Chapter

The Age of Electricity

Vaclav Smil

in Creating the Twentieth Century

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195168747
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835522 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195168747.003.0002
The Age of Electricity

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No other technical innovation had such a far-reaching impact on modern civilization as the creation of an admirably reliable system of electricity generation, transmission, and conversion. Thomas A. Edison was its bold initiator but soon came improvements and extensions, most notably the steam turbine of Charles A. Parsons and electric motor of Nikola Tesla. The system became technically mature within a generation after its introduction and it continues to provide the most versatile, as well as the most convenient form of energy whose conversions range from increasingly efficient lighting to every kind of manufacturing, mass transportation and the vast realm of electronic devices.

Keywords: electricity generation; transmission; Thomas A. Edison; steam turbine; Charles A. Parsons; electric motor; Nikola Tesla; lighting

Chapter.  25961 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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