Studies in Economic History and Policy: USA in the Twentieth Century: Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric (Hardback)
  • Studies in Economic History and Policy: USA in the Twentieth Century: Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric (Hardback)
zoom

Studies in Economic History and Policy: USA in the Twentieth Century: Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric (Hardback)

(author)
£77.00
Hardback 400 Pages / Published: 25/10/1991
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
Elihu Thomson was a late-nineteenth-century American inventor who helped create the first electric lighting and power systems. One of the most prolific inventors in American history, Thomson was granted nearly 700 patents in a career spanning the 1880s to 1930s. His inventions included arc and incandescent lighting systems, alternating current motors and transformers, electric welding equipment, and the recording watt-meter, all of which were central in determining how electricity is used today. Thomson was educated in science, and he used a combination of scientific values and craft skills to develop his many inventions. Consequently, his career permits an investigation of how technologists employ craft knowledge to create new products. While employed by the General Electric Company, Thomson worked with other managers and entrepreneurs to link the hardware of electric lighting with business organization and marketing strategy. Thus, his story also traces the role of technology in the rise of a major American corporation.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521393171
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 760 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'At a time when the country is searching for clues to understanding invention and innovation, Bernard Carlson's detailed and thoughtful study of Elihu Thomson provides information and insights of immense value. He moves the art of writing the biography of inventors a quantum leap beyond sentimental heroic-inventor stories and the dry skepticism of macro-economic monographs.' Thomas P. Hughes, University of Pennsylvania
"...historians of science will find much of value in this book relating to Thomson's early and significant mastery of chemistry, his lifelong interest in astronomy, and his dextrous exploration of X rays in 1896. The factual accuracy and thoroughness with which these and other features of Elihu Thomson's career are treated will doubtless ground Carlson's monograph as a major reference work on the subject for years to come." ISIS
"The strengths of Carlson's book lie in its perceptive attention to Thomson's shifting motivations and its lucid descriptions of his inventions (an effort much enhanced by the selection of nearly 100 illustrations). But the book is analytically rich as well." American Historical Review
"In this fine new study of the inventor Elihu Thomson, W. Bernard Carlson shows how historians can help us get our bearings....In the process, he has produced a book rich with insights into the process of innovation." Science
"That last quality, teamwork, is Carlson's focus in this illuminating new biography." IEEE Spectrum
"Yet by stressing the interplay between marketing and innovation, Carlson both illuminates the most important years of Thomson's career and provides a timely case study of invention as a social process." The Journal of American History
"Carlson has examined the broader issues of technical innovation as a social process by taking the life of Thomson as a case study....The approach gives useful insights into the relationship between innovation and the extraordinary rise of technologically based business in late nineteenth-century America." Nature
"In this thoroughly researched and closely argued monograph Bernard Carlson uses the biography of Elihu Thomson to explore the interactions among inventors and entrepreneurs, technology and markets, in the formation and early development of the General Electric Company." Canadian Journal of History
"At a time when the country is searching for clues to understanding invention and innovation, Bernard Carlson's detailed and thoughtful study of Elihu Thomson provides information and insights of immense value. He moves the art of writing the biography of inventors a quantum leap beyond sentimental heroic-inventor stories and the dry skepticism of macroeconomic monographs." Thomas P. Hughes, Mellon Professor, University of Pennsylvania
"W. Bernard Carlson has accomplished a remarkable stylistic feat in his informative and insightful examination of the emergence of General Electric (GE) and of the career of Elihu Thomson. Carlson has smoothly combined a scholarly monograph, clearly showing its ancestry as a dissertation fully in touch with the concepts and concerns of recent and traditional bodies of relevant academic work, and a nineteenth-century Bildungsroman...." Keith A. Nier, Business History Review
"This important book advances significantly our understanding of how business, technology, and science have interacted to shape the modern world....Carlson gives the best analysis to date not only of the Thomson-Houston Company, but of the creation and first decade or so of G.E., one of the world's most innovative and influential industrial corporations. In the process, he provides new insights into the history of the electrical manufacturers and corrects some earlier interpretations, particularly ones concerning Thomas Edison, the coming of the central generating station, and the role of investment banking houses in the elctrical industry. Innovation as a Social Process rests on a wideranging and thorough research base, and Carlson writes with authority about his subject and about the historiography of the history of technology." Glenn Porter, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

You may also be interested in...

The Money Machine
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
In Spite Of The Gods
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Fife, the Mining Kingdom
Added to basket
The Downfall of Money
Added to basket
Debt
Added to basket
£17.99
Paperback
Guns, Germs And Steel
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Great Degeneration
Added to basket
The Globalization Paradox
Added to basket
The Great Crash 1929
Added to basket
Power and Plenty
Added to basket
£40.00
Paperback
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Added to basket
The Great Hunger
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.