Disenchanted Night: The Industrialization of Light in the Nineteenth Century
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Disenchanted Night: The Industrialization of Light in the Nineteenth Century

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  11 reviews
This text tells the story of the development of artificial light in the 19th century. The book reveals the ways that the technology of artificial light helped forge modern consciousness. It discusses such topics as the political symbolism of street lighting and the rise of nightlife.
Paperback, 227 pages
Published December 20th 1995 by University of California Press (first published 1983)
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Awesome. I want to remove most of the lights out of my house and return to candles and oil lamps.
Very interesting book using the history of illumination to put forth an adaptive sociology of light-awareness. Poses and answers this basic question: How have the changes and technological advances in our artificial sources of public and household lighting affected our societies, individual psyches, and understanding of ourselves and our place in the world? Compelling material, to be sure. Great exploration of a fairly obscure premise. (Also incidentally provides the underpinnings of the narrati...more
Oct 01, 2007 Robert rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
We take electric light for granted... yet most people who lived at the turn of the 20th Century agree that electric lighting was the most revolutionary change they witnessed. Never before in human history could people work, play, love, laugh so long after the sun went down as though it were day. This fascinating book explores how cultural mores and social interaction changed with the development of lighting from Medieval times to present.
This book explores a niche in the sociological history - the effect the technological and industrial development of light had on the common cultural and psychological understandings of society.

Quite obscure but interesting and theoretically sound and filled with new information - for me, at least.
Never thought the history of lighting could be interesting at all. But this book really was. care to know why arc lights never gained in popularity? how about why electricity is distributed as it is?
A lead up to how Motel 6 got its catch phrase, "We'll leave the light on for ya." Or, a "Land Before Al Gore started pushing you those squiggly looking light bulbs down your throat."
Katie Jones
Really interesting book that explains how the industrialization of light changed the course of history...starting with the French Revolution.
Interesting look at the ways in which lighting technology is directly tied to industrialization and modernity.
Dominique Pierre Batiste
Excellent book for those interested in Cultural Forms, in this case: light.
enlightening! (what a fucking silly pun to make... arrrgh!!!)
If anything, this book could be twice as long :o)
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