Scripts, Grooves, and Writing Machines: Representing Technology in the Edison Era

Research output: Book/ReportBook


"This is a richly imaginative study of machines for writing and reading at the end of the nineteenth century in America. Its aim is to explore writing and reading as culturally contingent experiences, and at the same time to broaden our view of the relationship between technology and textuality. At the book's heart is the proposition that technologies of inscription are materialized theories of language. Whether they failed (like Thomas Edison's "electric pen") or succeeded (like typewriters), inscriptive technologies of the late nineteenth century were local, often competitive embodiments of the way people experienced writing and reading. Such a perspective cuts through the determinism of recent accounts while simultaneously arguing for an interdisciplinary method for considering texts and textual production. ... The phonograph and the typewriter may be things of the past, but this book will resonate with readers who are engaged daily with computer networks, hypertexts, and the forms that mass media will take in the new century."--Jacket
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationStanford
PublisherStanford University Press
Number of pages282
ISBN (Print)9780804732703, 9780804738729, 0804732701, 0804738726
StatePublished - 1999


  • Alphabétisation
  • Kommunikationstechnik
  • USA
  • Communication et technologie
  • Schrijfmachines
  • Geschichte
  • Technologie
  • Sociologische aspecten
  • Literacy
  • Geluidsregistratie
  • Communication and technology


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