Yes, your cellphone does run on coal.
Before we leave the 1800s, there is more thing we need to talk about.
Electricity. It is, beyond a doubt, the most transformative technology in U.S. history. Not only did it change the way the world lives, works, and communicates, but it also changed the way we confront our environment and social attitudes towards energy. This week we're going to read two chapters from my book When They Hid The Fire- I will provide you with a .pdf file so you do not need to buy it (shameless self-promotion: if you want to buy a copy it is available here). Chapter 6 addresses how electricity came to be deployed, so there is some history of technology, some business history, and some social history. Chapter 7 talks about the origins of the modern electrical grid. I hope you find it interesting. We all take electricity for granted in our daily lives, my hope is that you'll think more about it in the future. In addition to the technology itself, the deployment of electricity also changed the nature of business and the economy, it was a core technology that accelerated consumerism.
By the end of this module, you should :
-Be able to identify when electricity began to be deployed in the United States.
-Be able to explain why electricity is a secondary energy source. Be able to explain why the public began to see electricity as a stand alone energy source.
-Be able to explain how the deployment of electricity drove consumerism.
-Be able to explain why alternate methods of electrical generation did not come to be early on.
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