Maine Historical Society



Press Releases

Age of Edison Author Ernest Freeberg to Keynote Electricity Exhibit Programs at Maine Historical Society

March 7, 2013

Maine Historical Society (MHS) welcomes author and University of Tennessee Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Ernest Freeberg, on Thursday, March 28, at 7:00 PM, to talk about his new book, Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America. The presentation serves as the keynote talk in a series of programs related to MHS’s current museum exhibit, Wired! How Electricity Came to Maine. This exhibit, up through May 26, 2013, features items from the historic collections of Central Maine Power, which were donated to MHS in 2002.

Age of Edison concerns the inventor and the Menlo Park laboratory environment, the history of electric light generally, and how that technology shaped American culture. The Wall Street Journal says that “Mr. Freeberg’s broad research adds up to a vivid social history with parallels for today’s technology innovators and for those who wish to increase their number. It underscores the point that the work of Edison and other pioneers of light took place in an unusual setting, a period in which American invention was remarkably active and fertile.”

At the University of Tennessee, Dr. Freeberg teaches American cultural, social, and religious history. His previous books include Democracy’s Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, The Great War, and the Right to Dissent and The Education of Laura Bridgman. A Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, Dr. Freeberg has served on the editorial board of the History of Education Quarterly, and has produced public radio documentaries on historical themes.

Other upcoming programs in the series related to the Wired! exhibit include:

Off and On the Grid: Thursday, April 4, 7:00PM. Former Maine State Poet Laureate Baron Wormser speaks, and reads poetry, about his 20+ years in Maine living off the power grid in this kick-off to National Poetry Month.

Electrifying Maine: The CMP Experience: Thursday, April 25, 6:30PM. A panel of current and veteran Central Maine Power line workers and trainers share stories related to what it takes to keep the grid going, respond to storms and major outages, and keep us safe.

Energy Crisis Decade: 1973-1983: Thursday, May 9, 7:00PM. Colby College Professor of Science, Technology, and Society, Leonard Reich reflects on the causes, effects, and lessons of the energy crisis decade, and our current energy concerns.

More information about all these programs can be found at

For more information:

Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

Maine Historical Society preserves and shares Maine's story to enrich life in contemporary Maine.