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Edison: The Electrical Technician

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New England Landscape of Massachusetts

A month before the planned date of late August 1883 of the completion of the lower Manhattan system, Thomas Edison faced or at least purportedly faced one of the most significant public relations challenges of his career. While few nineteenth century entrepreneurs had reservations about how they would about developing the New England landscape of Massachusetts had a number of outstanding exceptions! Then there was the citizen who kept a close watch on the technological progress and its impact upon natural aesthetics in this part of Plymouth County! There was a rising young shoe manufacturer and proud pilgrim descendant named Daniel Waldo Field was a young man Edison had worked with as an electrical technician!



George Field a distant relative and close friend of Daniel Field's father! Although the relationship had been notoriously strained, Daniel Field was one of the first to cordially welcome the now famous inventor Thomas Edison to Massachusetts! However, it was not long before they found themselves at odds with each other on an issue that was destined to make environmental history in the US of A!

Natural and Architectural Beauty!

While Field was a very tough minded world class industrialist, he was also a sensitive, self styled, conservationist! Somehow, he never had a problem in blending his absolute faith in pure capitalism with his abiding love of nature and the community! Moreover, he was absolutely unswerving in his belief that a city requires an abundance of natural architectural beauty and goodness in order for its inhabitants to be really and truly happy! As soon as Thomas Edison's crew had identified a number of beautiful trees in the downtown area that presumably, had to be cut down in order to accommodate what was essentially amounted to a 2,000 foot extension cord! Field was then asked if he would leader of the opposition movement! Along with Thomas Edison's fierce sense of  loyalty and devotion, these were probably the factors that has always led him to rank as secondary  to the great significance of the work! Thomas Edison had pioneered earlier in United Kingdom of Great Britain and all over Europe! The telegraph poles for Brocton had as much as 40 cross bars!

Massachusetts Three-Wire Plant!

These cross bars was supporting layer upon layer of telegraph wires and telephone wires were already a blight in New York City. Daniel Waldo Field argued that Thomas Edison was about to induce disorder in Massachusetts. It was the first of several important conservation aesthetic issues that Daniel Waldo Field would raise over the next 50 years. In spite of the powerful civic challenge marshalled by

the fervent 28 year old conservationist! Thomas Edison did not immediately give an order to bury the electric wires and by mid summer, the plethora of changes he kept coming up with and related delays had put up the cost of building the three-wire plant in Massachusetts was considerably way beyond the cost of the intended original budget that was first thought of!. In the Meantime, the local financiers were complaining that over half of their investments in the venture had already been expended! Ultimately, Thomas Edison placed the aesthetics issue plus a number of safety issues into the hands of Garrison his chief assistant! Garrison was a very articulate author and he was quite an extraordinary showman!




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