The Electric Century

How the Taming of Lightning Shaped the Modern World

  • J.B. Williams

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Popular Science book sub series (POPS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. J. B. Williams
    Pages 1-3
  3. J. B. Williams
    Pages 4-10
  4. J. B. Williams
    Pages 11-19
  5. J. B. Williams
    Pages 20-30
  6. J. B. Williams
    Pages 53-63
  7. J. B. Williams
    Pages 64-74
  8. J. B. Williams
    Pages 75-83
  9. J. B. Williams
    Pages 84-92
  10. J. B. Williams
    Pages 93-102
  11. J. B. Williams
    Pages 126-135
  12. J. B. Williams
    Pages 136-146
  13. J. B. Williams
    Pages 147-156
  14. J. B. Williams
    Pages 157-163
  15. J. B. Williams
    Pages 164-170
  16. J. B. Williams
    Pages 171-179
  17. J. B. Williams
    Pages 180-187
  18. J. B. Williams
    Pages 198-204
  19. J. B. Williams
    Pages 205-208
  20. Back Matter
    Pages 209-216

About this book


This book is about how electricity has profoundly changed the way we live, work, and play. Some twenty topics are covered, with an abundance of graphs and images to build a comprehensive picture. Each looks at the developments, and the people who initiated them, together with how one led to the next and their subsequent impact on society. Topics include electric supply, lighting through X-rays, and all those appliances that make our homes so comfortable.

Most homes at the end of the twentieth century were full of electrical equipment, much of which was regarded as essential. It ran from lights, washing machines, fridges, freezers, kettles, telephones and so on, to the more subtle things such as wipers and starter motors on cars. In 1900, in all but a tiny minority of houses, there were none of these things. It is very difficult for us now to imagine a world without electrical equipment everywhere, and yet it has only taken a century. The Electric Century< examines how we got from then to now.

 The nineteenth is often described as the century of steam from the impact it had on employment and transport, and The Electric Century makes a similar claim as the description of the twentieth. Electricity and the equipment using it are so pervasive that they have affected every corner of modern life.


History of electricity Development of electricity Energy grid history Uses of electricity for communication Household appliances and electricity Transport and electricity Media in age of electricity

Authors and affiliations

  • J.B. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.St NeotsUnited Kingdom

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