Dawn of the Electronic Age: Electrical Technologies in the Shaping of the Modern World, 1914 to 1945

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John Wiley & Sons, May 6, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 320 pages
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A comprehensive and fascinating account of electrical and electronics history

Much of the infrastructure of today's industrialized world arose in the period from the outbreak of World War I to the conclusion of World War II. It was during these years that the capabilities of traditional electrical engineering—generators, power transmission, motors, electric lighting and heating, home appliances, and so on—became ubiquitous. Even more importantly, it was during this time that a new type of electrical engineering—electronics—emerged. Because of its applications in communications (both wire-based and wireless), entertainment (notably radio, the phonograph, and sound movies), industry, science and medicine, and the military, the electronics industry became a major part of the economy.

Dawn of the Electronic Age?explores how this engineering knowledge and its main applications developed in various scientific, economic, and social contexts, and explains how each was profoundly affected by electrical technologies. It takes an international perspective and a narrative approach, unfolding the story chronologically.

Though a scholarly study (with sources of information given in endnotes for engineers and historians of science and technology), the book is intended for the general public.?Ultimately, it tells the story of the development of a new realm of engineering and its widespread applications during the remarkable and tragic period of two world wars and the decades in between.

  

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Contents

1 The Great War and Wireless Communications
11
2 Electrical Technologies in Total War
47
3 Electrification in the Interwar Period
83
4 The Jazz Age and Radio Broadcasting
121
5 Postwar Recovery and the Great Depression Electrical Technologies in Industry and Commerce
179
6 Electrical Technologies and the Consumer Culture
229
7 Communication Technologies in Democratic and Totalitarian Countries
279
8 Electrical Engineering in an Age of Science
321
9 World War II and Electrical Technology
359
10 Radar the Weapon That Decided the War
413
Conclusion Dawn of the Electronic Age
469
Notes on the Illustrations
477
Sources
479
Index
513
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About the author (2009)

Frederik Nebeker, PhD, is currently Senior Research Historian at the IEEE History Center, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

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