Book Title: When Old Technologies Were New : Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century
Author: Gregory J. Downey
Format: Paperback | 278 pages
Publication Date: 25 Oct 1990
This book describes how two newly invented communications technologies - the telephone and the electric light - were publicly envisioned, in specialized engineering trade journals as well as in more popular media, at the end of the nineteenth century. Much of the focus is on the telephone, particularly how it disrupted established social relations (people did not know how to to respond to its use or impact) and how society tried to bring it under a carefully
prescribed pattern of proper usage. While the emphasis is on the way professionals in the electronics field tried to control the new media, their broader social impact is also discussed.