... throwing some light.
No forgotten technologies this time. Our inevitable This
Day in History search has definitely hit upon the mainstream. We learn,
for instance, that on October 21, 1879:
After 14 months of experimenting in Menlo Park, NJ, Thomas
Alva Edison succeeded in producing a working prototype of the electric,
incandescent lamp this day. It could burn for thirteen and a half hours.
That definitely is pretty mainstream. Very few, if any, of us sit in front
of our computers with our homes lit by candlelight. On the other hand,
with so many outdated technologies floating around, it's hard not to hit
on some sort of commemoration of them as well. The same date, 1918:
A typing speed record was set this day by Margaret Owen
of New York City. Margaret typed 170 words per minute -- on a manual typewriter.
There are times when the electricity goes out. If it's at night we grasp
around in the dark until we find the candles, and then once they're lit
we sort of sit around and wonder whether it's waiting for the electricity
to return, or perhaps simply to go to sleep already. Reading a book with
candlelight isn't something you can do for more than a couple of pages.
On the other hand, if I'm really desperate, I have a manual typewriter
in the house which is actually in working condition. And I'm fast, though
the noise would probably wake up the kids.
Go to: Being (semi)