WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Ernest Freeberg: "The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America"

Thomas Edison is widely remembered as the man who invented the light bulb. As with many singular events, there's much more to the story, and a new book places the invention in the context of the time. In the mid-19th century the U.S. was in a period of intense technological creativity. Edison and a team of high-level assistants at his New Jersey laboratory benefited from a vibrant exchange of ideas among scientists in the U.S. and across the Atlantic. When Edison finally unveiled the incandescent light bulb in 1879, Americans witnessed the birth of a new age. Diane and her guest discuss how an invention we take for granted today transformed American life.

Slideshow: The Age Of Edison

Photos from "The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America" by Ernest Freeberg. All rights reserved.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America" by Ernest Freeberg. Copyright © 2013 by Ernest Freeberg. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Press HC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

WAMU 88.5

Readers' Review: "The Good Lord Bird" By James McBride

For our next Readers' Review: National Book Award winner "The Good Lord Bird" by James McBride. The 2013 novel follows an enslaved boy who gets caught up in John Brown's abolitionist mission...and must disguise himself as a girl to survive.

WAMU 88.5

Busboys And Poets In Anacostia: Development Or Gentrification?

Local restaurant chain Busboys and Poets will soon open in Anacostia, which suffers from a dearth of dining and shopping options-- but some within the community are decrying the opening as gentrification.

WAMU 88.5

A Primary Challenge For A Top Arlington County Democrat

Could bipartisanship be the ouster of Arlington County's board chair?

NPR

In Omaha, A Library With No Books Brings Technology To All

The privately funded, $7 million Do Space provides free access to computers, high-end software, 3-D printers, and laser cutters. It's a learning and play space, as well as an office for entrepreneurs.

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