My Photo
Location: United States

Saturday, February 07, 2009

History of Niagara Falls

I was looking through the library's online catalogue of new books and saw Inventing Niagara: Beauty, Power, and Lies. It's about the history of Niagara Falls (someplace I've actually visited :) and that led me to a Wikipedia page about The Human Drift.

The Human Drift was a book written by King Camp Gillette, a businessman most well known for having inventing the safety razor, but also a utopian socialist. Here's a bit from Wikipedia about the book, which was influenced by the work being done by Tesla and Westinghouse on electricity ......

Gillette .... published a book titled The Human Drift (1894), which advocated that all industry should be taken over by a single corporation owned by the public, and that everyone in the US should live in a giant city called Metropolis powered by Niagara Falls. A later book, World Corporation (1910), was a prospectus for a company set up to create this vision. He offered Theodore Roosevelt the presidency of the company, with a fee of one million dollars. (Roosevelt declined the offer.) ...

The title of the book, the human drift, was his term for the "chaos of contemporary existence" which he hoped his utopian city (named Metropolis :) would replace with predictable progress. One thing I found especially interesting, was his idea that the perfect society should be ruled by a corporate tycoon .... I can see Socrates rolling in his grave, and Agent Fox Mulder saying "See!?"

- Annie Edson Taylor, the first person to go over the Falls in a barrel

Anyway, the book, Inventing Niagara:: Beauty, Power, and Lies sounds pretty interesting, and I haven't even read yet about the missing mummy. You can read more about Niagara Falls and the book at the writer's website.


Blogger cowboyangel said...

God, people were really out of it at times in the past. Everyone in the U.S. live in a giant city? That sounds so absolutely horrible that it's hard to imagine it would've been viewed by anyone at any time as a utopia. Our ideas of "progress" have been really screwy at times.

8:24 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

It does sound disturbing - sort of a ceramic anthill :)

9:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What to talk about Niagara falls. It is a stunning destination and my favorite too. I have been there many times in my life and again going there during my bus tours from new york to niagara falls and very happy for it. I am so hopeful that it will be a good one trip for me.

2:27 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home