Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Edison and the Rise of Innovation


Today's Nonfiction post is on Edison and the Rise of Innovation by Leonard DeGraaf. It is 244 pages long including notes, an index, and resource. It is published by Sterling Signature. The cover is brown with a light bulb in the center. The intended reader is someone who is curious about Edison and his inventions. There is no language, no sex, and no violence in this book. All ages could enjoy this book. The story is told from letters, dairies, interviews, and other first hand resources about Thomas Edison and his inventions. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Ranked number on in Life magazine's list of the hundred people who made the millennium, Thomas Edison was a visionary inventor and talented entrepreneur who did much more than introduce the first practical electric light. Perhaps America's first celebrity, he created a world-renowned brand, raised capital to support research and business, pursued patents for 1,000+ inventions, and – in the process- paved the way for a more efficient and innovative world.
This book, produced in association with the Charles Edison Fund and the Edison Innovation Foundation, examines the prolific inventor through the vast museum collections of Thomas Edison National Historical Park. Drawing on Edison's personal notebooks, letters, company records, and rarely seen historic photographs, and artifacts, park archivist Leonard DeGraaf unmasks the mythic larger-than-life Wizard to reveal the Innovator who- beyond introducing groundbreaking inventions in electric lighting, sound recording, and motion pictures- revolutionized the way develop new technologies.

Review- I was expected this book to more about Edison but it really about his inventions. Once I realized that I really enjoyed this book. I only knew a little about Thomas Edison and almost nothing about his inventions. Now I know how much Edison gave the modern age, which is more than the light bulb. The details about his inventions is great. There are pictures of Edison's hand written notes, the formulas he used are reproduced for the reader, and all the problems that he had with an invention is laid out. At times the story would slow down because all of the details with the inventions but if you push through those spots, you will learn a lot about how the modern age came to be. One thing that I was surprised about in this book was that Nikola Tesla was not mentioned at all. Not the fact that Telsa worked for Edison on the light bulb not their 'war' of AC versus DC. Nothing at all and I think that was an oversight personally. I know that this is a book about Edison but if everyone else that Edison worked with over his very long and fruitful career was talked about but not him? I do not think that mentioning Telsa would make this book any less about Edison. In fact I think that it would have added to the chapter about AC versus DC. But I am not the author and DeGraaf does so much right with this book. If you are looking for learn more about what exactly Thomas Edison invented, then you should read this book.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.