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When old technologies were new : thinking about electric communication in the late nineteenth century

Author: Carolyn Marvin
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1988.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
In the history of electronic communication, the last quarter of the 19th century holds a special place, for it was during this period that the telephone, phonograph, electric light, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When Old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions--the telephone and the electric light--were publicly envisioned at the end of the 19th century, as seen in  Read more...
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Title: When old technologies were new : thinking about electric communication in the late nineteenth century /
Database Name: WorldCat
All Authors / Contributors: Carolyn Marvin
ISBN: 0195044681; 9780195044683; 0195063414; 9780195063417; 9780198021384; 0198021380
Notes: Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (pages 237-265) and index.
Content: Introduction -- 1. Inventing the expert: technological literacy as social currency -- 2. Community and class order: progress close to home -- 3. Locating the body in electrical space and time: competing authorities -- 4. Dazzling the multitude: original media spectacles -- 5. Annihilating space, time, and difference: experiments in cultural homogenization -- Epilogue.
Description: 269 pages, 14 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, facsimiles ; 22 cm
Contents: Introduction -- 1. Inventing the expert: technological literacy as social currency -- 2. Community and class order: progress close to home -- 3. Locating the body in electrical space and time: competing authorities -- 4. Dazzling the multitude: original media spectacles -- 5. Annihilating space, time, and difference: experiments in cultural homogenization -- Epilogue.
Responsibility: Carolyn Marvin.
Genre/Form: History.
Year: 1988.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press,
Standard Numbers: LCCN: 86033339
Class Descriptors: LC Class No.: TK5102.2; Dewey No.: 621.38
OCLC No.: 15109205
Local System Bib Number:
991021755349705716
ocm15109205

Abstract:

In the history of electronic communication, the last quarter of the 19th century holds a special place, for it was during this period that the telephone, phonograph, electric light, wireless, and cinema were all invented. In When Old Technologies Were New, Carolyn Marvin explores how two of these new inventions--the telephone and the electric light--were publicly envisioned at the end of the 19th century, as seen in specialized engineering journals and popular media. Marvin pays particular attention to the telephone, describing how it disrupted established social relations, unsettling customary ways of dividing the private person and family from the more public setting of the community. On the lighter side, she describes how people spoke louder when calling long distance, and how they worried about catching contagious diseases over the phone. A particularly powerful chapter deals with telephonic precursors of radio broadcasting--the "Telephone Herald" in New York and the "Telefon Hirmondo" of Hungary--and the conflict between the technological development of broadcasting and the attempt to impose a homogenous, ethnocentric variant of Anglo-Saxon culture on the public. While focusing on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, Marvin also illuminates the broader social impact, presenting a wide-ranging, informative, and entertaining account of the early years of electronic media.
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'not only is the book a good read, but also it is a valuable source book for writers, historians and researchers pursuing the history of, or writing on, the subject of mass communications ... The Read more...

 
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