“The Boy Electrician” = a hell of a book

I’ve always been attracted toward “retro” informaiton sources.

One of the weirdest things I’ve ever discovered is: oftentimes, older texts do a better job explaining the technologies.   For one thing, they tend not to implicitly treat the real world as a pale shadow of the mathematical models.   There’s someting just conceptually ‘off” about starting from (garbled) descriptions of Bohr’s atomic model and only getting to observable (and thus verifiable) real-world phenomena such as magnetism, conductors/insulators etc. “downstream”

Quite frankly, a much better approach is one which recapitulates — at least conceptually — the sort of observations which culminated in what we can do with electricity/electronics/computers, etc.

That’s where “the boy electrician” comes in.

Quite frankly, as I said: it’s a hell of a book:

Not only does it recapitulate (in abbreviated form) the broad outlines of how human knowledge advanced in regard to magnetism/electricity/electronics, it also contains a myriad of designs which (in principle) would allow someone with the right tools/supplies to do the experiments, and/or build the devices.

The order of presentation is as follows:

  1. Magnetism and magnets
  2. Static electricity
  3. Static electricity machines
  4. Voltaic cells and batteries
  5. Electromagnetism and magnetic induction
  6. Electrical units
  7. Wires and accessories
  8. Electrical measuring instruments
  9. Bells, burglar alarms and annunciators
  10. Telegraphy
  11. Microphones and telephones
  12. Induction coils
  13. Transformers
  14. Wireless telegraphy
  15. Racio recieving sets
  16. An experimental “wireless” telephone
  17. Electric motors
  18. Dynamos
  19. An electric railway
  20. Miniature lighting
  21. Miscelaneous electrical apparatus

I mean, seriously: there’s even a section on winding your own resistors.

 

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