Electricity and the Sociable Circulation of Fear and Fearlessness

Edited by Graeme Gooday

in Geographies of Nineteenth-Century Science

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780226487267
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487298 | DOI:
Electricity and the Sociable Circulation of Fear and Fearlessness

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This chapter examines the demonstration of the safety of electricity in public spaces. It explains that the moral panics and technical concerns about electricity necessitated its public testing in the home and on the theatrical stage, particularly in Crystal Palace and London's theatres. This chapter highlights the intimate connections between space and scientific testing and explains that the practice of electrical safety had to be seen to be believed at other social, personal, and instrumental scales for it underlay developments in physics and engineering.

Keywords: safety; electricity; public spaces; moral panics; technical concerns; Crystal Palace; theaters; London; scientific testing

Chapter.  10081 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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