Thomas Edison: How the light bulb changed everything

Ernest Freeberg
Ernest Freeberg is head of the history department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and the author of "The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America." Professor Freeberg recently spoke at the Minnesota Historical Society about his book.
Courtesy of Kelli Guinn

A new Hollywood movie opened over the weekend, called "The Current War." The movie tells the dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.

The invention of the incandescent light bulb had an enormous effect on American society and historian Ernest Freeberg of the University of Tennessee wrote a book about it called "The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America."

He explores how and why the light bulb changed nearly everything about American life, economy, society, architecture, sports, entertainment and health.

Ernest Freeberg spoke at the Minnesota Historical Society’s “History Forum” on Feb. 14, 2015.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.