Friday, January 16, 2009

Electric Light

I've been re-reading a book about the pioneers of electric light in America. This time on my iPod. Last time it was on my Palm Phone. Because I am a geek, that's why. I finally reached an age where history became fascinating to me a few years back and started digesting the occasional volume.

The second time through this book I had Google Maps at my finger tips and when the addresses of the original Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse operations came up I immediately flipped over to see where whey were. Now, super-geek that I am, I'm planning to go visit the two that are in New York next time I'm there. Edison and Tesla both set up shop on lower Manhattan when they were starting to roll out DC electric lights. There's even a location in Buffalo, about an hour from here where Westinghouse rolled out the first AC incandescent system in a department store.

Now I'm beginning to see why Civil War buffs go out to fields in the middle of nowhere to revel in historic battles. I'm getting why museums that set up rustic townships draw thousands. I finally found my own historic niche. I'm likely to be the only wierdo dragging his wife and children from Wall Street to The Battery so he can soak up the aura of buildings that have long since been demolished, but in a way it makes sense.

I pulled my first wires on a construction site at the tender age of twelve. I had an electronics kit years before that. I've studied theatrical stage lighting. I've paid my mortgage and fed my family wiring houses. I even fill the off hours messing about with electricity. Add audio to the equation and it should come as no surprise that I dream about wiring. There's been a time or two when I've solved a routing problem literally in my sleep.

I can't think of any particular reason for writing this. Just a little peek into what makes me tick I guess. Don't leave without dropping a comment. What is it that fascinates you? Where would you travel to see the places where your interests evolved in generations past?



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