Edisons Portrayal Essay

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Edison’s Portrayal
A dreamer, an inventor, and above all, Thomas Edison was an ambitious and ruthless businessman who manifested the deep determination to take over the electricity market. Edison’s portrayal in Moran’s book “The Executioner’s Current” holds much more realistic and in depth aspects of his personality, than shown in the short excerpt, “They Transformed the World” pertaining to “America’s greatest change-makers.” On top of being an inventor, as shown in the excerpt, Moran’s portrayal of Edison displays him as an aggressive and competitive businessman by using the media and press to influence public opinion, as well as by pushing for the Electrical Execution Act.
Edison knew he could persuade the
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Edison announced, “Just as certain as death, Westinghouse will kill a customer within six months after he puts in a system of any size. He has got a new thing and it will require a great deal of experimenting to get it work practically. It will never be free of danger”1 Through these tactics, he did indeed accomplish his mission of alerting the public, and it was not about to end.
After receiving the attention of the public due to the speech, Edison published a pamphlet entitled “A Warning from the Edison Electric Company”. This red pamphlet included attacks on competitors such as Westinghouse, who Edison claimed was a patent violator. (Moran 58) Edison’s attack was on-going and continued as the newspaper consisted of an article, “Edison Predicted It”. “’It’ was the New York Board of Health’s conclusion that the only way to light safely by electricity was to control, by ordinance, the strength of the current.”1 (Moran 58) Edison manipulated the public to think that by using by the AC power it would succumb to death due to the dangerous tension. The aggressive businessman Edison gained the dominance of the market and trust of the public.
Edison was not done in trying to destroy Westinghouse’s business and reputation, which is evident through his support of the new electrical execution
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