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

What The African American History Museum Means to D.C.'s Black Community

This weekend, D.C. celebrated the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Kojo chats with the civil rights leader and longtime city council member who chaired the D.C. host committee.


They Dreamed Of Sheep (Farming): Peek Inside An Alabama Dairy

Greg Kelly wanted out of corporate America for a lifestyle better suited to raising a family. So he and his wife launched Alabama's only sheep dairy. "We feel like we're really living now," she says.
WAMU 88.5

Protecting Our Data In An Era Of Increasing State-Sponsored Cyberattacks

Yahoo says information from 500 million users was stolen by hackers. This comes amid growing concern over intrusions into U.S. election systems. In an era of increasing state-sponsored cyber threats, protecting our personal data and the integrity of U.S. voting.

WAMU 88.5

Putting The Patient At The Center Of Local Healthcare

From "concierge" services to iPads connecting new parents with their babies in the nursery, Kojo explores some of the patient-centered ideas coming from healthcare innovation labs at local hospitals.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.