And to think – each and every single day, there are still new discoveries being made and inventions being worked on… the process never ends!
Somewhere, I had heard a rumor recently that there are now about 4,000 descendants who can claim me as their distant ancestor. I imagine, if one were to count up the many different devices, gadgets, machines, electronics and computers, light bulbs and lamps, vehicles, entertainment systems, heating and cooking appliances, communications technologies, etc., that could trace their origins to my electrical experiments of 300 years ago, the number of offspring would be even greater.
In my short time among you in this astounding future world, I have tried to investigate as many of these electrical miracles as possible, just to satisfy my own curiosity. It would seem that my work would never be finished, since there are such an infinite number of them that I would have to be toiling day and night to get to them all. Some of them are quite ordinary, everyday devices that you often take for granted; others are of such a fantastic nature that I still find myself rubbing my eyes in wonder and disbelief. One such outstanding example is the existence of space travel — something that would be totally impossible without electricity!
Here are just a few of my favorite “offspring,” based on my preliminary examinations, which in my opinion best combine ingenuity, creativity, and practicality:
- LED lighting – the latest twist on electrical lighting, I’m told, which uses tiny electronic devices to emit light, which apparently are even more efficient than the incandescent style lamp which uses electricity to “burn” a filament.
- Televisions, cable, digital recorders and playback machines, and satellite delivery of entertainment programs – it boggles the mind to know that a single troubadour or a group of entertainers appearing in old Philadelphia can now be viewed, nearly instantaneously, on the other side of the world! And, my oh my, the colorful, exciting, eye-dazzling, dizzying special effects that go along with most performances these days!
- Electric heating and cooling – my own invention of the Franklin Stove pales in comparison with all the many inventions of the past century, which provide everything from automatic home heating and cooling to practically instantaneous cooking of meals; simple preservation of foods in a frozen state to brand new culinary inventions like ice cream, frozen yoghurt, Italian ice, chilled beverages, and so much more!
- Telecommunications – hand-held devices that let you talk to your neighbor across the street, or distant acquaintances around the world… and beyond. And the most unusual thing is, they can also bring all the information of an entire library to your fingertips!
- Computers – you 21st century citizens can easily forget that number-counting machines did not exist at all in the 1700s (with the possible exception of the primitive abacus). My own flirtation with numbers (despite my early shortcomings in arithmetic, which I found difficulty mastering) went only as far as inventing “magic number” squares that I amused myself with during boring sessions of the state legislature. But now, your modern computers can do nearly everything under the sun, from balancing budgets to discovering the secrets of the universe, creating digital artwork to gathering and disseminating news stories … from writing short letters to compiling multi-volume encyclopedias and reference works, designing houses to building three-dimensional objects as if by magic!
And that, my dear reader, is just a small sample of what electricity has made possible. I could go on and on, but I must bring this particular blog entry to a close, since I have plans to watch a television show of great personal interest tonight, a retelling of a story called The Time Machine by one of your modern authors, H.G. Wells. It is my hope that I will be able to learn more about my own unexpected, mysterious arrival here in this future land.
Your humble servant,