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2006-07-12 19:06

  Thomas Edison In Brockton

  As a young man, Edison had worked as an electrical technician for George Field_a distant relative and friend of Daniel Field's farther. Although the relationship between George Field and the often rash Edison had been notoriously strained, Daniel Field was one of the first to cordially welcome the now famous inventor to Brockton to construct his branch. It didn't take long, however , before the idealistic Field and the pragmatic3 Edison found themselves on a collision course on an issue that would make environmental history.

  Although he was a toughminded world class entrepreneur, Field was also a deeply committed, self-styled urban conservationist. “Somehow, he never had a problem in blending his lasting love of nature and community with his absolute faith in 'pure' capitalism.” He never wavered in his belief that “A city requires an abundance of natural and architectural beauty and goodness in order for its inhabitants to be truly happy.”

  One Edison's crew indicated that the branches of a number of the beautiful elm trees in the downtown area needed to be heavily trimmed to accommodate a 2000-foot extension cord, Field was asked to lead an opposition movement. Recalling how “decaying” layers of telegraph wires, arc light wires, and telephone wires were such a blight in New York City, Field and others argued that Edison was about to “introduce similar havoc” in Brockton.

  Regardless of the strong civic challenge led by the impassioned 28-year-old Field, Edison did not immediately change his plans. The cost of his Brockton branch of the Edison Ⅲuminating Light Company was over budgeted …… “The firm had already spent more than half firm had already spent more than half of its allotted resources on the facility.” Accordingly, he promptly dropped the issue into the hands of Garrison.

  Garrison was a highly articulate author and part-time actor. Edison greatly valued his unusual ability to win over an audience with humor and satire. On one occasion a group of local hecklers from the gas company tried to convince an audience that the “ mad wizard from New Jersey was about to blow up the whole village,” Garrison readily turned the tables and made them the laughing stock.

  Nonetheless, Garrison was hindered in his efforts to allay the local public's concern over the impact form Edison's proposed plan to use above-ground wiring. Field's warning that "…… a river of copper would cut through the branches of our ancient elm trees and eventually darken the blue sky over our beautiful village …“ was seared into the public mindset.

  The result was that, even though the decision involved a number of untested changes, Edison agreed to hide the one inch diameter cable at least 2 feet below ground. It was a decision that made his unique Brockton Standardized System even more singular than originally designed. For the first time in history, it combined the high energy efficiency associated with type H( three-wire) generation and distribution with the aesthetics associated with subterranean wiring.

  Finally, by mid-September of 1883, the remarkable Brockton operation was ready to go into service, The circuit, which involved 150 of Edison's lastes “600-hour 10-candle-watt bulbs,” was connected to more than a dozen retail establishments, including a barber shop and a popular billiard hall that had formerly used “buzzing and blinking” arc lights. On October 1, thirty-seven-year-old Edison and a troupe of famous associates arrived. By train, from Boston to oversee the first official use of “his latest and most remarkable contrivance.”

  By 5 P. M —even though the event had not been publicized — a relatively large crowd had gathered at the School plant. They anxiously watched as Edison and his assistants tinkered with the wires, batteries and huge dynamos. At 6:15 P.M., after being “ rather spontaneously introduced to the onlookers,” Edison stepped over to the panel and threw the master switch.










  终于,在 1883年的9月中旬,引人注目的布隆克顿业务准备投入运营了。整个线路,包括150只爱迪生最新的“照明600小时10根蜡烛能量的灯泡,”连接了超过十二个的零售店铺,包括一间理发馆和一家受欢迎的台球厅,此前它们使用的是“阴暗、兹兹响 的”弧光灯。十月一日,三十七岁的爱迪生和一班有名的同事们从波士顿乘火车到此,前来观看首次正式启用的“他的最新、最引人注目的发明物。”


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