Turn of the Century Technology in Literature

I mentioned yesterday that my current thoughts are leading me to give some research and writing a whirl. One thing that has piqued my interest initially is the technological innovation that was occurring around the turn of the 19th century. The telephone had been invented a few years earlier and names such as Marconi, Edison, Westinghouse and Tesla were leading the charge into the 20th century. The possibilities seemed boundless and mankind sought to conquer scientific invention for the good of mankind.

My observations so far have focused on the prominence of these sentiments that can be found in the same time period’s literature. Names such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells immediately come to mind. Mark Twain, dubbed by many as the “Great American Novelist,” also wove technology and invention into his stories. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is a prime example of his interest in applied science.

The relationship of emerging science with the American psyche makes for an interesting research topic as there are a plethora of fronts in which science was applied to the world. It becomes personalized and realistic when we examine the relationships that were forged during that period. Slavic inventor Nikola Tesla, for instance, had a close personal friendship with Mark Twain and they spent much time in Tesla’s laboratory letting their minds wander in fascination. These relationships bring history to life and I aim to focus on the personalities for the near future.

An Enlightened Author

An Enlightened Author


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