Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Thomas Edison and Karl Benz

December 31, 1879 is famous as the day Thomas Edison showcased his electric light bulb in Menlo Park, New Jersey, triggering in the Age of Electricity. But, it is also the day, according to Valcav Smil, that Karl Benz first drove a carriage fitted with his internal combustion engine. Surely then, one of the most significant dates in history.

I stumbled upon it, when I was reading Smil's book "Creating the Twentieth Century." It is a fascinating book, by a terrific author, but not an easy read for the general public. It requires a decent knowledge of engineering, and also a passion for understanding the most understated impact of engineering as a force in history, far surpassing politics, philosophy, art or economics.

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