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It’s Electrifying!

The First Book of Electricity
1953, rev. edition 1977

Submitter tells us this has been weeded but wanted to share all the groovy things electricity does for us.  How many kids will recognize the old fashioned appliances featured in the illustration below?

What no power strip?  Where is the 3 pronged plug?  I am also concerned about the exposed wires.  A little electrical tape should fix that up in no time!

This book belongs in an archive.  Public and school libraries?  You need to weed this and get something a bit more current.  (pun intended!)


0 Responses to It’s Electrifying!

  • I love the fabric cover! The whole book is a fun historical reference.

  • I’m betting there’s a picture of good old Reddy Kilowatt in there somewhere. Later editions included quaint landscapes of “Little House on the Reactor,” featuring the fascinating walking pumpkins that Ma Chernobyl grew out on the back forty.

  • Love the illustrations!

  • I’ve wondered lately how we show pictures of telephones, computers, music players, television etc. They’re all flat silver or black plastic rectangle boxes now. I still have a picture bingo set with old fashioned pictures of these things, but as the kids come up some haven’t ever seen the older things. Even mops and brooms have been replaced with flat rectangle pads on sticks.

  • Aaaahhh! Giamt flying lightbulb!

  • fab. illustrations! such jaunty appliances!

  • Rats. Another one I remember reading. This blog makes me feel old.

  • We were watching an old movie recently and one of my children asked what the “wheel” in the middle of the phone was used for.

    Brave new world, indeed!

  • When they said “The first book,” that’s what they meant. It’s *the first book* on electricity.

    (Previously all this information had been published by Ben Franklin as a side job in his printing business.)

  • Yes but does it tells how magnets work?

  • Wow! The fuse box was “old-fashioned” when I was a kid, and I’m 46! I grew up in a house built in 1966, and it had a breaker panel.

    • I currently live in a house that was built in 1966, and it has a breaker panel!

      On a separate note, I’m wondering if the incandescent light bulb will be the next thing to go obsolete.

      • I hope not. Those so called environmentally friendly bulbs are SO not friendly in the long term. You’re better off with the old fashion kind. (I’m so sick and tired of people declaring things as “green” when it’s only short-term green and they don’t do research about the long reaching consequences. That’s how we end up with crap that a year or more later is being recalled and/or banned.)

        Besides, I have a lamp where the shade clips onto the bulb.

    • Old-fashioned when I was a kid too, and I’m nearly 10 years older than you. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a fuse box (probably my grandmother’s house had one).

    • my last apartment had a fuse box like that… the first time we blew fuse we were like “WTF!?”

    • We just bought a 1919 house and it still has a fuse box. That will be our first big improvement project. (Plumbing and furnace are brand new though.)

    • Btw. The fusebox in the illustration seems to have screw plugs for Diazed fuses, which is odd for this being a north American book.

      In many parts of the Europe, breakers became common much slower. I for example grew up in a house refurbished at 1987 and at that time it had a -new- fusebox installed. At least we got rid of the 30s era lead coated wires.

  • “SNIFF” – Ahhh, I can just smell the moldy pages…

  • Put it on a shelf in the adult section labelled “Books you might remember reading”. The font and illustration style are certainly familiar to me. (I grew up in the ’80s, but our library wasn’t always the fastest to weed books either. 🙂

    @Deb: The Montessori school my daughter has gone to has a rotary-dial phone (disconnected) for the kids to play with, along with a push-button corded phone and a cellphone. I like to go dial the first one once in a while for nostalgia’s sake: what a nuisance it was!

    • My mobile phone’s ring is a sound clip of an old Ma Bell phone’s bell. People sometimes laugh when they hear it. A real bell! Ha!

    • I have two I bought for fun. One an old candlestick phone and the other a baby blue empress phone with little flowers on it. Both say “American Telecommunications Corporation” on the bottom.

      I love them, I wish I had a jack to plug them in to see if they worked.

      To tell the truth I normally hate telephones. I hate calling people. I hate talking to people on them. If they weren’t so handy for calling 911 I would not own a phone at all. But these phones, I’d use if I could.

  • There’s a picture of a drop socket with a chain pull. I bet those are illegal now.

  • The wires aren’t exposed. Older wires were wrapped in fabric.

  • Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You may have seen me in such public information films as ‘Electricity, our volty friend’ and ‘BetaMax video tape, storage medium of the future’…

  • We have one of the drop sockets with the chain pull over my washing machine in the basement with an eco bulb in it.

  • ‘Only electricity can give us electric lights’

    who’d have thought?

  • I would pay good money for this book; it has such beautiful illustrations and I’d like to stitch them.

  • Awww. I’m sad to see this weeded. I bet it’s other books were too! I worked in a college literacy center/childrens library until last year, and this one was a favorite of little boys. After the kids program every night I usually had to re-shelve this oldie and a yellow one that was part of the series. I can’t remember what the title on that one was. The circ numbers definitely didn’t reflect its popularity in our library.