pp. 201-204
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.5279
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  1. NOTES
  2. pp. 205-220
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.5280
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  1. RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING
  2. pp. 221-224
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.5281
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  1. INDEX
  2. pp. 225-233
  3. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/chapter.5282
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780801899447
Print ISBN
9780801894824
MARC Record
OCLC
794700355
Pages
248
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-21
Language
English
Open Access
N
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