Edward Bellamy

.       American socialist writer; author of Looking Backward: 2000-1887, utopian novel, 1888

.       Book depicted city of the future as socialist middle-class technological paradise

.       Despite turgid prose, the book proved massively popular

.       Clubs devoted to Bellamy's ideas sprung up across nation


Alexander Graham Bell

.       American inventor; creator of telephone, 1876

.       "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you" – first words spoken into telephone

.       Retired from industry just before telephone boom


Thomas Edison

.       American inventor, creator of electric light bulb

.       Held nearly 11,000 different patents

.       Fought for the adaptation of DC current as standard for U.S. electric system

.       Founded General Electric, 1878


Andrew Carnegie

.       Scottish-born American industrialist; imported European steel techniques to dominate American steel industry

.       Attempted to reorganize entire steel industry under own company

.       Became one of world's richest men and one of world's most generous philanthropists


Frederick Winslow Taylor

.       American inventor and engineer

.       Father of scientific management or Taylorism

.       Advocated industrial efficiency; wanted workers to be as effective as machines

.       Hated by workmen, loved by industrialists


Aaron Montgomery Ward

.       American merchant; invented mail-order catalog, 1872

.       Used rail network to distribute directly goods to customers

.       Created new way for Americans to shop




1869 Transcontinental Railroad Completed

.       Central Pacific and Union Pacific lines joined at Promontory Summit in Utah Territory

.       "Golden Spike" ceremony celebrated completion of construction


1872 First Mail Order Catalog

.       Montgomery Ward created first mail order business in Chicago

.       Sold direct to rural customers


1875 First Carnegie Steel Plant

.       Introduced Bessemer converter and open-hearth process in tandem

.       Methods proved significantly more efficient than prior methods of production

.       Drove growth of American steel industry


1876 Invention of Telephone

.       Telephone invented simultaneously by Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray, but Bell got patent first


1879 Invention of Light Bulb

.       Thomas Edison developed technology for incandescent light bulb

.       Also developed required infrastructure to deploy product on mass scale   


1888 Publication of Looking Backward

.       Edward Bellamy's novel of techno-socialistic utopia developed massive following


1888 Invention of Electric Motor

.       Transportation over medium distance became significantly easier

.       Suburbanization became a possibility with electric streetcars

.       Invented by Nikola Tesla

1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago

.       Hall of Electricity accurately promised future kitchens full of electrical appliances

.       Demonstrated onward march of technological progress, what it would mean for average consumer




Edison General Electric Company

.       Centralized center of innovation

.       Marketed Edison's products

.       Now known simply as General Electric (GE)





.       System of industrial management pioneered by Frederick W. Taylor

.       Standardized and streamlined production processes

.       Required less training and time

.       Human workers required to function like machines


Gilded Age

.       Term, coined sarcastically by Mark Twain, for last quarter of 19th century

.       Described an era marked by great wealth but also great corruption

.       "Gilded" = golden on the outside, worse things within

Differential Rate

.       Speed at which workers work at maximum (i.e. machinelike) efficiency

.       Concept developed by Frederick Taylor

.       Despised by workers




"White City", Chicago, Illinois

.       Site of 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, a celebration of technological progress