(updated 16 Jan. 2014)


Leonardo to the Internet:

Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

Thomas J. Misa

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011; 2nd edition
L2i 2nd cover

WWW sites:

  • Thomas Edison papers (Rutgers Univ): on-line searchable documents; PDF files of Edison's 1,093 patents 
  • USPTO database of all U.S. patents (1790-present) 
  • Library of Congress "American Memory" -- on-line documents of (e.g.) AG Bell, Westinghouse factories, Samuel Morse, Wright brothers
  • Science Museum-London "Making the Modern World"
  • Chapter 5. Science and Systems (1870-1930)

    Identify several differences between the "first" and "second" industrial revolutions.

    CONTRAST the character of science used by Perkin to invent mauve with Hoffman's work on azo dyes.  How did Kekule's concepts create modern organic chemistry?

    Congo RedDiscuss the scientific, technical, and legal aspects of "Congo Red" (1889)

    Discuss the relation between the German chemical companies and [a] trench warfare during WWI; [b] the Nazi Holocaust.

    How did Edison manage his relationships with the corporate giants Western Union and General Electric?

    NARRATE the major changes in the electrical industry between Edison's Pearl Street Station (1882) and General Electric (f.1892).  What did Edison mean by: "No competition means no invention."

    DISCUSS how MIT's electrical engineering program took up industry's need to stabilize electric power systems.  How did this change teaching and research at MIT?


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