As its December free e-book selection, IEEE-USA is offering the third and final volume of author Harry T. Roman’s trilogy, Thomas Edison, Man of the Millennium, Vol. 3: Observations to IEEE members, free. In this last book of the Edison series, Roman advances his view that Thomas Edison contributed much of the groundwork for many 21st century technological realities.
These innovations include electric automobiles, integrated circuits, and the digital economy. Throughout Volume 3, the author presents strong, persuasive cases for how Edison’s innovative work (more than a century ago) is the basis for how engineers and other technologists are now meeting contemporary society’s needs.
Harry Roman believes Thomas Edison was unquestionably the world’s greatest inventor. And in this series, he wanted to present a personal look at the man, and what he achieved. He has studied and learned about Edison since childhood. Roman also has an ongoing history of lecturing and writing about. Edison. He brings all of this information to your doorstep—and he hopes you enjoy his thoughts and observations, in this, his final volume in the Edison e-book series.
Roman starts his first chapter in Observations talking about Edison and electric cars. Edison always believed electric vehicles would be an ideal city, or inter-urban mode of transportation. His philosophized railroads would be the long-haul transportation form; and electrics would be the preferred method about town. He thought horses quite dangerous, well past their time in crowded cities.
Prophetically, Edison firmly believed if gasoline was the choice for car fuel, it would be no better than horses—fouling the city air, and eventually becoming difficult and costly to obtain. How right he would be today! Edison envisioned a car that had the ability to travel 30–60 miles, on a battery charge—quiet, clean, and used locally.
With all today’s talk about the Information Age, and the world being flat (with respect to access to information), it is amazing how much Edison valued information, 130 years ago. According to Roman, it formed the centerpiece of his work, and the foundation of his invention factory concept.
Further, Edison firmly believed the only way he could seriously invent was to understand what had already been done; and what technologies were already accessible–that he might use as feedstock for his idea generation process.
For instance, with patent applications today, the applicant must perform a due-diligence survey of the technology art. Known as “prior art,” in the field that applies to the patent application—it demonstrates to the patent examiner that one understands the known art—and what it implies, in relation to the patent being applied for. Thanks to Edison, this knowledge sets the stage for innovation, upon that which is already known and practiced.
From 1 December until 15 January, IEEE members can download free Thomas Edison, Man of the Millennium, Vol. 3: Observations, by going to: https://ieeeusa.org/shop/views/edison-vol-3/.
Sign in with your IEEE Web Account; add the book to your cart; and enter Promo Code DECFREE19 at checkout. Don’t miss this free gift from IEEE-USA! Normally, this e-book is $2.99 for members. Non-members pay $4.99.
Georgia C. Stelluto is IEEE-USA’s Publishing Manager; Manager/Editor of IEEE-USA E-BOOKS; InFocus Department Editor for IEEE-USA InSight; and Co-Editor of the IEEE-USA Conference Brief.